“born Alive” Law Debated
Canada’s current law recognizes a “human being” only after a child is born alive – but that law has become publicly controversial again.
National debate arose in September in response to
Motion 312, a parliamentary motion by MP Stephen
Woodworth (Kitchener-Centre, Cons.), which the EFC
supported. The motion would have created a committee
to re-examine the law. Current medical knowledge as well
as the majority of popular opinion no longer support the
400-year-old “born alive” definition used in the law.
Although two-thirds of current MPs voted against the
motion Sept. 26, the strength of the positive support has
encouraged ongoing debate. Those in favour included 87
Conservatives (eight cabinet ministers and two ministers
of state) and four Liberals. Some MPs confirmed a letter
from the EFC’s vice-president Don Hutchinson helped
them decide in favour of the motion.
EFC legal counsel were quoted in national media stories on the motion and also appeared on 100 Huntley Street.
EFC president Bruce J. Clemenger sent a letter of thanks
to EFC affiliate leaders, who joined him in endorsing a
Declaration of Support for Parliamentary Study of Canada’s
Legal Definition of “Human Being.”
For more details, visit www.theEFC.ca/human.
Where’s the Data on Abortion?
This fall the EFC spoke out about a government trend
to suppress data about abortion procedures, including
an unnecessary and undemocratic law on abortion data
the Ontario Government quietly passed in January.
The issues are addressed in a new EFC report called
Black Holes: Canada’s Missing Abortion Data – A Brief
Examination of Canada’s Abortion Data Collection Policies
and an Analysis of Ontario’s New Legislation. EFC legal
counsel were quoted about the report in national media.
The EFC has also updated a related resource, Abortion
Polls in Canada: A Compilation by Topic of Opinion Polling in
Canada from 2007-2012, to include the most recent opinion
polling data. This resource assists activists writing articles
and blogs and preparing for interviews and debates.
Both resources are free at www.theEFC.ca/abortion.
Guide to Engaging Youth
The EFC is producing a resource called Turning the Tide:
A Youth Worker’s Response to “Hemorrhaging Faith.” It
will offer practical suggestions for churches and ministry leaders concerned about the relationship between
youth and the Church in Canada.
The new resource is being written by youth specialist
Dave Overholt, based on discussions among the EFC’s
Youth and Young Adult Roundtable. For more on the
Hemorrhaging Faith study and to inquire about Turning
the Tide, visit www.hemorrhagingfaith.com.
The EFC intervenes in Top Court
The EFC filed written arguments this summer with the
Supreme Court of Canada in the case of Cuthbertson v.
Rasouli, scheduled to be heard Dec. 10. The case is about
an Ontario man lying in a coma due to complications after
minor brain surgery. The doctors determined it was time
to remove him from life support, but his family disagreed
based on their religious beliefs. The EFC’s arguments
address issues such as what it means to be human and
respect for religious beliefs in medical care. Read more at
Campaign on Prostitution Laws
The EFC’s policy analyst Julia Beazley is participating
with Defend Dignity in a series of thought-provoking
conferences from November to March in Vancouver;
Calgary; Surrey, B.C.; and beyond. Defend Dignity is
an initiative of the Christian and Missionary Alliance
Church. Find out more at www.defenddignity.ca and
Pray for the Persecuted
The EFC’s Religious Liberty Commission recently
issued a call for prayer after a video and cartoons
defaming the prophet Mohammed produced deadly
results for Christians in the Middle East, as well as
threats to Christians in Canada.
It issued another call related to the conflict in Syria
where Christians are caught in a conflict between the Syrian Army and rebel forces. Many are being forced from
their homes, towns and country.
You can view these alerts at www.theEFC.ca/alerts and
sign up there to receive them by email. It’s a great way to
stay informed of critical developments internationally and
know better how to pray.
The EFC Religious Liberty Commission also encourages churches to observe the annual International Day of
Prayer for the Persecuted Church. This year it is scheduled
for Nov. 4, but you can also use the free kit at www.idop.
ca in a worship service or small group meeting anytime.
EFC Affiliates Gathered
The EFC convened the heads of its affiliate denominations, institutions and ministries for a day of study
and conversation in October. This year the focus was
on youth and young adults, prostitution and care for
creation. EFC leaders served as presenters and moderators. The following day, the heads of 20 EFC affiliated
denominations met for a semi-annual gathering. The
EFC's Rick Hiemstra spoke about trends within Canadian culture that impact ministry, and two recently
retired denominational leaders, Franklin Pyles and
Gary Best, talked about leading change, missional effectiveness and spiritual vitality. FT