Twenty years ago, pro-lifers were invited to take part in a new, cutting-edge initiative. The first Focus on Life Gala dinner was held in Vancouver, raising over $100,000 to begin media campaigns reaching out to abortion-vulnerable women. This year, Signal Hill, Christian Advocacy Society, and the Archdiocese of Vancouver partnered once again, appealing to 500 guests to continue the life-affirming initiatives.
Speaking on the theme “Hope for Canada” was Albertos Polizogopoulos, an Ontario-based lawyer devoted to constitutional litigation related to freedom of conscience and religion, freedom of expression, and the sanctity of life.
“Why is it,” he began, “that as pro-lifers, when we look at Canada, we have an immediate feeling of despair? Frankly, I think it’s because at first glance, it appears that we’re losing the battle, and it appears that we’ve been losing the battle for 50 years.”
In 1969, the Pierre Trudeau government allowed abortion for “therapeutic” reasons. The 1988 Morgentaler ruling struck the remaining restrictions from abortion access. Contrary to many Canadians’ beliefs, this ruling did not make abortion a charter right, but in fact invited Parliament to legislate and regulate abortion in the future. The 1991 Mulroney government attempted this, but the bill was defeated in the Senate. No legislation regarding abortion has been introduced since.
“As a result of that, the preborn child in Canada has no legal status, no legal recognition, and no legal protection,” he said.
In 2015, Kay Carter, a woman living with ALS, went to the Supreme Court, looking for the right to end her own life. The court unanimously agreed that the ban on assisted suicide “violated a person’s right to life, liberty, and security of person.”
Polizogopoulos quoted veteran journalist Peter Stockland, who was present for both the Morgentaler ruling and the Carter ruling 28 years later:
“He said he felt like a thousand-year old man, because it usually takes a thousand years to fall so far away from what it means to be a human.”
“The ideas that led to abortion have had some very dark consequences, and those ideas are the dehumanization of humanity. Now, obviously, the very real, and very tragic and heart-breaking consequences of the idea of abortion and euthanasia are the 100,000 abortions that occur every year in Canada, and the already thousands of legally assisted suicides every year.
“I don’t want to ignore those, I don’t want to gloss over those, and I don’t want to belittle them. But tonight, I want to talk about the ancillary consequences of those ideas.”
Polizogopoulos showed a picture of Ruth Lobo. In 2010, Lobo and fellow Carlton University pro-life club mates requested permission to display the Genocide Awareness Project on school grounds. They were continuously denied, “but Ruth and her clubmates didn’t back down.”
They were intercepted by four security guards and nine police officers, “who handcuffed them, herded them into a paddy-wagon, took them to a different building on campus, charged them with trespassing … and then told them to go to class.”
With Polizogopoulos, they sued the university, defended the trespassing charges, and won.
“But for over a year, that case, and that story, was front-page news in newspapers all over the country. And what happened after that is that universities started being very nice to pro-life groups.”
Trudeau’s Summer Job grant restrictions is what Polizogopoulos called, “the absolute best thing to happen to the pro-life movement in 50 years!” Polls show that public opinion and sympathy, even that of pro-abortion atheists, are on the side of pro-lifers.
Polizogopoulos continued sharing stories of the “simple actions of sometimes simple people” who go on to change culture. He showed how people like Rosa Parks, Emily Stowe, and Nelson Mandala all brought attention to an idea. Their self-sacrificing, devoted actions brought change. It is the actions of people like these that will change the future of Canada. “Should we really be feeling despair? I think the other side should be concerned.”
“The consequences of these ideas (abortion) has led to the arresting of a woman holding a sign on a street corner, with a picture of a baby, has led to the arrest of students on campus who are trying to explore these ideas, it’s led to the complete banning of statistics of information related to abortion …”
We have a young generation watching these consequences, one that is “fed up of lies.” They cannot help but see that the pro-life movement has credence and credibility. People are noticing the sacrifices made by pro-lifers, and the tyranny and arrogance of the pro-abortion movement. Young people are investigating.
Polizogopoulos said that he looks at the present and future heroes, and only sees hope, “I’m 35. I believe I will see an end to abortion in Canada. I hope we’ll see it together.”