04 Nov 2013 Natalie Sonnen’s opening remarks at PEI press conference
Good afternoon. My name is Natalie Sonnen and I am the executive director for LifeCanada. LifeCanada is a national educational organization working to ensure that the dignity of all persons is respected, in life, from beginning (conception) to end (natural death). We hold a national conference every year in conjunction with a local member group, and this year we are proud to be sponsoring this Conference with the PEI Right to Life Society.
I would like to thank all of you for coming today, the members of the press, our distinguished guests, ladies and gentlemen.
Abortion is an issue that clearly divides; there is no doubt about that. It divides our nation, it divides our families, it divides couples, and in most cases it divides the very woman herself. Most women who have or who will contemplate abortion find within their own hearts a division. That is because the nature of abortion forces us to address how each and every one of us comes into this world. We are faced immediately with questions about the origins of human existence, and the origins of human rights. It forces us to ask and to have to answer questions about who controls life, who controls our future, and who gets to decide.
No one will deny that nature has seen fit to establish, for us humans, a dilemma. Pregnancy of its very essence means that we have a person within a person. And as we know, persons come with rights.
Some may call the unborn person a non-person, and in doing so feel that they have justified the act of abortion, because a non-person can’t have the rights of an actual person.
But that is not how we see it. The person within the person dilemma, means for us who call ourselves “pro-life” that there is in fact an actual person, with enormous potential and with an entire future waiting to unfold, inside a person who has already been realizing their potential, and whose future is, like that of their unborn child, still unfolding. We hold both of these persons dear, we value both of their lives and we seek to make both futures possible.
For us, abortion is an unspeakable tragedy. Consider for a moment that one in six couples in Canada suffer infertility, that couples waiting to adopt a healthy newborn will, in many cases, have to wait years, and consider that less than 2% of unplanned pregnancies, in Canada, end in adoption. In Ontario alone, that translates into 1 adoption for every 340 abortions. The loss of life is staggering, the loss of human potential is unfathomable, and for those women who, for whatever reason have chosen abortion, their scars will remain forever.
We stand today on an Island in Canada that does not perform abortions. Prince Edward Island is the home of the famous and loved Anne of Green Gables, who, as the story would have it, is a child of adoption. It is for us a beacon of hope, that one day all of Canada will come to recognize and reverence humanity in all of its stages, and not have to resort to killing as a means of solving our social problems.