Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Jim Watson - more on how pro-lifers are treated

I received this letter from a reader of my blog about her meeting with Mayor Jim Watson at a recent Strawberry social. I will comment on some of Watson's statements later. Previous posts on this topic.

This past Saturday, I attended a Strawberry Social put on by a local community association in Nepean. Ottawa Mayor Jim Watson gave a short speech, and then mingled with the crowd. 

I took the opportunity to speak to him and told him I was pro-life and that I was concerned about how Ottawa City Hall had treated pro-lifers on the day of the National March for Life back in May. (It's always good to take these opportunities to speak with politicians in person about things happening in your community that concern you, because it's often difficult to get direct answers to questions you send them via email. And besides, you can never be certain that office staff who handle your incoming emails will inform your elected representative of your concerns in the first place.)

I first asked Mayor Watson why the police were allowed to divert our March so that we were not allowed to proceed along our pre-approved route past the Human Rights monument, and why the police gave into the demands of the few pro-abortion protesters (maybe about 100) who wanted to block us. There were about 100 police officers there, so it was a mystery to me why they forced us to take another route. Why did the counter protesters have a right to disrupt our peaceful March, and for the second year in a row no less? 

Mr. Watson's reply was that that was not City Hall's responsibility. The City is not responsible for how the police do their job; the City just funds the police force, that's all. He told me that any complaints should be made to the Police Services Board. 

Then I asked him about his expressed support for  "bubble zone" legislation around abortion clinics in Ontario, specifically around the Morgentaler abortion clinic in Ottawa. He said the "bubble zone" would just prevent people from protesting right in front of the abortion clinic on the same side of the street. He said we could still protest across the street. When I responded that media reports had said the bubble zone would be 500 feet or 500 metres, I couldn't remember which. he said that was untrue and that we would still be able to protest right across the street from the Morgentaler clinic as we do today. Of course, it's provincial legislation that has not come out yet, but that is his understanding. 

I also asked him why the legislation was needed at all, since if someone was assaulted/spat on, etc (as media reports have claimed), then shouldn't the police be laying charges based on existing laws? Why is a bubble zone needed? To which he responded, we can't have police there 24/7. 

And finally, I brought up the issue of the pro-life flag at City Hall being taken down after complaints by some city councilors, and I expressed my concern about an interview he had given to Global News where he said pro-life campaigns are "divisive" and have no place at City Hall (http://globalnews.ca/news/3447325/pro-life-anti-abortion-ottawa-flag-jim-watson-what-happened/ ). He tried to avoid answering the question at first by diverting the issue away from City Hall and asking me why Parliament Hill wouldn't allow a pro-life flag to fly (which I had no knowledge of.) Getting back to City Hall, I reminded him that he allowed an LGBTQ flag to fly, and I asked, shouldn't pro-lifers be treated equally and be allowed to have their flag flown as well? Isn't that only fair? Why the double standard?

His response hit the nail on the head for me as to why he feels it is fine to discriminate against us. He said (paraphrasing): "The LGBTQ community promotes human rights. You want to take away women's rights." So that was it. Plain and simple.

I couldn't just stand there and ignore such an accusation,so I started to say that that is not what we want to do at all, but I couldn't go any further because then he cut me off and said, "I'm not here to debate this issue; I'm here for a Strawberry Social," and he started turning to walk away. I remained calm and respectful the entire time, and in a last ditch effort, I politely asked him (even though I figured it was probably hopeless): "Would you be willing to meet with me sometime to discuss further." To which he curtly replied, "No, I'm not going to discuss this with you anymore; I've already given you ten minutes of my time" and he walked away. "Thank you for your time, Sir," I replied. (And I think it was actually only about 5 minutes of his time, not 10.)

Monday, June 26, 2017

Stephanie Gray speaks to Google about abortion

Stephanie Gray hits the ball out of the park. Again.

She speaks about abortion to Google employees. Over 41,000 views.

If you are pro-life. Or if you are pro-choice. Please watch it.

Thank you Google.

Mass intention: Protection of Pro-Life Doctors

Where: St. Monica's

Date: Sunday, July 2 at 11 am

Address:  2080 Merivale Rd, Nepean, ON K2C 3H1, Canada

Divisive is okay as long as you are on the right side of the division

By Patricia Maloney

I don't support pride parades. I find it offensive that these parades freely allow/condone nudity, and people simulating sexual acts. This kind of behaviour is not appropriate for many people (myself included), and certainly not suitable for children.

When Jim Watson removed the pro-life flag from city hall he told us that flying the pro-life flag was "divisive":
"That kind of divisive cause should not be promoted and publicized at city hall."
Yes abortion is divisive, and I am against abortion. That's why I am pro-life. Our flag was a manifestation of our free speech rights to say we are against abortion.

But wait a minute.  Pride and their public manifestation (parades) is also divisive. To many people. So why did Jim Watson fly the Pride flag at city hall? Because this clearly is also a "divisive" issue.

Double standard.

Watson also said that our recent March For Life and what we stand for is:
"Not acceptable...in a civilized society."
But simulating sex acts, and full nudity in public is acceptable behaviour?

And what is it exactly that we do on our peaceful March that is so unacceptable? It is that we peacefully and orderly witness to the killing of pre-born children in Canada. No nudity. No simulating of sexual acts. Just peaceful witness. This is our sin. This is our unacceptable behaviour.

Double standard.

Saturday, June 24, 2017

Jim Watson - tell us what you really think

By Patricia Maloney

This is what Mayor Jim Watson thinks about pro-life people. He starts out discussing raising the pro-life flag at city hall and how it is unacceptable and how he and everyone else at city hall supports a "woman's right to choose". At the end of the clip Watson switches to discussing the bubble zone he wants to put around the abortion clinic and tells us what he really thinks of pro-life people:
"In the 21st century it's just not acceptable to have that kind of behaviour in a civilized society."
No wonder the mayor wouldn't respond to my emails. We are not worthy of a response because our behaviour is unacceptable

Monday, June 19, 2017

One Year Later, the reality of Medical Assistance in Dying

By Michael Swan June 9, 2017

Ontario doctors challenge policy forcing referrals for medically assisted dying
College's rules infringe on doctors' right to object on conscientious, religious grounds, groups argue
Amanda Pfeffer · CBC News
June 15, 2017

CBC Ottawa Morning Radio Live:  June 15, 2017 with Hallie Cotnam - Interview with Dr. Sephora Tang and Dr. David Rouselle from the CPSO

Sunday, June 18, 2017

Rex Murphy's excellent advice to Justin Trudeau on his feminist foreign aid policy

Poor Fern Hill. She just couldn't bring herself to watch Rex Murphy discussing Justin Trudeau's feminist foreign aid policy.

I guess Rex just made too much sense.

We still don't know number of late-term abortions in Canada

By Patricia Maloney

Pro-abortion activist Joyce Arthur thinks that only 0.59 percent of all abortions performed in Canada for 2015 are late-term.

There is no way Arthur can know this, since very few late-term abortions are reported to CIHI. All we know for sure is, that based on the 19,039 hospital abortions for which we have a gestational age, there were 587 late-term hospital abortions in Canada in 2015. (an excel spreadsheet will be downloaded to your computer, see Table 4)

I've discussed this a few times before, links here

So let's do it again for 2015.

CIHI reported 100,104 abortions in 2015. Of these 100,104 abortions, the gestational age is only reported for 19,039 of the abortions (7,330 performed on fetuses <=8 weeks, 8,701 on fetuses 9-12 weeks, 1,585 on fetuses 13-16 weeks, 836 on fetuses 17-20 weeks, 587 on fetuses 21+ weeks). Note that these known gestational age abortions are reported only for hospital abortions--we have no gestational ages for abortions done in clinics or physician's offices. And 4,522 of these hospital abortions have an unknown gestational age.

Therefore, there were at least 81,065 (100,104 minus 19,039) abortions performed in 2015 with an unknown gestational age. This means all of those 81,065 abortions, or most of them, or some of them, or none of them, could be late term abortions--we do not know. And we don’t know these gestational ages because most abortion providers don't report the gestational ages of abortions. 

In other words of the 100,104 known abortions we only know gestational ages for 19,039 of them.

If all of the unknown gestational age abortions were in fact late term abortions, then the percentage  of late term abortions could be as high as 81%. But we don't know do we? To say that only .59% of abortions are late-term is unknowable. It is also misleading.

Even if the rate of late-term abortions was linear, then that would mean that there could be 3,103 late-term abortions and not 587 (587 is 3.1% of 19,039, therefore 3.1% of 100,104 is 3,103).

And as Suzanne Fortin wisely noted regarding the possible rarity of late term abortions:
"So what if they're [late-term abortions] rare? They HAPPEN! Murder is rare too. One is too many."

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Ottawa Citizen - Freedom of expression wins

Judge strikes down law that blocks access to information about abortion in Ontario

Published on: June 12, 2017 | Last Updated: June 12, 2017 7:05 PM EDT

An Ontario judge has thrown out a law that prevents the public from knowing how many abortions are being performed in the province, saying it impedes meaningful discussion and criticism about abortion services “which is a matter of public interest.”

The Association for Reformed Political Action, which challenged the law, called the ruling by Justice Marc Labrosse of the Ontario Superior Court of Justice a “huge victory” for freedom of expression.

“This decision strengthens democracy,” said André Schutten, ARPA Canada’s director of law and policy. “The question at the heart of this case was whether governments can avoid accountability on a particular matter simply by excluding information related to that matter from the access to information law. We are very pleased that the court has struck this censorship provision down.”

In his ruling, Labrosse said the law, which excludes information about abortion services from Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy, is too broad and was passed with virtually no debate. He ruled that the section in question is unconstitutional.

The province has 12 months to put remedial legislation in place before the current law becomes invalid.

Labrosse said Ontario relied on concerns of the Ontario Hospital Association that disclosing information about abortions could put the safety and security of patients, hospitals and staff at risk. But the law also excludes general statistical information on abortion, which was once available.

“The evidence in these proceedings leads me to conclude that in order to have a meaningful public debate, the available information to allow for a meaningful public debate certainly needs to go beyond some of the basic statistical information offered by Ontario … the information provided to date is clearly insufficient.”

Schutten said the motivation of his organization — which opposes abortion — was to “make sure we can comment and lobby with accurate numbers. We have never been interested in patient or doctor identifiers or individual names. All we are looking for is statistical general information.”
The ruling could have implications beyond abortion.

Ontario passed similar, although less broad, legislation preventing information from being made public about which health institutions are providing medically assisted death.

Dying with Dignity says such information is crucial to an informed public debate about access to and availability of medically assisted death.

Dying With Dignity Canada CEO Shanaaz Gokool said she sees similarities between the ruling on abortion statistics and her organization’s objection to restrictions on access to information about medical assistance in death.

Ontario’s Information and Privacy Commissioner Brian Beamish argued that banning access to information about where assisted death was being performed “hinders transparency, accountability and meaningful public debate,” and is not based on any evidence of public harm.
Beamish also intervened in the court ruling about records related to abortion services.

Gokool said her organization has asked the ministry whether the ruling on access to abortion information changes anything when it comes to limits on access to information about assisted death.
“The decision seems to say that withholding information from Ontarians about health care services limits the ability to have full public and social policy discussions.

“The province has to take another look at what they have passed. To do otherwise would be problematic.”

ARPA, which opposes assisted death, is also interested in information about the provision of services in the province, said Schutten.

“This is the interesting thing. Our organization has grave concerns about vulnerable people. But in this case we would agree with Dying With Dignity. We want to be able to know how many people are being killed and by what means.

“We can handle the information … and a good, robust debate.”

Monday, June 12, 2017

A doctor speaks out about conscience rights

By An Ontario Doctor

I received a copy of this letter from a doctor. The doctor is writing about health care workers' conscience rights.

To my Member of Provincial Parliament of the Liberal Party,

I am deeply disappointed by the Liberal Party's willful disregard of the conscience rights of health care professionals when they voted in unison to defeat Bill 129 (An Act to amend the Regulated Health Professions Act, 1991).

I realize now the utter powerlessness that minority citizens, like myself, have in the face of governments who have differing ideals.  I depended upon my elected member of parliament to speak for me, to be my voice and my vote on the one issue over which I have agonized for the past two years, an issue that has affected not only my freedom in how I practice my craft, but also the well being of countless patients (among whom you and I will be counted one day) who will be affected by the ramifications of this shift in health care policy.  I cannot help but to feel let down by both federal and provincial governments that have decided to play a political game based on faulty arguments which you and I both know are untrue.  For example, the argument of the patient who is so isolated and helpless that they cannot telephone to self-refer for MAID, is a fictitious patient that does not exist - but if on the rare occasion that such a patient actually did exist, then helping them to get on a pathway to be euthanized is perhaps the wrong immediate focus before other supports have been put into place first!

Which is why I don't understand the argument so often used by the Liberal party to discount conscience rights -  that upholding conscience rights would somehow limit access to service.  This argument is false, as has been shown in other jurisdictions that have allowed euthanasia and assisted suicide while still respecting conscience rights.  However, if the belief is that upholding conscience rights does in fact limit access to service, then this stated belief is incoherent with other statements made that conscience rights is already protected by the Charter of Rights and Freedoms and the Preamble of C-14.  If conscience rights are, as stated, already protected, then what would be the harm of upholding these rights in legislation?  It is precisely because these rights are NOT sufficiently protected in light of the Carter decision that there is a need for explicit legislative protection, and which the Federal Government expected provinces to enact provincially.  Instead, the Ontario government has shirked its responsibility of protecting fundamental freedoms that are being eroded with seemingly no consequence to regulating colleges keen to impose policies that violate human rights due to their own faulty understanding of what it means to respect conscience rights.

Not enacting laws that protect freedom of conscience is analogous to saying, at the Federal level, that because everyone has a Charter Right to Life, there is no need for a law prohibiting murder because a person's right to life is already protected under the Charter.  Charter rights are guiding foundational principles upon which laws are created and by which they must abide.  Nowhere has there been any evidence produced that demonstrates upholding the Charter rights of Freedom of Conscience in Legislation infringes upon another person's right to life (which was the reason why physician-assisted suicide was permitted).  Furthermore, the Care Coordination System which the government has agreed to create (thank you very much) resolves the public fear of potential restrictions to access.  

A Charter of Rights and Freedoms is effective in granting rights only in so far as those words are respected in action, which, on this issue, has not been the case.

It is clear from the Liberal party's stance that it sides with the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Ontario (CPSO), which the Canadian Medical Association has stated holds an "impoverished" understanding of conscience, and which does not respect differences of conscience.  Just because one might believe it is okay to do something a certain way does not mean that another person believes the same.  And it is wrong to coerce another person in doing what they deeply believe to be wrong even if one may think it is for a perceived good (in this case, the death of a suffering person), no matter how hard one tries to justify this coercion by looking to other people who may have reconciled their own consciences with the objectionable act.  This is where differences in conscience plays out, and so far, the Liberal government has firmly decided it would only protect the conscience rights of some, but not all, health professionals in trying to achieve that "balance" so oft spoken.

What your party has demonstrated by word and action is that it is okay to not respect those who cannot participate in an effective referral for the death of their patient.  If this is not what you believe, and only what your party has asked you to support, then I am truly sorry that you are placed in a position in which you must contort your own words and actions so as to align yourself with what has been asked of you, without the freedom to voice what you truly believe.  And if your words and actions are indeed a true representation of what you believe and stand for, then I am saddened that you are unable to see the truth behind the harms that your beliefs and position will cause for the greater society.  One of the best, most comprehensive speeches I have heard on the subject was given by Cardinal Müller.  You may wish to read the full text here.

When the voice of reason became overshadowed by political antics on an issue that should never have become a victim of partisan politics, I came to the clear realization that if the majority government espouses values that are fundamentally different from my own, elected members of provincial parliament will only do what their Party dictates, and not, as I had previously supposed and hoped, what we elected them to be, as a voice for their constituents.  In casting my vote at the next election, I will bear this in mind, and favour a party (and not any one individual), that has demonstrated a commitment to upholding the fundamental freedoms upon which our democracy rests.

Despite my deep disappointment and sadness over a situation that remains incomprehensible to me, I just want you to know that I think of you and pray for you often, for your well-being, and for your good.  I ask that perhaps you might also do the same for me, and keep me in your prayers.

your local physician

Friday, June 9, 2017

Charter challenge - we won - you can't hide abortion information

The Judge ruled in our favour. See judgement here:

We were successful and the portion of the law excluding abortion-related information was struck down.

CPCs are there for the woman - before, during, and after pregnancy

By Rebecca Peters

Pregnancy care centres have been accused of being anti-choice with hidden, secret agendas. Let’s take a look at the situation.

Most local pregnancy care centres are faith-based. But what does that mean? Quite simply, it means that everything they do is based on their love for God and the truth of the Bible – that all life has value. That’s it. Everyone that works at a centre, whether staff or volunteer, shares these beliefs. They don’t preach them. They simply live them, by loving and honouring all life and every person that walks through the door, regardless of that person’s age, race, gender, or religion.

Pregnancy care centres offer medically accurate information on all three options available to a woman when she is pregnant – abortion, adoption, and parenting. The information is presented in a straightforward and unbiased way, because centres believe that when given accurate information, women are smart enough and fully capable of making the best decision for themselves. The only suggestion made to a woman facing a pregnancy decision is – take the time needed to make this important life decision.

Pregnancy care centres are not political. In fact, they are very careful in their words and their actions to stay away from controversy and politics. What they care about is meeting a woman where she is at and walking alongside her. No politics, no agendas. Centres provide a non-judgemental and confidential, safe place to be real and be heard. They offer resources, referrals, material supports, and programs. All for free, all regardless of the woman’s decision.

Pregnancy care centres are actually very much pro-woman. They are there for the woman – before, during, and after pregnancy … even if that pregnancy ends in abortion. Pre-pregnancy: education is provided on healthy relationships. During pregnancy: information is offered and support is given in the form of prenatal education and free maternity clothes and baby supplies. Post-pregnancy: centres provide a safe and supportive community, either in the form of parenting classes or post-abortion groups and support.

Yes, the staff and volunteers at pregnancy care centres love babies. But they love the woman too. Because they know it’s not easy, some of them have worn the exact same shoes … the shoes that walk into a doctor’s office with dread and walk out of an abortion clinic with a broken heart.

Pregnancy care centres believe every woman has the right to make a well-informed choice, with all of the facts and unconditional love and support.

This article originally appeared at Faith Today. Reprinted with permission by the author.

Rebecca Peters is Communications Liaison for the Canadian Association of Pregnancy Support Services (www.capss.com), an affiliate organization of The Evangelical Fellowship of Canada, publisher of Faith Today (Canada’s Christian magazine).

Thursday, June 1, 2017

Why was this column in the Toronto Star even published?

I don't get it. This article by Emma Teitel in the Star is based on the now proven to be false statement that Andrew Scheer referred to a same-sex marriage bill as “abhorrent.” In fact at the very top of the article the Star published a correction to the article whose entire premise begins with a false allegation.
"Correction – June 1, 2017: This column mistakenly states that Andrew Scheer referred to same-sex marriage bill as“abhorrent.” In fact, Scheer’s statement referred to the treatment of Roman Catholic Bishop Fred Henry being called before a Human Rights Tribunal for speaking out about the Catholic Church’s position on same-sex marriage. In his speech, Scheer said: “To think that a Catholic bishop must answer to a civil authority over matters of faith is abominable. It is abhorrent to me, to other Catholics and to every member of every faith community. It is abhorrent because the very essence of being a religious official is to teach the faith and instruct the faithful. There is an inherent right for religious officials to do so.”
So why did the Star publish the article at all? Is it because it's just too much fun to trash social conservatives?

Now I don't usually read the Star but Michael Coren--now a good friend of the Star--tweeted it. Coren thought it was a "very good column".

Can a column be very good when it's based on a falsehood? What am I missing here?

Double standard alive and well for pro-life people

By Patricia Maloney

Mayor Jim Watson and my councillor Tobi Nussbaum never had the courtesy to answer my question as to why our rights of peaceful protest were ignored when the Ottawa Police re-routed the March for Life. Mind you I'm used to politicians not answering my questions since apparently we don't deserve the same respect as other people.

Now Watson is asking for a bubble zone. Christie Blatchford's take on this in today's National Post:
"Let it never be said that the state is shy about using an elephant gun to kill a flea.
I give you the latest musings of Ontario Attorney General Yasir Naqvi, who this week announced that next fall, his government is going to legislate “safe access zones” around abortion clinics to “help ensure the safety and privacy of women, visitors and health-care workers travelling to and from these facilities.”
Naqvi, who represents a downtown Ottawa riding where a Morgentaler Clinic is located, alluded to recent “serious instances of intimidation, harassment and even assault” towards patients there. Urging the province to act were Ottawa Mayor Jim Watson and Catherine Macnab of Planned Parenthood Ottawa.
Perhaps there’s a real issue in Ottawa, though there has been little hard reporting of it. Some protesters there wear sandwich boards featuring photos of lurid and cut-up bodies, and yell at patients that they are killing their babies, clinic staff say."
Good point. If there's been so many problems at the Morgentaler facility, where is all the reporting of it? And if there are bone-fide problems why don't the police deal with them? Like they do everywhere else there are harassment problems?

In fact in 2012 abortion doctor Wendy Norman said this in her study Abortion health services in Canada:
“Facilities reported very little harassment. No Canadian facility reported a resignation of an abortion provider–physician or any staff member owing to harassment. Only a single facility reported any resignation of an allied health professional staff member, and in this case the facility specified that the one resignation was not owing to violence, fear, or threats. Similarly, two-thirds of reporting facilities (49 of 74, 66.2%) indicated no episodes of harassment or violence in 2012, with a further 28.4% (21 of 74) reporting solely picketing without interference. Among 7 facilities reporting “other” episodes of harassment, half specified only receipt of harassing e-mail.”
So if one of Canada's premier abortion doctors says there is virtually no harassment or problems at abortion facilities, why is Yasir Naqvi and Jim Watson using an elephant gun to to kill a flea? It's because there are two sets of standards in "civilized" society today. One set for pro-life people. And one set for everybody else.