Saturday, January 19, 2008

Victory For Free Speech. Victory For Fetal Rights. (Bill Whatcott)

"Human rights" tribunals aren't the only ones that usurped the authority to deny people their freedom of speech. Professional associations could do just that. In 2002, Saskatchewan Association of Licensed Practical Nurses (SALPN) accused Bill Whatcott of professional misconduct for picketing the "Planned Parenthood" office in Regina. The pro-abortion adjudicator named Jamie Struthers did her best to turn the trial into a farce.

At the hearings, Bill exposed many of RPP's lies (RPP director Director Barbara McWatters claimed under oath that late term abortions don't take place in Canada, despite clear evidence to the contrary), highlighting the health risks arising from abortions as well as the immorality of killing pre-born babies. In spite of the RPP testimony being thoroughly discredited, regardless of the fact that Bill never represented himself as a nurse at the RPP, Bill was found guilty of "slandering" Planned Parenthood. His license as a practical nurse was suspended for 45 days and he was ordered to pay $15,000 fine. SALPN informed Bill that his license would not be reinstated until the fine was paid.

Bill tried to fight the suspension in court. He lost his first appeal, but now, he's got a win as the Saskatchewan Court of Appeal found no justification for SALPN's disciplinary committee decision. It was kind of a hollow victory for Bill. The court awarded him no compensation for lost wages, claiming that since Bill refused to pay the fine then his forced unemployment was, "in significant part, of his own choice." (As if one could easily raise $15,000 in 45 days, especially if he's not allowed to work in his chosen profession.)

But it's a great victory for the freedom of speech. The ruling clearly stated that SALPN's disciplinary committee infringed on Whatcott's freedom of expression. This is also a great victory for the pro-life cause, as it confirms the right of the health professionals to speak up for fetal rights even if someone in the management finds their arguments controversial or untimely.

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