Overview of abortion: An
Part 3 of 3:
Conflicting beliefs about abortion access (Cont'd).
Status of the pro-life and pro-choice groups,
and abortion access in the U.S. & Canada:
Conflicting beliefs about abortion access (Continued):
- Some would only allow legal abortions in one or more of the
Again, few if any polls ask these questions.
- If an abortion is needed to save the life of the woman, or
- To prevent the woman from experiencing permanent disability, or
- To prevent the woman having serious health problems.
- When the fetus is so malformed that it will only live a matter
of hours after birth.
- When the fetus has a serious chromosome abnormality -- e.g. those that
cause Down Syndrome.
- When the pregnancy was the result of rape or incest.
- A small minority believe that all abortions should be banned, even
if needed to save the life of the mother. According to
the same polls, between 12% and 25% of American adults held this
position. We feel that it is naive for the media to imply that there is a unity of belief within the pro-life and within the pro-choice movements.
Status of the two groups and of abortion access in the U.S. and Canada:
- In the U.S., the pro-life and pro-choice movements are both powerful and active. Pro-life groups are particularly influential at
the state level and have successfully persuaded legislators and governors to creating many laws that restrict abortion. Many of the
laws have been ineffectual; they are so broadly worded that court injunctions suspend them shortly after having been signed into law.
Courts often find that these laws are so vaguely worded that physicians are unable to determine whether a specific act is allowed or
prohibited. Those laws which survive court challenges are not particularly effective; they often merely have the effect of deflecting
abortion seekers to nearby states. Approval of the drug RU-486 has forever change abortion in America. Doctors are now able to
prescribe the pills and women may be able to take the pill at their
homes. Rural women will not have to drive long distances to abortion
clinics; women will not have to run the gauntlet of abortion protestors.
- In Canada, the pro-life movement lost most of its church funding after some groups started to harass abortion providers in the
vicinity of their homes. This also generated fear among the families and neighbors of the providers. During the late 1990's, two Canadian pro-life groups lost
their charitable status with Revenue Canada because of excessive political activity. Abortion protests now fail to attract large
numbers of supporters. The groups now do little more than conduct candlelight vigils, and issue press releases. Abortion access is rarely is discussed in the media. The country has many laws that promote the safety of abortions, but has no law that regulates access to abortion. However, provincial and territorial medical associations have regulations that limit how late in pregnancy an abortion can be performed.
In recent years, social and religious conservatives have been forging strong bonds with the Conservative Party of Canada, similar to the formation of the Moral Majority and Religious Right movements in the U.S. during the late 20th century. Prior to 2015-OCT, the Conservative Party of Canada had insufficient members in the Canadian Parliament, and was only been able to implement laws and regulations on relatively minor moral issues, like:
- Terminating foreign aid relating to abortion.
- Gutting government funding to various women's movements in the country.
- Terminating funding programs that had enabled groups to challenge government human rights violations through the courts.
- Unsuccessfully attempting to re-open debate on same-sex civil marriage (a.k.a. gay marriage) in Parliament.
- Attempting to hide documentation related to Canadian military involvement with the alleged torture of prisoners in Afghanistan.
Now that the Liberal Party of Canada is in a majority position, abortion access appears secure. However, if the Conservative Party were able to obtain a majority in the House of Commons, then it is quite probable that the Conservatives would quickly tackle major moral issues, by:
- American statistics are listed by Baptists for Life, Inc. at: http://www.bfl.org/stats
- Canadian statistics are listed by Action Life (Ottawa) Inc. at: http://www.ncf.carleton.ca/
- Bob Enyart is an extremely conservative talk show host. He has a "Bob
Enyart Live Abortion Clock" on his web site. It lists the total number of
legal abortions that have been performed since 1973. See: http://www.enyart.com/
- Carl Sagan, "Billions and Billions: Thoughts on Life and Death at
the Brink of the Millennium: Chapter 15" Read
reviews or order this book safely from Amazon.com online book store Chapter 15 has been reprinted at: http://www.2think.org/
- S. Boyd, "Give us liberty: The approval of RU-486 isn't about
morals, it's about options," Salon.com at: http://www.salon.com/
(This may be a temporary posting)
- A.T. Hyman, "The 'A' Word." This is an essay on the legal
aspects of the abortion debate. See: http://members.aol.com/
- Nellie Gray, president of March for Life, at the 28th annual March
for Life, 2001-JAN-22.
- "Constitution Party supports statewide abortion ban,"
Stop Abortion in Ohio, undated, at: http://www.ohioabortionban.com/
- "Sanctity of Life," Platform, Constitution Party at: http://www.constitutionparty.com/
- Marci McDonald, "The Armageddon Factor," Random House Canada. Released 2010-MAY-11.
Copyright © 1996 to 2015 by Ontario Consultants on Religious Tolerance
Last updated 2015-DEC-04
Author: Bruce A Robinson