OTTAWA, Jan. 7, 2009 – The Catholic Civil Rights League today stated that the strong and ongoing reaction to an MP’s recent suggestion that Canada needs an abortion law reminds us once again that this is in fact an issue for Parliament to address.

MP Rod Bruinooge (PC-Winnipeg South), chairman of the multi-party parliamentary pro-life caucus, made his comments in a newspaper article between Christmas and New Year’s, pointing out that under Canadian law there are restrictions on selling human kidneys but no limits on the taking of pre-natal life. “The bottom line is that people like myself are not going to stop until, at the very least, unborn children have more value than a Canadian kidney” (National Post, Dec. 29, 2008).
Not unpredictably, politicians including the prime minister distanced themselves from the remarks, re-stating their commitment to the status quo. Pro-abortion organizations said that the topic was closed by the Supreme Court decision in 1988, and that most Canadians are happy to leave it at that.

In fact, the Supreme Court decision never said abortion was a right, only that the law of the day was wrong. It left it open that the government could re-introduce legislation should it choose to do so. Polls (most recently, Environics, November, 2008) have consistently shown that most people believe abortion should be severely restricted in the latter part of pregnancy, and a substantial minority believe life should be protected from conception onward.

The outcry every time someone at an official level expresses a pro-life sentiment is proof that, despite opposition to “re-opening the debate,” at the moral level the debate was never closed. Many Canadians are dissatisfied with the absence of any sort of abortion law and do in fact think there should be one. This is a goal the League shares and will continue to work toward.

About CCRL
Catholic Civil Rights League ( assists in creating conditions within which Catholic teachings can be better understood, cooperates with other organizations in defending civil rights in Canada, and opposes defamation and discrimination against Catholics on the basis of their beliefs. CCRL was founded in 1985 as an independent lay organization and has chapters across Canada. The Catholic Civil Rights League is a Canadian non-profit organization entirely supported by the generosity of its members.

For further information: Joanne McGarry, Executive Director, 416-466-8244;