EDITORIAL – Abortion debate unlikely to be rekindled in Canada

An editorial by Mel Rothenburger.

WILL THE ANTI-ABORTION DEBATE return to a neighbourhood near us?

A lot of people seem to be asking that question as the issue suddenly returns to the headlines south of the border, where several states have approved pro-life legislation aimed at turning back the clock.

Using so-called “heartbeat bills,” they impose ridiculous penalties on those who participate in abortions after set time limits of a few weeks of pregnancy. And several other states are preparing to jump on the bandwagon.

There was a time, 30 years ago, when the abortion debate raged in B.C. and in this community. Nobody wants to be “anti” something, so the anti-abortion advocates took on the name “Pro Life.” And nobody wants to be “pro” something like abortion, either, so the other side assumed the moniker “pro choice.”

The actual meaning of “pro choice” is now part of the renewed debate, with pro choicers saying they don’t advocate abortion for everyone, so that’s pro-choice. And on it goes.

Unless your old like Methuselah, you probably don’t remember the days when Royal Inland Hospital was ruled by its own board, and when elections to that board were fought on the abortion issue.

And when pro-lifers planted pretend-tombstones in front of the hospital, each representing an abortion carried out at the hospital, and then rallied with placards.

Those weren’t pleasant times. They were the times of Dr. Henry Morgentaler and his chain of abortion clinics, and finally winning a constitutional challenge. He was awarded the Order of Canada for that.

Abortion certainly isn’t a non-issue in this country, but there’s no sign it will become a serious issue in this year’s federal election. In a country that pays for abortions with medicare, it’s hard to imagine going back. But never say never.

I’m Mel Rothenburger, the Armchair Mayor.

Mel Rothenburger is a former mayor of Kamloops and newspaper editor. He publishes the opinion website, and is a director on the Thompson-Nicola Regional District board. He can be reached at

About Mel Rothenburger (7555 Articles) is a forum about Kamloops and the world. It has more than one million views. Mel Rothenburger is the former Editor of The Daily News in Kamloops, B.C. (retiring in 2012), and past mayor of Kamloops (1999-2005). At he is the publisher, editor, news editor, city editor, reporter, webmaster, and just about anything else you can think of. He is grateful for the contributions of several local columnists. This blog doesn't require a subscription but gratefully accepts donations to help defray costs.

3 Comments on EDITORIAL – Abortion debate unlikely to be rekindled in Canada

  1. Wendy Nordick // May 25, 2019 at 8:27 AM // Reply

    Dear Mel, there really are not two sides to the issue of abortion. There is only one way to look at it. A child’s life is at risk. The humanity of the fetus is unquestionably, undeniably, 100% genetically human. As long as there are people not blinded by semantic deceptions such as viability, fetus not baby, unplanned, unwanted and so on, there will always be those who keep speaking the truth.

    The truth?
    A fetus is a living human being.
    The truth?
    Abortion is the death of this human being.

    How can we not speak out?

    Wendy Nordick

  2. To the previous poster’s comments, it has NOTHING to do with wanting to be American. It’s time Canadian lawmakers address the issue once and for all. Currently there is NO law nor is there a “constitutional” right for women to abortion. If they were able to create law with controversial MAiD, it’s long overdue that the abortion issue is addressed. Ridiculous that exiting the birth canal is what grants a living human being its human rights.

  3. Robert A Bruce // May 22, 2019 at 8:34 AM // Reply

    Actually the debate is probably about to be rekindled. The way the public has perceived the liberals, with the help of the constant conservative refrain “trudeau sucks!” No one is looking at the american led party and thinking they will change the charter. They will. We are about to become american. This time, when the conservatives get in, they will be led by someone that has voiced his “pro-life” preferences, many times. This will go the same way as it has in the states. Because modern conservatives are americans, not canadians. They want to be american, and because they can’t just move down there, they will change here to be the same.

Leave a Reply to Kelly Cancel reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: