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Will Canada escape the new abortion debate?

Washington -- The United States Supreme Court is about to reopen the controversial issue of partial-birth abortion. Pro-abortion activists fear that with a more "conservative" group of jurists on the U.S. Supreme Court, the whole question of abortion itself could be challenged.

A 2003 ban on partial-birth abortions, supported by President Bush, never went into effect since a Supreme Court ruling says that all abortion laws must contain provisions to "protect a women's health." When the 2003 ban is looked at by the Supreme Court this year, there will be several new faces with a more traditional bent to study the issue.

Moreover, on February 27, the legislature of South Dakota declared that "under the Constitution of South Dakota, a pregnant mother and her unborn child each possess a natural and inalienable right to life." This declaration challenges the very legitimacy of killing preborn babies.

The two new Supreme Court justices are John Roberts and Samuel Alito, both mockingly characterized in Toronto's Globe and Mail as "conservative, white, middle-aged male jurists" (enough to inflame feminists) (Feb. 22, 2006). But the Globe felt threatened nevertheless. What other Canadian newspapers buried on inside pages as a simple news report, the Globe carried under the banner headline "U.S. reopens abortion debate" spread out across its front page (Feb. 22, 2006).

Forty years ago, the Globe almost single-handedly became responsible for making the killing of babies legal by hammering on it month after month during the years prior to 1969. That year, Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau and Justice Minister John Turner fulfilled its wish by getting Parliament to approve it even though life and death of the innocents were beyond its jurisdiction.

In an interview with Maclean's magazine reported on February 28, 2006, Prime Minister Harper stated: "In my entire career, I've made it clear that I have no intention of getting into the abortion issue. It has not been my issue in my entire career. And it won't be in the future" (Toronto Sun). Foolish words, those, but will they hold?

On February 28, a Calgary Herald's editorial called for the very thing the Globe so fears, namely a reexamination of the abortion debate and new restrictions. As Father Raymond De Souza put it in his excellent summary in the National Post (March 2), it is "The issue Harper can't ignore". Let us see to it that this becomes a reality.
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Title Annotation:Canada
Publication:Catholic Insight
Geographic Code:1CANA
Date:Apr 1, 2006
Words:399
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