Student pressured to participate in abortion
Saskatchewan, Canada (1999)
In speaking to the protection of conscience bill he introduced in the
Canadian House of Commons (see
text of the bill
) , Mr. Maurice Vellacott told the House
about an encounter he had had with one of his constituents, a student
who was under some duress to participate in abortion. The story is
consistent with the later testimony
Professor Barney Sneiderman before a Senate sub-committee.
Mr. Vellacott advised the constituent to return to his office if she was unable to make an alternate arrangement and opt out of observation/involvement in an abortion. When she did not return, Mr. Vellacott assumed that she had been accommodated.
Hansard (Record of Debates in the House of Commons)
18 November, 1999
Mr. Maurice Vellacott: I recall a
day some months ago when I had an aboriginal girl come into my office. She
was pretty emotionally shook up. She was coming to the completion of her
term of study. She asked me "What can I do in the situation I am caught in?
I am supposed to do a study of certain modules or elect certain modules as I
come to the end, and it appears - I do not know and I have to find out - that I
have to be involved in an abortion procedure".
This was an aboriginal girl and from her background, whether religious or
not, sanctity of life, respect for life, was important. She had the feeling
that she would be coerced or forced into an abortion procedure or be denied
completion of her program. I have talked to doctors and to others, and it
seems that in some schools at least, students are forced to be involved in
this as part of their training program.