N.B. appeals Morgentaler standing
FREDERICTON ? The New Brunswick government is appealing a court ruling giving abortionist Henry Morgentaler standing in a case that will test the province?s ability to restrict taxpayer funding for abortions to government-run hospitals. Justice Paulette Gannett of the Court of Queen?s Bench decided on Aug. 1 that Morgentaler could have standing, because he represented the public interest in giving voice to women who could not mount their own legal challenge, which the government is contesting. Peter Ryan, executive director of New Brunswick Right to Life, called the appeal ?good news? and reported that Premier Shawn Graham notified him in a letter of the government?s appeal
Third-trimester abortions exposed
MONTREAL ? In recent years, pro-abortion groups have questioned pro-lifers who claim abortion is permitted until the moment of birth, saying it never occurs. But a 2007 report, ?Third Trimester Abortion for Fetal Anomaly,? by the Bioethics Committee of Ste. Justine Hospital in Montreal, was recently made public and sheds light on the reality of third-trimester abortions. The hospital considers 24 weeks to be the threshold of viability, concludes it is ethical to perform third-trimester abortions when children are diagnosed in-utero with birth defects that are incurable and that late-term abortions are done in ?precise situations? in regard to ?social conditions.? As LifeSiteNews.com reports, the committee?s report says, ?almost all the third-trimester abortions performed at the hospital are of a medical nature, a statement that implies that there may have been some third-trimester abortions performed for other, non-medical reasons.? The report says some medical practitioners use an anesthetic, Fentanyl, to reduce fetal suffering during abortions.
Gibbons to stand trial Jan. 12
TORONTO ? Veteran pro-life demonstrator Linda Gibbons will stand trial on a charge of disobeying a court order in Room 504 of the Ontario Court of Justice at College Park in downtown Toronto on Jan. 12. Gibbons was arrested Oct. 8 outside the Scott ?Clinic? abortion site on Gerrard Street East, which is protected by a ?temporary? court injunction imposed in 1994 that bars pro-life activity around it. The Crown attorney?s office decided to proceed with the disobeying a court order charge in a departure from its past practice of laying one of obstructing a peace officer. The motivation seems to have been two things: a judge previously acquitted Gibbons of obstructing a peace officer, ruling her peaceful conduct could not be intepreted as impeding a law enforcement official in any way, and the Criminal Code was changed recently to allow for the prosecution of a disobeying a court order charge on a summary or indictable basis. Had the statute remained as it was, Gibbons would have been entitled to a potentially lengthy and publicity-causing jury trial. That option is no longer available.
On the positive side, Gibbons faces a maximum penalty of six months in prison, as opposed to two years under the previous version of the statute. An interesting sideline to Gibbons?s recent court hearings was her appearance in Mental Health Court, to which she was consigned after refusing to speak in regular court, out of solidarity with the voiceless unborn. The Crown attorney at Mental Health Court was Michael Leshner, one half of ?the two Michaels,? who became the first same-sex civil ?marriage? couple in Canada. Leshner had attacked churchmen opposed to same-sex ?marriage? for ?religious intolerance? and asserted that ?the Charter of Rights trumps the Bible.?
At the Mental Health Court hearing, Leshner ? sporting a bizarre frizzy hairdo that resembled a cross between those of boxing promoter Don King and Albert Einstein ? drew a stern rebuke from the presiding judge when he blurted out that Gibbons has ?been before the courts for years and years on abortion-related charges.? The judge chided Leshner for inappropriate remarks that could have unduly prejudiced the court.
Report calls for repeal of Section 13
OTTAWA ? In a surprising development at press time, Richard Moon?s 42-page report on the Canadian Human Rights Commission called for the repeal of controversial Section 13 of the Canadian Human Rights Act, which has come under increasing scrutiny in recent times as a bevy of Canadian publications and writers have been called onto the carpet for alleged ?hate crime? violations (see the newaly released book from Interim Publishing, The Tyranny of Nice). ?The principal recommendation of this report is that Section 13 be repealed so that censorship of internet hate speech is dealt with exclusively by the criminal law,? it said. The ball is now in the court of the federal Conservative government, which has to this point refused to budge on the issue despite increasing pressure from numerous small-c conservatives.
Federal Justice Minister Rob Nicholson had even replied to a letter from Catholic Insightmagazine, one of the attacked publications, by saying that Canada?s human rights regime was ?second to none? in the world. Leading CHRC critic Ezra Levant responded to Moon?s report by saying that he was delighted to be proven wrong in his prediction that the document would do anything more than offer up cosmetic changes to Section 13. Nonetheless, Levant said CHRC chief commissioner Jennifer Lynch ?and her fellow bullies? are far from conceding defeat. ?Lynch is already trying to throw Moon under the bus,? he said on his blog, noting that Lynch?s press release on the report failed to include the recommendation that Section 13 be repealed. ?It?s like the chapter in George Orwell?s 1984, where Winston is busy cutting out embarrassing items from old newspapers and replacing them with new, politicaly correct truth. That?s what Lynch is doing already,? Levant quipped.