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Remarks at launch on steps of Saskatchewan Legislature

(As delivered)

Friends, supporters, activists, people of Saskatchewan.

In this province a young teenager can enter the workforce - with his parent’s consent.

In the province of Saskatchewan a young teenager can beautify herself in an indoor tanning salon - with her parent’s consent

In the province of Saskatchewan a young teenager can get a tattoo or have her tongue pierced - with her parent’s consent.

But, when a young, teenage girl becomes unexpectedly pregnant, and is uncertain about what to do, she can request and receive an abortion without any knowledge of her parents.

The manner in which abortion is handled in Saskatchewan, particularly pertaining to minors sits in stark contrast to how minors are treated when it comes to other matters dealing with the body.

And so today, I am pleased to announce that we are launching an exciting new public awareness campaign calling upon the Saskatchewan government to enact parental consent for abortion legislation.

 

This is a joint effort between WeNeedaLAW.ca ( a national pro-life organization) and Saskatchewan Pro-Life Association (a provincial organization representing two dozen local groups spread throughout the province).

This morning I want to briefly touch on three reasons why we believe Saskatchewan needs to pass a parental consent law.

In the first place, parents usually have a good idea of who their teens are, what issues they are facing and what’s best for them. That is why this province acknowledges the need of parental approval for such things as I mentioned earlier.

Parents also, usually possess information essential for a physician to exercise his or her best judgement, including the providing of care for a young pregnant teen.

Yet, in Saskatchewan a procedure that can impact a young woman for the rest of her life can be done without any knowledge of her parent or guardian. Her parents rights to be involved in that conversation, are not protected.

Today we find ourselves standing under a Pride flag.

I am told that this flag will be flown here at the Legislature for the duration of the Sochi Olympics. When it was raised last week Premier Brad Wall tweeted, “In Saskatchewan we protect human rights and stand against discrimination.” Opposition Leader Cam Broten took to Twitter as well in saying, “I think SK Legislature should fly the pride flag during Sochi2014 in support of diversity, equality and human rights.”

Human rights.

A parental consent law will protect the rights of parents to raise their children without interference, and it will protect their right of parents to be involved in all steps of the process of raising their children. Canadian jurisprudence has long recognized the relationship between parents and children as sacrosanct. It is our hope that the Governing Party and the Opposition will support and protect these rights of parents by enacting a Parental Consent Law.

Provincial governments, including this one here in Saskatchewan know that strong families are a core building block for society. This is why they enact policies that both strengthen families and protect their integrity.  A parental consent for abortion act will foster family unity and help to preserve the family as a viable social entity.

The second reason why we believe parental consent needs to be passed in Saskatchewan is that the medical, emotional, and psychological consequences of abortion are often serious and can be lasting, particularly when the patient is young.

In addition, when parents are aware that their daughter has had an abortion, they are in a better position to assist with any subsequent physical and psychological care.  

Lastly, laws requiring parental consent will protect vulnerable teens from sexual exploitation.

Young girls need the protection of caring parents or guardians. Without the involvement or consent of parents, it is easier for child predators to use abortion to cover up criminal behaviour.

A parental consent for abortion law would protect vulnerable minors by alerting parents to the potential bullying and abuse their daughter may be experiencing.

Teenage girls who obtain abortions in secret often do so at the behest of boyfriends who bully them into making decisions that they might not want to make. Because this is occurring with no knowledge of parents, it is very likely that these girls will return to the coercive partner that bullied them to abort.

Saskatchewan needs parental consent for abortion legislation.

This legislation will protect the health and welfare of young teenage girls. It will foster family unity and protect the constitutional rights of parents to raise their children and be involved in the steps of that process.

In conclusion. We realize that a change in policy will only occur when there is a corresponding amount of support from the people.

That is what this public awareness campaign will do. It will inform and it will give residents of Saskatchewan tools to engage their friends, family, co-workers, neighbours, and most important of all - their elected officials - as to the need for a parental consent for abortion law to be enacted in this province.

This public awareness campaign is a joint effort between Saskatchewan Pro-Life Association and WeNeedaLAW.ca. For more information please contact us here.

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