Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper opposes a call by three MPs to look into figures from a story LifeNews broke showing 491 babies have been born alive and subsequently left to die following failed abortions.
Figures from Statistics Canada, a federal government agency, show 491 babies were born alive following botched abortions during the period from 2000-2009 and left to die afterwards. The numbers have pro-life advocates up in arms.
In the days after the revelations, 4,600 emails were sent to the House of Commons in the four days following the story alone.
“These conservatives are trying to get the RCMP to investigate abortions as murder,” said Megan Leslie, leader of the Opposition New Democrats. “Will the Prime Minister make it clear that he and his government understand that abortion is not murder?”
Responding in the House of Commons Thursday to questions from their call for an investigation, Harper replied “abortion is legal in Canada.”
“All members of this House, whether they agree with it or not, understand that abortion is legal in Canada and this government, myself included, have made it very clear that the government does not intend to change the law in this regard,” Harper said.
The Campaign Life Coalition, a pro-life group, praised the MPs for raising the issue in Parliament and demanding an investigation by the RCMP on the death of 491 babies who were born alive after abortion.
“Prime Minister Stephen Harper seems to have missed the point of the MPs concern when he stated his usual argument of not re-opening the abortion debate,” said Jim Hughes, National president of Campaign Life Coalition. “The babies the MPs are referring to have already passed through the birth canal and are breathing, and according to Canadian law, are now human beings. Although we already know that they have been human beings since the time of conception.”
“Since hospitals began committing abortions in 1969, there have always been late-term abortions (hysterotomy abortions), where the baby is removed by a C-section and left to die in a basin. This is not a new issue,” said Mary Ellen Douglas, National Organizer of Campaign Life Coalition. “These babies moved and struggled to breath and distraught nurses were told to leave them alone because they were labeled as an ‘abortion’. The horror of abortion is carried past birth. Where does Mr. Harper propose to call a halt; two years, four years, 16 years?”
Campaign Life Coalition has asked its supporters to contact their MPs immediately and tell them to speak out in support of the investigation.
Meanwhile, MP Maurice Vellacott of Saskatoon-Wanuskwein, says the Harper government and the Canadian press are misunderstanding the call for investigation.
“Contrary to what some of the media have been reporting, my colleagues, Leon Benoit and Wladyslaw Lizon, and I did not ask the RCMP to investigate any/all abortions after 19 weeks as possible homicides,” he said. “We are fully aware that preborn children throughout the entire nine months of pregnancy receive no protection whatsoever in Canadian law. This means that causing their death through abortion is legal in this country.”
He sent LifeNews a statement that continues:
Our request to the RCMP was not about the deaths of preborn children, but rather the deaths of children who had already been BORN ALIVE and who are, therefore, recognized as “human beings” in Canadian law.
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Section 223 (2) of our Criminal Code makes it a crime to cause injury to a child before or during birth as a result of which the child dies AFTER being BORN ALIVE. The Criminal Code calls it homicide. That is not our opinion; that is the law today.
Statistics Canada reports that 491 children died due to “termination of pregnancy” after being BORN ALIVE.
We have asked the RCMP to investigate these 491 deaths reported by Statistics Canada, as it appears they fall under section 223 (2) of the Criminal Code.
We obviously would not have asked the RCMP to investigate something that is no longer a Criminal Code offence, such as killing a preborn child (i.e. fetus) through abortion.
Our request has to do with enforcement of existing Canadian law — a viable baby BORN ALIVE, who then subsequently dies due to injuries caused prior to or during birth. If that is what happened in these 491 cases, then that breaks Canadian law.