If we accept the principle that universal human rights are worth embracing, then all human life must be included within this ideal. That's what "universal" means. Human rights begin when human life begins and ends with life's natural conclusion. Anything else is either ignorance or sophistry and bigotry." -- Mark Davis Pickup
Thursday, June 5, 2008
Canada and late term abortions
Abortion ideologues are busy building a myth that there are no late term abortions in Canada. This is blatantly false. They are like other holocaust deniers. In the long and putrid history of abortion on demand in Canada, late term abortions have been part of the equation.
Perhaps you may remember the fiasco that the Calgary Foothills Hospital was caught in during the late 1990s. They were involved in late term abortions of disabled children. They vehemently denied it but unfortunately a nurse who was there spilled the beans. I was later informewd that the hospital simply changed their approach and began fatally injecting children in utero, who were suspected of having disabilities: Voila! Still born not abortion.
Dr. Margaret Somerville, Director of McGill University Centre for Medicine,Ethics and Law, responded to the claim that there are no late term abortions in Canada. She said there were --
"...several late term abortion cases on which I have been consulted by people - some of them healthcare professionals - involved in the decision making about abortion, who were extremely distressed about the situation they were facing.
The case in question involved a married couple - man and woman - who had conceived naturally, the woman was 34 weeks pregnant and the scan showed the baby had a cleft palate. They requested an abortion, because they did not want to have a "defective baby".
In another case, a 29 year old graduate student from [OMITTED] was 32 weeks pregnant and wanted an abortion for social reasons. I was consulted on the case and later followed up to see what happened. The answer I received was that "You don't want to know", said in such a way it was clear an abortion had been undertaken.
I've also been consulted on late term selective reduction of multiple pregnancy in which one or more fetuses are killed in utero with a lethal injection of potassium chloride into their heart and the dead fetus(es) delivered at term with the living one(s). In two cases I know of involving twins, one twin was killed. In fact, I wrote in the New England Journal of Medicine on an early case in which this was done because the woman did not want to have twins and said she would abort both babies unless one was killed.
There is an abortion clinic on Saint Catherine Street in Montreal that, as I understand the situation, does all the very late term (over 22 weeks gestation) abortions in Quebec. It's been reported that the Quebec Government has sent at least one obstetrician to the US to be trained to do these abortions - if they were not happening, why have a clinic and why train someone to do them? And I also understand that late abortions up to 22 weeks (i.e. past the CMA's cut-off for viability of 20 weeks) are usually done at a University of Sherbrooke hospital in Sherbrooke.
I do not have information on other provinces, but I'd be surprised if the situation I describe above is unique to Quebec. There's a truism in ethics, but no less important for that, that good facts are essential to good ethics. We all need to know these facts. The reason we do not, is that some years ago, instructions were given to Statistics Canada not to request from hospitals and clinics reporting, as required, on the number of abortions, the gestational age at which abortion occurred. My understanding is that this was a politically motivated instruction."
There you have it.
Do not believe the rantings of abortion advocates. They will say whatever it takes to defend their sacred cow of abortion on demand.