"The question of abortion is one of the most deeply felt and hotly debated public issues in Canada today. The focus of the current dispute is the Criminal Code, as amended by Parliament in August 1969, but it is quite evident that the debate about abortion and the law is only one manifestation of wide philosophical, religious, and ethical rifts in Canadian culture." "The abortion controversy, then, presents an inescapable challenge to the Christian church, as a responsible teacher of faith and morals". "It is greatly to the credit of the Anglican Church of Canada that she has both seen her duty in this matter and tried to do something about it. For one thing, General Synod has repeatedly addressed itself to the question of abortion." "In the opinion of a number of critics, one major weakness of `Abortion, An Issue for Conscience' is its lack of solid philosophical and theological foundations. .... Such, in fact, is the judgment of the contributors to the present symposium, and their chief aim is to carry the philosophical and theological discussion further than `Abortion, An Issue for Conscience' manages to do. .... Of the seven contributors -- four men and three women -- all are Anglican Christians. We share a principled aversion to the acceptance of abortion as a `solution' for economic, psychological, and social problems." -- Preface.
Contents: Contributors -- Preface dated 25 April 1975 / Eugene Fairweather and Ian Gentles -- Abortion and Rights : The Value of Political Freedom / Sheila and George Grant -- The Unborn Citizen : Do We Need a Law Against Abortion ? / Ian Gentles -- The Bible and the Unborn Child : Reflections on Life Before Birth / Harley Smyth -- The Child as Neighbour : Abortion as a Theological Issue / Eugene Fairweather -- Feminism and Abortion : A Few Hidden Grounds / Marnie de Varent -- Life Before Birth : The Medical Evidence / Karen Colden.
"The Canadian Critical Issues Series has grown out of the Canadian Public Issues Project, which was initiated at the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education early in the summer of 1969. The purpose of the project was to stimulate discussion and reflection about controversial issues in contemporary Canadian society by developing a program focusing on these issues through case studies. .... The books, adapted from these units, are intended to be both provocative and informative. Case studies are followed by questions and analogy situations designed to stimulate reflection and discussion about the broader issues they raise. Additional factual information is included to bring other perspectives to bear on the cases and the problems they represent. Each book concludes with a select bibliography of reference and resources materials in print and on film and tape". -- Preface.
"When does the state have the right to deny the wishes of the individual in issues involving birth, life, and death ? Case studies on euthanasia, religious views and medicine, abortion, compulsory sterilization, and capital punishment provide the basis for consideration of this vital question". -- back cover.
Contents: Preface / John Eisenberg, Malcolm Levin, Editors -- 1. Euthanasia: The Case of Jack Strom -- 2. Religious Views and Medicine: The Dewaal Baby -- 3. Abortion: The Decision of June Jacobson -- The Tragedy of Debbie Wilson -- 4. Compulsory Sterilization: The Sterilization of Jean Daniels -- The Case of Monica Forbes -- 5. Capital Punishment: Regina vs. Arthur Lucas -- Bibliography.
Dean Nock, in introducing the report of the Task Force on Human Life on Abortion, noted General Synod, 1971, Resolution which called for the establishment of the Task Force, and General Synod, 1973, Resolution requesting the Task Force to produce a report for November NEC on Abortion.
The Primate introduced those members of the Task Force present: Rev. P. Chidwick - Chairman, Rev. P. Gibson, Miss Betty C. Graham, Mr. H. Allan Leal, Mr. S.E. Kingstone, Dr. C.R. Feilding, Dr. David McCallion, Mrs. Phyllis Creighton, Dr. Eugene Fairweather.
Mr. Chidwick, in his introductory remarks, noted that the Task Force will address itself in the future to such pertinent areas of concern as transplantation, cloning, euthanasia, artificial insemination by donor, and stated that the Task Force would be pleased to submit further Papers to the NEC.
Mrs. Phyllis Creighton, in speaking to the Report on behalf of the Task Force, noted three major areas to which the Task Force had given consideration; the Law, the Church's role, and the Community.
Following a period of discussion and dialogue with members of the Task Force the following action was taken.
That this National Executive Council receive the Report on Abortion of the Task Force on Human Life with appreciation to the members of the Task Force for their efforts, insights and recommendations;
That we endorse those recommendations and express the hope that the Task Force will continue its work within the original terms of reference;
And that we commend the Report to the Church, the Government and the Community for study, and that it be referred to the Program Committee to publish and implement the Report in close cooperation with the Task Force on Human Life. CARRIED
In closing, the Primate thanked the members of the Task Force for their presence, and for their generous gifts of interdisciplinary expertise represented in the Report on Abortion. Archbishop Scott paid special tribute to Mrs. Phyllis Creighton who edited and compiled the Report, and presented Mrs. Creighton with a floral token of appreciation on behalf of the members of the National Executive Council.
Toronto hospitals are performing abortions "without restriction," according to a prominent official of the Anglican Church of Canada.
Rev. Arthur Brown, rector of a large Toronto parish and a member of the National Executive Council of General Synod made the charge in connection with deliberations on a forthcoming report by a Task Force on Human Life.
The report is not expected to be completed until the end of 1973 and Father Brown said he and other pastors are impatiently awaiting it for guidance on new and complex moral situations.
He told bishops and other delegates from across Canada to the executive council that "all kinds of girls are going through our hospitals in metropolitan Toronto being aborted of pregnancies." His information, he said, comes from nurses and other hospital staff.
Father Brown claimed that staffs in some Toronto hospitals are aborting without restriction "under the guise of it being good for the total health of the mother."
Five years ago, he said, one Toronto hospital listed 28 abortions. Last year, the number was over 300, "ten times as many, or more."
He said "doctors are compromised by the destruction of human life" in this abortion situation. On becoming doctors, he said, they swear an oath to preserve life but due to the present situation "they are placed in a major compromised situation."
Father Brown said nursing staffs are upset over having to clean up after induced miscarriages and they come to him for guidance.
Archbishop E.W. Scott, primate of the Anglican Church of Canada expressed deep sympathy towards the position described by Father Brown but said the task force's report will take another year due to the complexities of the issues involved.
"It's becoming obvious that people are feeling a need for help in making decisions in these areas," Archbishop Scott said.
"Each case has to be evaluated in terms of the health of the mother and the possible health of the child, and not only on the question of the sanctity of life but also in the area of the quality of life."
Archbishop Scott emphasized that hospital boards deciding abortion cases should include persons representing moral issues as well as medical issues.
Besides abortion, the task force is studying the whole concept of when life begins and ends in relation to euthanasia, transplants, biological engineering and the vast implications of discoveries in biochemistry. Archbishop Scott said the study has become increasingly complex as it delves into the legal, medical, moral and social aspects of life. The task force is composed of lawyers, doctors, research scientists, housewives, social workers, theologians and others. It is also consulting with similarly concerned groups in the United States, Britain and other parts of the world.
A progress report will be presented to the General Synod of the Anglican Church of Canada at its biennial meeting next May in Regina.