The Catholic Register has a great interview with Geoff Cauchi, a pro-life lawyer and board member with Alliance for Life Ontario and Life Canada. First, Cauchi talks about the advantage of having no law on abortion for the pro-life movement in Canada. It’s much easier to get people to view the current state of affairs as requiring attention, compared to other countries, like the UK, where people feel like they’ve already reached a legal compromise, Cauchi argues. He continues to discuss some different approaches to abortion laws and the challenges we face in Canada, but I found the most interesting part of the interview to be toward the end.
“I think we have to change hearts first,” he said. “In the case of abortion I firmly believe — and it’s just a personal opinion — that the law will change only when the people as a whole believe that it’s wrong.”
The idea of the law as a teacher applies in most cases, but the history of abortion in Canada shows that governments can’t create a law where there is no societal consensus, said Cauchi.
Weinrib thinks the prospect of using criminal law to change people’s behaviour around abortion is unlikely.
This is the same sort of thinking we find in pro-life groups as diverse as ProWomanProLife (“Canada without abortion. By choice.”) and the Canadian Centre for Bioethical Reform (whose goal is to “make abortion unthinkable” through the use of graphic images).
The lack of a law in Canada is the basis for action — the status quo is unacceptable — but the means through which we can affect the status quo is by changing people’s hearts. Legal changes will follow when more people realize that abortion is not the compassionate response to a crisis pregnancy situation.
I am convinced through my own conversations and experiences that most people recognize the truth about abortion when engaged in honest conversation that forces them to examine the issue.
What are you doing to change people’s hearts?