Despite the fact that Canada has one of the most liberal abortion laws in the world and that recent polls show that most Canadians would prefer to have some restrictions on abortion, the political pressure to keep the status quo on the issue is so firm that it is rare for a Canadian politician to even mention the issue, let alone critically.
But one Conservative MP has bucked the trend of silence and recently issued a salvo against Canada’s "abortion regime" that he argued is directly and seriously harmful to mothers, as well as their unborn children.
"As a compassionate, caring, progressive society, we should provide the kind of support and options for the expectant mother, so that she doesn’t feel her only choice is to choose death for her offspring," said Conservative MP Maurice Vellacott in a hard-hitting press release issued last week. "To put women in that kind of position is not the hallmark of a caring, compassionate, progressive society. That’s providing ‘no choice.’"
Vellacott was responding to remarks by Evelyn Reisner, executive director of Saskatoon Planned Parenthood, who told the Saskatoon StarPhoenix earlier in November that the Saskatoon cut-off date for abortion of the 12th week of pregnancy, "increases the risks to [pregnant women’s] health, causing a ‘higher rate of infections, complications and deaths’."
The Saskatoon StarPhoenix also reported that, in the view of some people, there aren’t enough Saskatoon doctors performing abortions.
But Vellacott argued that the decrease in the number of doctors performing abortions in the city can be traced to advances in technology that have revealed what abortion does to the unborn child, and to the growing body of evidence that abortion hurts women.
"Saskatoon’s doctors should be commended for the leadership they are showing by reducing the availability of abortion in our city and for supporting real alternatives for women in need," said Vellacott.
Interestingly, Vellacott’s views on abortion may not be as "extreme" as many in the political establishment would make them out to be – at least according to a recent poll. According to the Environics poll, released this week, 56% of Canadians would like there to be protections for the unborn at some point before birth. Currently Canada has no restrictions on abortion, technically allowing an unborn child to be killed up to the point of birth.
In addition, 68% of Canadians polled said that abortions should be either privately funded (18%) or only tax-funded in cases of medical emergency "such as a threat to the mother’s life or in cases of rape or incest."
The Saskatchewan MP went on in his statement to highlight the lengthy list of problems that abortion can lead to for mothers, including "a greater risk of breast cancer, cervical lacerations and injury, uterine perforations, hemorrhage, and serious infection. Long-term physical consequences of abortion include sterility or subsequent ectopic pregnancies and premature births. Premature births are associated with higher rates of cerebral palsy, as well as respiratory, brain, and bowel abnormalities."
The outspoken MP also claimed that the current "abortion regime" is conducive to abuse. "Aborted women tell stories of being badgered, harassed and coerced into getting their abortion by boyfriends, partners, parents, employers, or other unsupportive circumstances," he said. "Abortion has also been used to cover up the sexual abuse of girls who were minors. Pro-life feminists have also come to see abortion as part of a male agenda to have women more sexually available. With widespread abortion access, the male partner also has come to think that he can blame the woman if she chooses not to have an abortion after an unplanned pregnancy."
Vellacott also accused Reisner of "being disingenuous – at best – when she claims that the limited access to abortion in Saskatoon will lead to a ‘higher rate of infections, complications and deaths.’" He pointed out that the late Dr. Bernard Nathanson, once America’s most prominent abortionist, after becoming pro-life, admitted that he and others fabricated their huge figures of 5,000-10,000 potentially deadly "back alley" abortions per year and kept repeating these fabricated numbers until the media unquestioningly reported them.
Vellacott said, "The intelligent women of today are owed a full and complete disclosure of information on the life changing abortion effects and long-term harms. Women are done a great disservice and are not treated with equality when there is not a fully informed consent."
"When women look beyond those pushing abortion, they discover that there are more services available today to women facing crisis pregnancies, so that they don’t have to feel trapped into killing their unborn child. We need to provide the compassionate, caring support for women and their pre-born children at such a vulnerable time, so that someday, abortion is a very rare thing in our country," added Vellacott.
Vellacott concluded, "We should be doing so much more for women in this regard so they don’t feel backed into a corner and coerced. As a caring, compassionate, progressive society, we should provide the kind of supports so that they have real choice, so they can do the instinctive thing – so they can choose life."
To contact MP Maurice Vellacott to express your support:
Maurice Vellacott, MP
Unit 3-844 51st Street East
Saskatoon, SK S7K 5C7
Tel. 306-975-4725, Toll Free 888-844-8886