Mary Ellen Douglas from Campaign Life Coalition comments on the latest Ipsos Reid/Postmedia poll, which states that some 60% of Canadians would support an abortion law that would ban third trimester abortions.
Ms. Douglas states:
"For some to suggest that they would only like to see babies in the womb protected in the third trimester is to suggest that we should establish a pro-abortion law in the absence of any law which would allow the killing of unborn babies from the time of conception until 26 weeks."
CLC does a lot of good work, like the Annual March for Life every year, an event I strongly support. But I must respectfully disagree with Ms. Douglas on this subject.
We would not be establishing a pro-abortion law, because we already have a pro-abortion law in Canada, one of the most extreme pro-abortion laws in the world, where not one preborn child is legally protected.
Protecting preborn children after 24 or 26 weeks does not "allow" the killing of unborn babies before that time. We already allow their killing before that time, as well as after that time. A gestational law would simply put some restrictions on our existing legal abortion situation where children in all three trimesters are currently unprotected.
Ms. Douglas goes on to say that:
"Pro-life groups in countries that take a time limit approach note from experience that it is very difficult to uphold the law because unscrupulous doctors and abortion-minded women can fudge the conception date and how far the pregnancy has proceeded."
Yes people lie, it happens all the time and we can't stop people from doing so. But that isn't a reason for not engaging in the art of what is doable. As we have learned from this most recent poll, getting a broad consensus on preventing third trimester abortions in Canada is possible. Whether or not someone will lie about the gestational age of the fetus is something we cannot control, in this situation, just like we can`t control it in any situation.
At CCBR's recent presentations in Ottawa at the culmination of the New Abortion Caravan, there was a short video clip of a doctor examining a 24 week old dead fetus. I can’t get that picture out of my head.
The doctor turned this fully formed baby over a couple of times, probably examining her to ensure that all of her body parts had been removed from her mother's womb after the abortion. He then enfolded this tiny human being in a white sheet, presumably to “dispose” of her remains.
That picture will haunt me for a long time.
I would do anything to protect that tiny child. I would also like to protect all the other tiny preborn children from such a fate. But at the moment, our legal situation in Canada is that none of them are protected. With a third trimester protection law, at least some of these tiny lives would be saved because many "pro-choice" people would agree with me that, that 24 week old fetus should be protected.
Ms. Douglas ends with this:
"The pro-life movement wants to protect all human life from the time of conception to natural death. A gestational limit would give the illusion of providing some protection to a tiny number of children in the womb and send the wrong signal to the general public that abortion is restricted in any meaningful sense."
Yes the pro-life movement wants to protect life from the time of conception to natural death. And we will continue to fight for that protection. But I posit, that not advocating for what is possible [by creating third trimester legal restrictions], gives the illusion that pro-life people will only ever accept, what may never happen.