Just in case none of the media reports this, here is a news release that was given to all media in Saskatchewan!
Response to SMA and Health Minister Dustin Duncan regarding Parent Consent
In response to misinformation being shared in regards to our efforts to build support for a parental consent provision as it relates to adolescent abortion
Mike Schouten, spokesperson for the Parental Consent campaign has issued the following statement:
In several interviews Health Minister Dustin Duncan states that abortion is medically necessary. This is correct, but no court - at any level - has excluded the possibility of governments (provincial or federal) from regulating abortion. In fact, in the most famous case dealing with abortion, R. v. Morgentaler, the Supreme Court was nearly emphatic that while the abortion regulations at the time were found to be unconstitutional Parliament had a duty to enact new laws that were both constitutional and protected the fetus at some point.
According to the Constitution Act (1867) there is a division of powers between the federal and provincial governments. Section 92(16) of the Act confers on Provincial Legislatures the power to make laws in relation to "all matters of merely local or private nature in the province." Similarly, paragraph 7 of that same section of the Act authorizes provinces to make laws in relation to "the establishment, maintenance, and management of hospitals, charities, etc." This specifically authorizes the provinces to establish and regulate hospitals, and to regulate hospital-based health care services.
The comments from outgoing Saskatchewan Medical Association president, Dr. Dalibor Slavic are also troubling, but actually strengthen our argument in favour of parental consent for adolescent abortion. For a respected doctor to assert that abortion is provided "if she [a young girl] thinks as someone that is of age" is seemingly ignorant of what actually transpires in the days and moments leading up to the moment of stepping into the doctor's office.
The reality is due to the incomplete brain development of adolescents, pregnancy related decisions are likely to be made in a state of stress, emotion, and exhaustion. According to The teen brain: Still under construction an adolescent has a less-developed prefrontal cortex than an adult, one of the "key ways the brain doesn't look like that of an adult until the early 20's". Adolescent brains show marked differences in areas of impulse control and planning for the future, both critical to making an informed decision on parenthood, and capacities that are similarly unavailable in the peers they may turn to for help and advice.
It is unfortunate that many choice-focused individuals and organizations take a fundamentally flawed approach to the issue of parental consent for abortion. They frame the problem as, “Choice and bodily autonomy at all costs and anyone who opposes that opposes women’s rights.” I believe that this “at all costs” approach harms the very women it sets out to protect when it is applied to adolescents making decisions on whether to continue a pregnancy.
Parental consent does not equal parental control – it is about responsibility and care. The term consent implicitly states that the decision belongs to the adolescent. Her parents can share their reasoning and attempt to influence her decision, but the main goal is to provide support for pregnant adolescents regardless of the outcome of their pregnancy. Whether they choose abortion, adoption, or active motherhood, support is crucial to their success and well-being. A parental consent law makes it clear that society supports young women as well as the lives they may carry, and is working to enhance their well-being now and across their lifespan.
For further comment or media requests please contact Lorraine at 306.352.3840.
Colette Stang, President
Saskatchewan Pro-Life Association
Close to 250 people participated in the annual March for LIfe in Regina on May 7th. The theme this year was: Parental Consent WILL Save Babies.
Despite cooler weather, people's spirits were high and hopeful. We recognized several MLAs in the crowd who are pro-life supporters.
After the successful March for Life and the media coverage we received (which for the most part was good), we KNOW that we will be successful in getting the Parental Consent bill introduced in the Saskatchewan Legislature. All we need are more, corageous MLAs who are willing to stand in the Legislature and present and speak out in support of the petitions.
The parental consent initiative has come a long way PLUS now, we have finally had coverage by:
- CBC (although focused on a negative twist, this was great coverage, which helps to make waves, which helps people to be informed...)
- CTV Regina (again, focused on NDP criticizing Mr Ottenbreit)
- Global News - good for Yorkton MLA Greg Ottenbreit for being identified as a member of the Saskatchewan Pro-Life Association - THAT is the kind of courage we need from our MLAs.
- Regina Leader Post - This story tells us we have to work HARDER at petitioning and lobbying Minister Dustin Duncan because the Leader Post reports the petition "has no impact anyway" because the Minister will not make any changes to abortion laws in Saskatchewan.
TORONTO – In an afternoon press conference in the Queen’s Park Press Gallery, the Association for Reformed Political Action (ARPA) Canada will provide details on a constitutional challenge they filed earlier in the day. Niki Pennings, spokesperson for WeNeedaLAW.ca, will also be speaking about why WeNeedaLAW.ca has placed 100,000 pink and blue flags on the lawn in Queen’s Park.
“The 100,000 flags represent the approximately 100,000+ human lives that are ended by abortion every year in Canada,” said Ms. Pennings. “The courts have consistently spoken to the responsibility of government to enact laws that protect pre-born human rights and the Ontario government is not exempt from this responsibility.”
Over one hundred and fifty volunteers helped place the 100,000 pink and blue flags at Queen’s Park. The flags cover the entire south-east lawn.
As for the constitutional challenge, André Schutten, lawyer for ARPA Canada would only say that, “The court action we are initiating is about justice. Justice requires accountability. Each victim of abortion is a human being. Not only does every victim need to be accounted for, but public policy itself should be open to evaluation and scrutiny by the taxpayer and voter.”
The flag display will be set up until 4:00pm.
What: ARPA Canada Press Conference
When: Wednesday, April 22, 2015
Where: Queen’s Park Press Gallery
Time: 2:00 PM
Saskatchewan Pro-Life Association Convention, SASKATOON
by Marcy Millette
Saskatoon Alliance for Life will host the 2015 Provincial Convention for Saskatchewan Pro-Life Association at St. Mary’s Parish Hall on April 24-25th. Alliance for Life has chosen the theme, “Mother and Child, Love Them Both”.
Keynote speaker, Dr. Deborah Zeni, will address the chosen theme with her summary of “Complications, Abortion’s Impact on Women”, printed by deVeber Institute for Bioethics and Social Research. Some of the concerns addressed in the book include: Abortion and the link to breast cancer, greater suicide rates, increased risks of prematurity in subsequent pregnancies and future fertility problems. The negative impact of induced abortion on women has been validated by the British Medical Journal, the American Journal of Medical Quality and numerous other sources found on the deVeber site, www.deveber.org/summary.
Speaker, Travon Clifton, will tell her story, “Conceived in Rape – the Exceptional Life”. Clifton is a pro-life speaker with “Save the 1”, an organization whose mission is to educate everyone on why all pre-born children should be protected by law and accepted by society, without exception and without compromise. Clifton has been a widely-sought pro-life speaker on Family Talk radio (Dr. James Dobson), Students for Life events, Black History Month and Equipped for Life of Evangel Ministries in Detroit, MI.
Shawna Sparrow, Teen-Aid Saskatchewan, will unfold her latest project, “Protecting your Child in the Digital Age”. Sparrow offers workshops for parents with topics ranging from, Building Character and Values to Research on Dating Rules and Helping your Teen Practice Chastity.
Shancelle Hildebrandt shares her adoption story, “No Greater Love, No Greater Gift”. Animated and entertaining, Hildebrandt convinces her audiences on the value of adoption as a viable answer to unplanned pregnancy.
Mike Schouten, Director of We Need A Law, will highlight SPLA’s newest campaign promoting Parental Consent Legislation. Schouten has been published many times in the National Post, Vancouver Sun, and the Calgary Herald as well as interviewed by CBC News, CPAC and various radio talk shows across the country. The Convention, “Mother and Child, Love Them Both”, promises to both inspire and motivate delegates for continued pro-life action in this province. Register online at www.saskprolife.com or call 306-373-3096 fmi. Childcare is provided.
by Wanda Hartlin, Co-ordinator - 40 Days for Life, Ottawa
Our Montreal counterparts, did begin a Winter/Spring campaign. As in Ottawa, we are under the umbrella of Campaign Life Coalition, the Montreal campaign is under the umbrella of our Montreal office called, Campagne Quebec-Vie. Soon after beginning their 40 Days for Life campaign, the office staff of Campagne Quebec-Vie was served legal documentation petitioning the Quebec Superior Court to forbid them to hold a vigil at the Morgentaler facility. So they moved their vigil to another abortion facility, Femina, and within a week were again served legal documents by a bailiff ordering them to refrain from praying in front of Femina.
A temporary injunction (aka a "bubble zone") was issued with the intention of bringing about a permanent injunction forbidding pro-lifers and sidewalk counsellors from being within a one block radius of these facilities.
Brian Jenkins, co-ordinator of the Montreal campaign writes, " . . . the judge would only be available to hear our arguments for both instances on June 16, 2015. In the interim, we ask you to keep us and our lawyer, Mr. Robert Reynolds, in your prayers. We are diligently preparing our arguments."
Ottawa does not have a bubble zone. Very few Canadian cities do. I only know of Toronto and our neighbouring city, Gatineau, that have bubble zones. Montreal may soon be numbered with these few. As Brian asked, please keep Campagne Quebec-Vie and their court battle in your prayers.
Members of Saskatchewan College of Physicians and Surgeons want more time for decision
CBC News Posted: Mar 26, 2015 11:26 AM CT Last Updated: Mar 26, 2015 2:27 PM CT
Members of Saskatchewan's College of Physicians and Surgeons have deferred voting on a controversial topic.
The draft policy would not force doctors to perform any medical procedures, except in emergency, life-threatening situations. It would, however, force them to refer patients to another doctor or nurse practitioner for more advice on the topic.
The policy also notes that, "physicians must not promote their own moral or religious beliefs when interacting with a patient."
Doctors at the meeting said they hadn't had enough time to review the policy, which was first drafted in January, then revised.
The motion, unsurprisingly, sparked considerable debate at the council table among doctors.
"This is a very serious topic," said Bryan Salte, associate registrar of the College of Physicians and Surgeons. "There are people who feel very strongly about this. And there are people who feel very strongly about this from both perspectives."
Salte said the College received thousands of pieces of mail on the subject.
"If you look at the consultation information, you will see physicians who say you're infringing my rights, you have no right to do this, I have a charter right, and I cannot be compelled to do what you want me to do," he said. "There are others who said this doesn't go far enough, and it is simply unacceptable for physicians to not provide birth control, and every physician who is in that environment has to."
A similar policy in Ontario is currently the focus of a charter challenge by the Christian Medical and Dental Society of Canada and the Canadian Federation of Catholic Physicians' Societies.
Ontario lawyer Albertos Polizogopoulos said offering a referral to another doctor violates his clients' religious rights. He also said a policy like this would drive doctors from the medical field.
"The physicians and the upcoming physicians in the medical schools will be faced with one of two options," he said. "They either comply with the policy, and they make a referral for a procedure or a pharmaceutical to which they object on moral or religious grounds, which would mean they violate their religious beliefs or their conscience, or secondly, they don't comply with the policy, and they choose not to violate their religious beliefs and they face disciplinary action from the college."
Saskatchewan's draft policy will be reviewed at the College's meeting on Saturday. It will then be circulated to members and voted on at the its next meeting in June (corrected).
To : all my Pro-Life Friends, Colleagues in Ministry, close friends and family, and others interested
The Saskatchewan Council of Physicians and Surgeons approved in principle a new policy called "Conscientious Refusal" during its meetings in the month of January.
The Policy does NOT acknowledge our Pro-Life values or the Pro-Life values held by many of our Provincial physicians. While I encourage you to go to CPSS web site to read the whole policy for yourself, two disturbing elements are :
* though recognizing that physicians' freedom of conscience should be respected, it states : Physicians can decline to provide legally permissible and publicly-funded health services if providing those services violate their freedom of conscience. However, in such situations, they must make a timely referral to another health care provider who is willing and able to accept the patient and provide the service.
* worse, in Point 5.4 of the policy, it states : When a referral to another health care provider is not possible without causing a delay that would jeopardize the patient's health or well-being, physicians must provide the patient with all health services that are legally permissible and publicly-funded and that are consented to by the patient or, in the case of an incompetent patient, by the patient's substitute decision-maker.
Not only disturbing, but this policy clearly is dangerous as it potentially would jeopardize the health of both patients as well as the unborn, the elderly, the handicapped, the mentally ill, etc...
CPSS is allowing the general public to provide input but it has to be done before their deadline of March 6th, 2015. I have prepared a lengthy submission (sorry for the length) which is attached. Please read it carefully.
As public pressure might have an impact on the Council deliberations at the end of March, if you agree with my submission, I encourage you to send an e-mail to CPSS and inform them that you are backing my submission. If, for any reason, you do not agree, that is also fine, and we will still be friends. If you have any questions, you are welcome to call me at 306-970-8675 or to e-mail me. Do not forget, the deadline to do something is March 6th, 2015!!! To e-mail CPSS, it has to be sent to email@example.com Bryan is CPSS' legal counsel. If you e-mail your support to the Council, please side-copy me so that I know that I am standing alone on this.
Rev. Dr. John Fryters, Ph.D., ICADC Emeritus
Voluntary Executive Director of Jubilation Program
Pastor of Under The Juniper Tree Chapel