Where are we today?
That was the subject discussed at the opening session of the National Pro-Life Conference. First, Jim Hughes, the President of the Campaign Life Coalition, addressed the political aspect of the situation. Apart from reiterating that pro-lifers must double their efforts, Jim also mentioned that political changes won't be possible without spiritual changes. He stated that clergy of all denominations must be encouraged to stand up for the sanctity of life. Jim made it clear that anyone who relies on immigration to solve the demographic problem, while ignoring the issue of abortion, is in fact suggesting to rob the developing countries of their future, just because we, Canadians, have aborted ours.
Joanne Bayfield from Life Canada told us about the education campaigns, undertaken by the pro-life movement. We've heard about the Environics poll results according to which 72% of Canadians (75% of the women respondents) believe there must be legal protection for the unborn victims of crime. Joanne provided us with additional information which hasn't yet been released by the news agencies.
Thus it turns out, 62% of Canadians support legal protection for human life at some point during pregnancy. 67% believe there must be informed consent legislation, so women are provided with all the information about their baby, offered some alternative options to the abortion as well as warned about possible health consequences. Requiring parental consent for under-age girls seeking abortions is supported by 54% of Canadians. Finally, 64% disagree with abortions on demand being paid for with our tax dollars.
Joanne mentioned that many Canadians are simply unaware of the facts. For example, not many people know that Canada actually does not have any time restriction on abortions; many believe that abortions after the first trimester aren't allowed. To raise awareness of the complete lack of the legal protection for the unborn in Canada and to commemorate the 20th anniversary of the Morguentaller's ruling, Life Canada is launching a new educational website: www.abortionincanada.ca
Finally, Mary Ann Kuharsky, the Founder and President of Pro-Life Across America, gave us the overview of the situation from the prospective of a mother. She told us about the "Planned Parenthood" ads she'd seen. Apart from referring to babies as "loud, smelly and expensive", those ads also mention that "God had only one child" and suggest that people "follow his example". We've found out that according to the "Planned Parenthood" own statistics, 90% of the women who turn to abortion, are pressured to do so by a partner, a family member or anyone else for that matter. (Talking about "choice".)
Mary Ann told us about the billboard campaign her group runs in the US; how a simple knowledge that a baby's heart starts beating as early as 18 days after conception, could change people's hearts. She's told us about poor-choice activists blaming her of trying to impose their morality on others. Mary Ann doesn't argue with that. Yes, she says, we are trying to impose pro-life morality, because up until now it's been them imposing their morality on us and look at the mess they've got us into. But it's quite hard to say that Mary Ann Kuharsky is actually trying to "impose" her morality on others. Her billboard campaign simply calls on people to pause for a moment and listen to the heartbeat of an unborn baby.