The abortion debate is alive and well in the House of Commons, with three Tory MPs calling on the RCMP to launch an investigation into 491 post-abortion deaths.
In the days following the MPs public proposal, opposition has been livid, including NDP MP Francoise Boivin labelling them as “three pathetic musketeers” on Friday, who are “out to dismantle women's rights and (they) obviously have not understood that this issue was settled a long time ago.”
In Prince Albert, a handful of pro-life activists are heralding the MPs’ proposal as a step in the right direction and is at the very least sparking some much-needed discussion.
“We’re one of the only countries in the world where there’s no (abortion) law, and that disturbs me,” Jubilation Residential Centres Inc. executive director John Fryters said.
The investigation the three MPs hope to open up are centered on 491 deaths that occurred post-abortion between 2000 and 2009, wherein abortions failed, resulting in the babies being born alive and dying outside of the womb.
Fryters said that even those who don’t share his believe that life begins at conception should be shaken by these cases.
Abortions after the 20-week mark are considered late-term, representing the approximate time at which modern medicine allows some fetuses to survive outside of the womb.
Without any abortion laws in Canada, doctors can legally abort fetuses up to nine months, so long as it’s born dead, Fryters clarified.
Although technically legal, abortions after the 20 week mark are relatively rare. Of the 64,641 abortions performed across Canada in 2010, only 537 were done after 20 weeks of gestation, according to Canadian Institute for Health Information data.
Prince Albert Knights of Columbus member Claude Archer said that he’s frustrated by the lack of abortion laws in Canada, preferring that the RCMP investigate all 64,641 abortions.
“There will be petitions and things like that,” he said of Knights of Columbus efforts to petition the federal government. “I’m not sure what’s going on right now, but it’s ongoing -- it’s always going,”
Prince Albert Right to Life Association member Val Hettrick said that she’s not at all surprised to see the abortion issue come up again, despite Prime Minister Stephen Harper claiming the issue is closed.
“In all honesty, I don’t think the whole abortion issue is going to go away,” she said.
“The fact of the matter is, we’re killing babies in this country and we’re killing babies that are viable at 19 to 20 weeks, and the fact is that they may have a case, here.
“Slavery never went away until it was resolved, and this is the same kind of thing.”
Prince Albert MP Randy Hoback wrote in an email response to the Daily Herald that he’s area of the letter written to RCMP commissioner Bob Paulson regarding the abortion issue.
He continued: “I therefore will save my comments for a later date, as to do now would only be speculative in nature.”
Fryters surmises that to speak against abortion is a losing battle for politicians, with the majority of Canadians not of the belief that abortion is murder.
“They don’t believe that a human being is a human being from conception, or even from 20 weeks,” he said in a deflated tone.
“Any politician that says they’re pro-life or against abortion, it’s a losing proposition to them -- they’re losing votes.”