Letter to the Editor, June 30th, 2018

It is shocking to see the response to Manitoba Health Minister Kelvin Goertzen who recently attended a pro-life rally in Steinbach, Manitoba. The Honorable Mr. Goertzen and his wife have suffered five miscarriages. It is no wonder that they sympathize with a cause that respects the value of unborn human life.

The inflammatory rhetoric is creating serious divisions among Canadians, and impoverishes the conversation that we need to be having on an issue of national import. Many Canadians refuse to be manipulated by the name-calling and shaming of ordinary citizens whose beliefs differ from that of a hard-line, pro-abortion mentality.

National polling repeatedly shows that Canadians are not being swayed by the rhetoric. Time and again, high percentages of Canadians say they want restrictions on abortion (72%). They don’t agree with second or third trimester abortions, and they don’t want their tax dollars funding them.  They certainly (92%) want to see abortions for sex-selection stopped.

Sandeep Prasad, executive director of Action Canada for Sexual Health and Rights in his article attempts to balance the fact that there are differing opinions, with the fact that he demands absolute allegiance to his perspective from the Health Minister. The law may allow for abortion but that does not mean all Canadians support it. His position is rigidly undemocratic. 

His assumption that abortion is a “right” and that the government absolutely must fund it, as well as access to the RU486 drug, begs the question. What of those many, many millions of Canadians, including Canadian women, who don’t agree?

In his universe, the Health Minister must ignore us and spend our tax dollars on a medical procedure that we see as totally opposed to the health and well-being of women, families and unborn babies. Keep in mind that the abortion drug he champions is laden with health problems and side-effects, as is the abortion procedure itself.

The press and pro-abortion activists do not speak for all people. They do not represent all women, and most importantly they do not have the right to demand from politicians that only their perspective, on an incredibly divisive issue, be represented and paid for with our collective tax dollars.

The millions of Canadians, mothers, fathers, grandparents who may not be aggressive campaigners, deserve representation on an issue of major public interest.  Prasad should remember that next time he shames a politician for not manifesting allegiance to his particular organization’s point of view.

Natalie Sonnen is the Executive Director of LifeCanada, a national association of over 70 member organizations that work in communities across Canada.

This letter to the editor was printed in the Winnipeg Free Press on June 30th, 2018. 

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