Bill C-307 and the Culture of Life
So what was it? Well, if Maurice Vellacott has his way then pharmacies won’t have to provide birth control anymore.
For the past year the CPC has been trying to paint themselves as a more moderate party, but the fact remains that a large portion of the party’s representatives are fringe fanatics. Bill C-307 is an incredibly dangerous piece of legislation which would be a catastrophe for Canadian women.
The bill is one simple statement followed by a series of defintions, but the meat of the bill is this: An Act to amend the Criminal Code to prevent health care practitioners from being coerced into taking part in medical procedures that offend the practitioner’s religion or belief that human life is inviolable.
Of course the bill would violate medical codes of ethics all across the country. Pharmacists are required to allow patients to make decisions about their own medical care. Sadly, the right to life movement doesn’t seem to care about that.
On the other side of the border, American women have been fighting a similar battle with ‘right to life’ fanatics all across the country. Ever increasingly birth control has come under attack, not just in the form of refusing to fund charities which promote safe sex in AIDS ravaged Africa, but also actively encouraging Pharmacists to stop giving out birth control.
In Texas, House Bill 16 is in committee and will likely pass. The law would allow pharmacists, at their sole discretion, to override phsycian’s recommendation and refuse to dispense birth control or emmergency contraception. Similar legislation has been introduced in various other states, leading to Illinois being forced to pass emergency rules which force pharmacists to help their patients.
Still, there are powerful wingnut organizatins across the country fighting to deny doctors the right to determine what is best for their patients. Pharmacists for Life International and the American Association of Pro-Life Obstetricians and Gynecologists are fighting tooth and nail to increase unwanted pregnancies. Now they’re bringing the fight to Canada.
The Conservative Party recently passed, in a close vote, a motion stating that they would not try to legislate abortion. Party members openly suggested that such a motion would make the CPC appear more mainstream and help them in an election. The fact remains, however, that many party insiders were far from happy. Former MP Elsie Wayne made an impassioned speech at the Convention, exclaiming: "I do not believe the majority of our people at this convention are in favour of killing babies…you know that abortion kills babies."
The CPC tries to present themselves as reasonable and in the mainstream. Yet their MPs introduce legislation that would limit access to birth control, party big wigs are fanatically pro-life and delegate debates and the recent conventions included lines like "We've killed three million babies in Canada. This issue needs to be debated."
Yet CPC supporters will loudly proclaim that party has no intention of trying to promote a pro-life agenda. Accusations to the contrary are obviously 'fear mongering tactics'. Unfortunately, Stephen Harper’s words provide little reason for optimism.
"The nature of democracy is that any previous decision can be challenged and overturned because there’s no final winners and no final losers."