The Good News and the Bad News

Here is the text of Peter Ryan’s talk at the 2015 Focus on Life Dinner in Fredericton on June 1. His accompanying Power Point presentation is also provided.

In 15 years of Focus on Life dinners in Fredericton, this is by far the largest crowd ever. I thank all of you for helping to make that happen. I also thank our guest speakers for graciously agreeing to be our drawing cards. You’ll get to hear them soon, I promise. Right now I’ll take a few minutes to review recent developments.

There’s the title of my talk. The good news followed by the bad news followed by the good news.

So what is the good pro-life news? A lot has happened in the past year on abortion and euthanasia, and I am sorry to say, it’s mostly not good news. But there is good news to report.

In 1994 the Morgentaler Clinic opened in Fredericton, performing abortion on demand. Over the next 20 years, some 10,000 babies lost their lives at that facility. On July 31 our prayers were answered: the clinic closed for good.

For the remainder of 2014, no abortions occurred in that building. That was a very good thing. Does anyone agree?

As a result of the clinic shut-down, the total number of abortions performed in New Brunswick in 2014 was lower than in many years.

As you likely know, in January a new owner took over the clinic building and announced that abortions would again be performed under the name “Clinic 554”. Certainly not good news.

But here is a shot of the parking lot last Monday. From January up to now there has been very little activity at this new abortion clinic.

On January 1 the provincial government instituted a new pro-abortion policy under Regulation 84-20 of the Medical Services Payment Act. Not good news, I know. The thrust of the policy was to institute abortions within the Horizon Health Network which oversees the Anglophone hospitals of the province.

The original plan of the Horizon Network was to institute abortions at 4 New Brunswick hospitals.

Lest anyone think that the people of New Brunswick support the government’s new pro-abortion policy, in March New Brunswick Right to Life commissioned a poll. The poll found out that 71% of New Brunswickers oppose the new policy of tax-funded abortion on demand. That is very good news.

Some politicians, at least, are listening to the people. 19 Conservative MLAs attended our recent March for Life to express their opposition to the new government policy.

A large crowd attended our March. We had great speakers. So our movement for life in New Brunswick remains strong.

The further good news is that every week, at the several pro-life pregnancy centers in New Brunswick, including our Women’s Care Center in Fredericton, woman are enabled and supported in choosing life rather than abortion.

So there is good news on the abortion issue.

Turning now to assisted suicide, in February the Supreme Court of Canada ruled in favor of legalizing assisted suicide in Canada. A monumental disaster. The good news is that the ruling did not take effect right away: Parliament has 12 months to consider how to respond.

The further good news is that, of the various political parties, the one in power in Ottawa is the least favorable to assisted suicide and euthanasia.

The good news on this issue is also that, despite the Supreme Court ruling, Parliament does not have to legalize assisted suicide or euthanasia. Parliament does have the option of invoking Section 33 of our Constitution, which allows our elected representatives to override the Court’s ruling.

Parliament can say to the Court: Thanks, but no thanks. On your table you have a little postcard. I ask you to send this postcard to your member of Parliament, asking them to say no to assisted suicide. You will see the list of new Brunswick MP’s. Just fill in your MPs name on the card, then put in your own name and address. Now if you would kindly fill this card in this evening, so we can collect the cards and mail them all in right away. As you leave, we’ll have baskets to collect the cards. Thank you. Perhaps we can together help create some good news on this issue.

Now for the bad news. Alas, there is no shortage. We begin with the abortion issue.

Every child has an equal right to life, before as well as after birth. This is a humane, compassionate, fair, common sense principle, is it not?

The new government policy puts a line right through that principle.

The new policy divides New Brunswick children into two groups before birth: the wanted and the unwanted.

The Moncton Hospital has been designated as the Horizon Network’s abortion facility. Plans are to perform 500-700 procedures per year.

We now have 4 abortion sites. Three are public hospitals. The government has not ruled out paying for abortions at the private clinic in the future.

In past years the New Brunswick abortion rate was about half the national rate. On average, a total of about 1,000 abortions a year were performed. With the new policy of tax-funded abortion on demand, we project that within two years the number will approach 1,500 a year.

We project it will then continue to rise toward the national rate, which would mean approximately 2,000 a year. That would mean 2,000 fewer children a year in New Brunswick, due to abortion.

Since 1969, when abortion was legalized in Canada, New Brunswick has lost some 30,000 children due to abortion. Now the numbers are due to climb at a higher rate. Ladies and gentlemen, this is a tragedy of staggering proportions. How many schools have we lost? How many jobs?

Meanwhile Statistics Canada reports that, for the first time, the number of deaths in our province has exceeded the number of births. Economists warn that is bad news. Does anyone doubt that abortion on demand will only make things much worse. You don’t have to be pro-life to realize that things are headed in an unhealthy direction. But who besides us is talking about the problems of this new abortion policy?

Certainly not the media. The media strongly supports unrestricted access to abortion. To such a degree that they have largely now blacked out the news of any opposing viewpoint. For example, when we did the abortion poll in March, they largely refused to even report the news. This is typical. The mainstream media is biased against us. Ladies and gentlemen, get the picture. In our province, children have sadly become a disposable commodity. I wish that were the extent of the bad news. It is not.

In February, the Supreme Court of Canada ruled that it is legal for a doctor to take part in killing his or her patient under certain conditions.

This decision, if accepted by Parliament, will represent a monumental shift in the role of physicians in health care.

Some of the most vulnerable member of our society will be put at risk.

What exactly did the Court approve? Part of the problem is, no one knows for sure. The Court used this fuzzy term “physician-assisted dying” without defining it. Does it include assisted suicide only, or does it also include euthanasia? No one knows for sure. But fuzzy language is often a recipe for serious problems.

In my opinion, if this kind of law is put in place, it will eventually affect huge numbers of Canadians. My argument is this. Recall how abortion was legalized. It was supposed to only be for “hard cases” like rape and incest. But they used fuzzy language about “risk to the mothers’ health. Eventually, we ended up with tax-funded abortion on demand. So any law allowing assisted suicide or euthanasia will eventually become patient-killing on demand. That’s because the slippery slope is hard to stop.

Why is it so hard to stop? Because the fuel that greases the slippery slope is so hard for our contemporary society to resist. What is that fuel? “It’s my body, my choice.” That slogan worked well for abortion. It can work just as well for patient-killing.

But it will go beyond that patient-killing on demand. The euthanasia experience of Holland and Belgium is that, once you consider some lives not worth living, some of the most vulnerable people will be killed even without their consent.

I ask: Who among us may not one day have a life that is considered “no longer worth living”?

Earlier we talked about our postcard campaign. I must now deflate that balloon somewhat. A federal election is coming up. Two of the three main parties are quite favorable to assisted suicide. If elected they will not reject the Supreme Court. The other party, the one in power now, is not likely to reject the Supreme Court either. They have indicated they plan to introduce a new law that permits assisted suicide. The trouble is that any opening to assisted suicide, even a restrictive one, is likely to be temporary. Once the door opens a bit, it will tend over time to open ever wider. NOW WE SHOULD STILL SEND THOSE POSTCARDS. BUT WE ARE FIGHTING AN UPHILL BATTLE.

Well, that’s more than enough bad news. Back to the Good News. earlier.

Despite everything, life is good. It always was, it always will be. No one can change that.

Every life is precious. Everyone has a God-given right to life. That remains true forever.

Life is precious at every stage, from conception until natural death.

Choosing life, not death, is always the right choice.

That can never change.

It is always right to defend human life.

Life is good. Choice is good. Choose life!

GOOD NEWS fredericton

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