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The stem cell debate and Fr. De Souza. (News in Brief: Canada).

Ottawa--The discussion on the Assisted Human Reproduction Act, Bill C-13, which began on Tuesday, January 28, and has proceeded on and off throughout the month of February (See the note on stem cells, C.I., March 2003, p.31, for the preparatory work done over the previous six months).

The few speakers of the NDP and the Bloc who participated have followed their party's traditional ideology of indifference to the protection of human life.

Among Liberals, only Paul Szabo (Mississauga South), has spoken eloquently, pleading with the House to understand some of the major flaws of this Bill. Mr. Szabo has also provided the bulk of the motions to amend the bill. Many of these motions were taken from the suggested amendments prepared by Campaign Life Coalitions' medical, legal, and theological teams.

Most of the other participants in the debate came from the ranks of the Canadian Alliance with Rob Merrifield (Yellowhead), and James Lunney, (Nanaimo-Alberni) taking the lead from the beginning. Together, the participating MPs have succeeded in making it clear that amendments are absolutely necessary and that without them, the Bill is unacceptable.


It seems every time pro-life people are united in dealing with a tricky government bill which is intrinsically flawed, somebody steps forward with a proposal to chuck it all on the grounds that its the best we got and it's the best we can do. This time it was Father Raymond De Souza who writes from Rome and who recently had the occasion to visit Texas. While there, he also attended a bicethical conference for clergy where he heard about Canada's Bill C-13, and greeting this as an opportunity, he set forth his thoughts in an op-ed column in the National Post, Feb. 24/03, entitled "Surplus embryos? No such thing." He accurately perceives Bill C-13 as the product of muddled philosophy but then adds, "That is not to say that the bill should necessarily be defeated." He concludes, "Perhaps avoiding some evils and saving some lives with muddIed philosophy is the best we can hope for."

Fr. De Souza overlooked the fact that unless amendments are passed, this bill is an intrinsically evil piece of legislation. As the present Pope and his predecessors have pointed out on not a few different occasions, legislators may never vote for a bill or a law which is intrinsically evil.

In vitro fertilization, by which socalled "surplus" human beings come into the world, is morally condemned as intrinsically evil. Next, these tiniest of humans are then subjected to "research" and killed off after use, again an intrinsically evil process. Unless the bill is radically changed, no MP should vote for it.

Part of Bill C-13's nastiness is the erroneous scientific language it uses, leading laymen and women to think that it pro hi bits research when in fact it doesn't, leading them to think that it prohibits cloning when it really allows ha If a dozen different methods of cloning. No wonder that a group of scientists made a last minute call to allow human cloning through an editorial in the Parliament Hill newspaper The Hill Times.
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Title Annotation:Canada's Assisted Human Reproduction Act
Publication:Catholic Insight
Geographic Code:1CANA
Date:Apr 1, 2003
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