In response to a request from the House of Bishops (February 1988), the Primate reported he had invited Mrs. P. Creighton, Mrs. D. Marshall and Dr. J. Reed to form a Task Force to prepare a contemporary statement regarding abortion.
It was agreed that we, as Christians, must work towards the creation of a society in which every human being is welcome and recognized that we must both work for change of legislation which affects social programming.
Chancellor David Wright stated that difficulties outside the Criminal Code fall within the jurisdiction of the provinces and the federal government can enter the field only through the Criminal Code, but can control processes through funding.
That this National Executive Council:
1. express its heartfelt thanks to the members of the Task Force on Abortion;
2. endorses the report of the Task Force;
3. refers the report to the Primate for appropriate action. CARRIED #65-05-88
It was agreed that the Primate should send the report to appropriate people in the life of the church and the country.
The Primate, on behalf of the NEC, expressed thanks to Mrs. Creighton, Mrs. Marshall and Dr. Reed for their report.
Since the termination of Project North in 1987, further evaluation and consultation between the churches in Canada has led to a new coalition on aboriginal justice concerns. This is the result of discussion between the churches, network groups, and native organizations. It shifts the focus of the former Project North to include justice issues for native people all over Canada and is based upon the church leaders' recent statement: "A New Covenant".
That this National Executive Council support and participate fully in the new coalition: Project North - Ecumenical Coalition for Aboriginal Justice; and request the Program Committee to appoint two representatives from the Anglican Church of Canada to its Steering Committee. CARRIED #54-11-88
The Primate, as President of the House, presented the report and outlined the recommendations.
That this National Executive Council authorize the Primate to take the necessary steps as soon as possible to have the Report on Abortion, following minor revisions, printed in an appropriate form and made available to the church and the Canadian public. CARRIED #49-11-88
That the Ryan/Gardner motion re criminal law and abortion, which General Synod referred to the National Executive Council, be referred to the House of Bishops and the Task Force on Human Life for study and report back. CARRIED
The motion reads:
That this General Synod is of the opinion that the Criminal Law is not a good or appropriate instrument or agency for the restriction or control of abortion and that the proper means of attaining the goals in the resolution passed at General Synod is through education and social measures, having in mind that laws relating to health and the discipline of the medical and nursing professions are made by provincial legislatures.
The report was introduced by Mrs. Phyllis Creighton who introduced the Reverend Dr. Bruce Alton, Mrs. Margaret Cochrane and the Reverend Paul Gibson. She extended regrets on behalf of Dr. J. David Cairns, Dr. Ray Osborne and Dr. Cope Schwenger. Dr. Alton reminded members of the National Executive Council that the mandate of the Sub-Group was to study the matter of abortion, considering the situation which exists in Canada today, and the Church's position.
Moved by Canon K. Genge, seconded by Rt. Rev. C. Lawrence,
That this National Executive Council receive the report on abortion of the Task Force on Human Life and approve it for circulation and commend it to the Church for study and action.
The Rev. Richard Berryman, Media Officer, cautioned that portions of the report, taken out of context, could be used in a harmful way. It was agreed that the report should be kept private and confidential until after the distribution of a press release.
Moved by Dr. Betty C. Graham, seconded by Ven. H.St.C. Hilchey,
That the motion be tabled. CARRIED
That this National Executive Council receive the report "The Abortion Question 1982" as an embargoed document until May 20, 1982, and direct that it be prepared for publishing as a pastoral resource with suggestions for use in dioceses and parishes. CARRIED