BY ALISSA GOLOB
In 2004, pro-life Liberal MP Paul Szabo (Mississauga-South) was faced with one of the hardest obstacles in his political party: a challenge by one of the most left-wing, pro-abortion political candidates-to-date, Charles Sousa. With help from fellow pro-abortion MP Carolyn Parrish pushing for Sousa, Szabo had a whole campaign working to get him out of office as soon as possible. Campaign Life Coalition knew what they had to do. Szabo was an outspoken pro-life MP and an asset to the pro-life cause, publicly and boldly proclaiming his pro-life views. He talked the talk AND walked the walk, battling to stop abortions in his own backyard at Mississauga General Hospital and opposing his own government on embryonic stem cell research. During this pivotal time, Campaign Life Coalition rounded up the grassroots movement in Mississauga in support of Szabo, working tirelessly day-in and day-out, canvassing, door-knocking and campaigning. The race was close, but in the end Szabo was victorious.
Since the birth of Campaign Life in 1978, our organization has faced its ups and its downs. We’ve worked side-by-side with politicians of all parties by founding the Parliamentary Pro-Life Caucus in 1986, and worked tirelessly to defeat politicians who continued to fight for prenatal infanticide. Through our lawyers, staff members and grassroots supporters, we have been directly involved in the majority of pro-life Bills and Motions introduced to Parliament since 1978, and continue to work closely with politicians to develop solid pro-life legislation.
A groundswell of support for pro-life legislation has existed for over 30 years, and only continues to grow. Don’t believe me? Just this past May, CLC organized a record-breaking pro-life rally on the steps of Parliament Hill, with over 19,000 people in attendance. These people came from all over the country to send one loud and clear message to Parliament Hill: the debate is on.
A recent survey by Postmedia News and Global TV found that 60% of Canadians want abortion restricted. That’s encouraging for the pro-life movement, but not good enough. The political movement cannot rest, retreat or retire until abortion is completely abolished in Canada once and for all.
And let me tell you, this battle is far from over.
Recently, two members of CLC Youth visited their local MP to talk with him about the abortion issue. Although they were only given 15 minutes, this particular MP extended their visit, even after repeated urgings from his assistant to end the meeting. As the visit came to a close, the youth were fed up. The MP continued to remain silent on his position on the issue. They tried everything, but now, it was time to leave. As they were exiting the office, heads drooping, this passive politician stopped them. “Thanks for giving me another sleepless night” he said, as he closed the door.
This is what Canada needs: an awakening of the consciences of all people- especially our political leaders. It is our responsibility to visit our MPs, whom we must adopt as our relentless projects. Visit them. Talk with them. Invite them over for a BBQ. Give them some candy. DO whatever it takes to make them think about this issue in order to do something about it. Constituents are the most powerful and sought-after tool in a politician’s tickle-trunk. Don’t let that power go to waste.
Join our movement to further the Defund Abortion Campaign as a vital incremental step to ending abortion in Canada. Currently in the U.S, various States are putting so many restrictions on abortion access, it is increasingly difficult for women to obtain an abortion, with private clinics closing everyday. As a young person ready to engage in this political battle, I ask you to do one thing: do what works.
Currently, Canada is the only country in the western world that has absolutely no law on abortion. If new abortion legislation said that abortion is permitted under certain circumstances, and prohibited under others, then that legislation would be codifying into law permission to abort that currently does not exist. CLC Youth does not want half a loaf and neither should you. Political efforts to achieve any law, no matter how bad or how compromising it may be, are a waste of time, energy and resources. In the U.K for instance, legislation “limits” abortions after the 24th week of pregnancy. Since enacting that law, abortion rates have risen, instead of decreased. Instead of working to save only some children, let’s try and save as many as we can without compromising or settling. Let’s continue to educate the public, by exposing the injustice of abortion. Let’s lobby our local politicians, and hold them accountable for the lack of abortion laws in this country. Just because we don’t have a law, doesn’t mean we should push for a bad one. I want a law not for the sake of having one, but one that actually saves lives.
As one young pro-lifer, who was in favour of gestational legislation recently said to me, “why dig a hole with a spoon when you could use a shovel”. My response: why dig ourselves into a hole at all…