Guest blogger: Bruce J. Clemenger is President of The Evangelical Fellowship of Canada. Following is the text of his address to the gathering assembled for the 2012 March For Life rally on Parliament Hill.
You have heard it said that the debate about legal protection for the unborn is over. I say look at this crowd. Consistently each year we have gathered here to say it is not over.
You have heard it said that the Supreme Court has ruled that a woman has a right to an abortion. I say to you, read the decision. That is not what the Court ruled. I was in the court years after the decision when an abortion advocate mentioned a woman’s right to choose and the then Chief Justice Lamer cut her off and said the court never said such a thing.
You have heard it said that Canadians don’t want a new conversation about the child in the womb. I say polls from many polling firms show that most Canadians want protection for the child in the womb.
When is it not the time to talk about the beginning of life?
When is it not the time to talk about the protection of life?
When is it not the time to talk about what it means to be human; when is it not the time to talk about what it means to be a person?
And when is it not the time to talk about what duty of care we owe to another?
All else – our laws, our constitution, our societal norms, our culture and our civility – is built upon our answers to these basic questions about life, meaning and purpose. These questions form the horizon for all else.
We cannot afford not to have the conversation.
I say Parliament needs to catch up with what Canadians believe. The global trend over the last centuries has been in favour of life: the expansion of personhood to those who were previously denied status; in favour of protecting the vulnerable and the rejection of slavery, of human trafficking, of treating the other as a commodity, as an object, as something that completes the life of another rather than someone with inestimable worth.
I say science and medicine are teaching us more about the distinct personhood of the child in the womb.
I say the younger generations are more integrated in their understanding of life and more skeptical of the distorted logic and ethics that permeate the arguments we hear every day.
Lets have the conversation.
May God have mercy on Canada.
And may God give us strength and courage as we speak for those who cannot.