John Hof and Campaign Life Coalition end relationship over 'gestation'
By Nathan Rumohr
The B.C. Catholic
A splinter in the pro-life movement has thrust "gestational" abortion legislation back into the pro-life conversation.
Earlier this summer B.C. pro-life activist John Hof and Campaign Life Coalition (CLC) parted ways over this issue. Hof, the former president of CLCBC, favours the strategy, whereas CLC is militantly opposed.
Although he says he is adamantly against abortion in any case, Hof said supporting gestational law would save babies right now. "In Canada a pregnant mother can put her child on the train track for abortion for all nine months of pregnancy."
"There are no shortcuts (to outlawing abortion); it's not a footrace, it's a marathon," CLC president Jim Hughes told The B.C. Catholic. He insisted that gestational legislation doesn't work because politicians will ignore it.
"There are probably a dozen incremental strategies that don't include the gestational approach," Hughes said, referring to incremental abortion strategies such as defunding abortion clinics, and conscience laws.
He said this was proved by Ottawa's inability to support "common-sense" bills like Bill C-510, known as Roxanne's Law, which would have outlawed coerced abortions, and Bill C-484, the Unborn Victims of Crime Act.
"If common-sense bills won't pass, you don't stand a snowball's chance of passing any restrictive measures on abortion unless you've got the numbers," Hughes said.
"It's a numbers game, and a lot of people don't want to do the hard work necessary to seek out and nominate pro-lifers and get behind them and help them get elected to the various legislatures across the country and the House of Commons."
Hof disagreed with Hughes about politics, saying politics is the art of the possible. He added that pro-lifers holding out or stopping people who advocate for gestational legislation are holding out for the impossible.
Hof also said a variety of Catholic and pro-life groups including Priests for Life Canada support gestational legislation.
Archbishop J. Michael Miller, CSB, recently released a statement supporting gestational legislation. He affirmed Catholic pro-lifers had freedom to discern how they want to lobby for legislation concerning abortion, as long as they publicly show they are opposed to abortion.
Hof now operates under the banner United for Life B.C. He will continue to help organize and financially support campaigns like the annual March for Life rally in Victoria and the 40 Days for Life movement, as he did while under the CLC umbrella.