IS ABORTION ACCESSIBLE IN CANADA?

This Saturday many Canadian women will celebrate the 20th anniversary of the striking down of Canada’s abortion law and the end of the persecution of Dr. Henry Morgentaler.

Most medical professionals expected abortions to increase. In fact thy have held pretty steady. Medical professionals think they know why.

Abortions are all right in theory, not so much so in practice. Fewer than one in five hospitals in Canada perform abortions. Prince Edward Island offers no abortion services at all. New Brunswick has created barriers to access, requiring referrals from two doctors.

Access to abortion services is almost non-existent in the North. There is not a single abortion provider north of the Trans-Canada Highway in Ontario. If a woman travels out of province or to the United States – which many women are forced to do because of lack of timely access domestically – she must pay for the abortion out of her own pocket. In the nation’s capital, Ottawa, the wait time for an abortion stretches to six weeks.
Drug-induced abortion (RU-486) – the method of choice of about one-third of women in Europe – is not available in Canada.

In the abortion case 20 years ago, Madam Justice Bertha Wilson wrote that a woman has a right to continue or terminate a pregnancy, free of state interference.

If abortions are legal in Canada, does the government have an obligation to provide them?

Or should legal abortions be made as difficult as possible to obtain?

21 Comments »

  1. 1
    Barbara Says:

    Are you a glutton for punishment, Neil?

  2. 2
    SUZANNE Says:

    LOL @Barbara.

    If abortions are so inaccessible, how come there are 100 000 of them a year?

    The reason why women do not have access to abortion is because doctors do not want to do them. And they shouldn’t be forced to.

    Abortion, itself, is a shady business. It’s run on a set of principles different than the rest of the medical community. Abortionists are allowed to get away with low levels of hygiene. They are often the bottom-feeders of the medical profession– they have nowhere else to run after a firing or a license suspension, so they do abortions. Planned Parenthood has been caught on numerous occasions enabling child molesters by refusing to report girls who were obvious victims of statutory rape. Just look at the case of George Tiller in Kansas. He has many elected officials in his pocket. He commits illegal late-term abortions. Just look at the latest abortion documentary from Spain (footage available from YouTube). Co-operative doctors sign fake papers to help women get abortions.

    It’s a completely different culture than the rest of the medical community. I’m not surprised people don’t want to get involved.

  3. 3
    Joe Agnost Says:

    If all you write is true (IF), then all you’ve established here, suzanne, is that the abortion industry needs to be run better. Not eliminated, just regulated and monitored to ensure that proper standards are followed.

    Dirty ORs? Sleazy doctors? Then clean it up! Don’t eliminate it because a small fraction of people think it’s important to FORCE a woman to carry a baby she doesn’t want.

  4. 4
    Paul Costopoulos Says:

    Well, for once, although I have many reservations about abortion, I totally agree with Joe.
    And, no, I am not in contradiction with myself. I just do not want my convictions to be rammed down the throat of those who do not think like I do.
    However I do question those who use abortion as sole contraception method. There are better ways.

  5. 5
    Joe Agnost Says:

    “Well, for once, although I have many reservations about abortion, I totally agree with Joe.”

    Thanks…. I mean HEY! How DARE you?!?! 🙂

    “I do question those who use abortion as sole contraception method. There are better ways.”

    I don’t think there are many (any?) people like this. Abortion is a horrible experience that nobody would want to have to endure. I don’t know any women who enjoyed it – they would never want to do it again. They don’t regret the decision they made for it was necessary in their cases – but it was nothing short of hell. Not pleasant at all….

    It’s a last resort – I can’t imagine anyone who would use it as the sole contraception method.

  6. 6
    Paul Costopoulos Says:

    They may be few…but they exist and they don’t seem to learn from the experience. Ignorance, unavailabilty of other means, no money to afford somethimg else? They need help more than any other thing.

  7. 7
    SUZANNE Says:

    Paul wrote:

    And, no, I am not in contradiction with myself. I just do not want my convictions to be rammed down the throat of those who do not think like I do.

    Paul, if you believe that unborn children are equal human beings (I’m assuming that’s why you believe abortion is wrong– stop me if I’m incorrect) then why would feel hesitant about “shoving your beliefs down people’s throats”?

    Our political elites had no hesitation about shoving beliefs down people’s throats about a number of issues when it was a question of basic human rights.

    If unborn children morally deserve legal protection– and that’s what the crux of the issue comes down to– then they deserve protection. I don’t worry about offending pedophiles by support criminal penalties for various acts of child abuse. People’s opinions are irrelevant about what the goal should be.

    That being said, it would be ideal to persuade a large majority of people of the equality of unborn children.

    As for the abortion industry: yes, you could try to improve it, but the nature of abortion is such that it attracts shady characters. Not all abortionists are drug-users, child molesters, incompetents, etc. But a lot of them are. It’s like the plastic surgery biz. Sure, there are good doctors, but it’s an easy buck. Abortions take a few minutes a piece and you can do them all day long. That’s why pro-lifers call them “abortion mills”. That’s the way they’re operated.

  8. 8
    Paul Costopoulos Says:

    Suzanne,
    Two wrongs don’t make a right. I still think people should be free to act according to their beliefs or lack thereof. And governments are there to protect that right. I’m all for persuasion, I’m all against coercion.

  9. 9
    Chimera Says:

    Suzanne is up to her plimsoll. I’ll bet her eyes are brown.

    Anyone caught shoving their personal beliefs down my throat will have a very short period of time in which to settle their relationship with whatever diety appeals to them, and then they choke on whatever it is they’re trying to make me eat. I’m not forcing anyone to adhere to my beliefs. You do it to me at your own very considerable risk.

    And I’m not alone in this. Most people I know are fed up to the teeth with the pushers and pimps of ideology. We’re all starting to push back.

  10. 10
    Tony Kondaks Says:

    [Evil-doers] kill the baby and cause abortion of the unborn.

    Taoism. Treatise on Response and Retribution

    Slay not your children, fearing a fall to poverty. We shall provide for
    them and for you. Lo! the slaying of them is great sin.

    Islam. Qur’an 17.31

    It is a capital crime to destroy an embryo in the womb.

    Judaism. Talmud, Sanhedrin 57b

    If a woman is in hard travail, one cuts up the child in her womb and
    brings it forth member by member, because her life comes before the child.

    Judaism. Mishnah, Ohalot 7.6

    A bhikkhu who intentionally kills a human being, down to procuring
    abortion, is no ascetic and no follower of the Fraternity of the Buddha.

    Buddhism. Vinaya, Mahavagga i.78.4

    Those versed in the sacred law state that there are three acts only which
    make women outcastes: the murder of the husband, slaying a learned
    brahmin, and the destruction of the fruit of their womb.

    Hinduism. Vasishtha Dharma Sutra 28.7

  11. 11
    Chimera Says:

    Tony, you go right ahead and believe what you want to believe. Nobody is gonna stop you from living your own life according to your own thoughts, emotions, and beliefs. If you don’t want to have an abortion, don’t have one. But you have no right to force someone else to live by your rules.

    None.

  12. 12
    Tony Kondaks Says:

    Chimera says: “you have no right to force someone else to live by your rules.”

    Does that mean, Chimera, that if I impregnate a woman who decides, unilaterally, to bring that baby to term and keep it that she cannot sue me in order to get child support? After all, she has no right to force me to live by her rules…

  13. 13
    Peter LeBlanc Says:

    I would suspect that over the years many women, with great difficulty ,who are Pro Choice have decided not to have an abortion. I would suspect that over the years, many women, with great difficulty, who are Pro Life have decided to have an abortion. When concept and experience meet, there is a great tension, as it should be. Governments face the same tension when making laws for its people. I am against abortion as a concept.

  14. 14
    Tony Kondaks Says:

    An alternative to abortion for a teenager who finds herself with an unwanted pregnancy is explored in the wonderful movie “Juno”.
    I highly recommend it.

  15. 15
    Chimera Says:

    “…if I impregnate a woman…”

    You’ve heard of condoms? You know about responsibility? If you’re not man enough to take your own responsibility for contraception, then how about you swallow a bit of your own bitter medicine, eh?

    If, after both you and your partner have made sincere efforts at contraception, she still gets pregnant, then you both have some decisions to make, and quickly. So I’d suggest you start planning now, while there’s still time.

    If she wants to have a baby and you don’t, then you have to settle it between you. This is a private concern, not a societal one. Whatever arrangement is finally arrived at will affect only you and her, not society as a whole.

    On the other hand, you’d like the personal freeedom to force an entire society to live by rules that don’t suit them. Not. Gonna. Happen.

  16. 16
    jim Says:

    If one believes in abortion, it should be made retroactive for that person.

  17. 17
    SUZANNE Says:

    Chimera

    When people believe in human rights, they don’t back down.

    I will continue to persuade people that unborn children are equal human beings who deserve the right to life. And when a critical threshold has been reached, fetal rights legislation will be passed in Canada, and the human rights of ALL human beings in Canada will be respected.

  18. 18
    Chimera Says:

    I have no problem with human rights for human beings. Matter of fact, I insist upon it. But I draw the line at including a fetus in the definition of a human being.

    An acorn is not an oak tree. An egg is not a chicken. A fetus is not a person.

  19. 19
    SUZANNE Says:

    Well, your definition of a human being is unscientific.

    An acorn is not an oak tree because it’s not an organism.

    Same thing with an egg. Not an organism.

    A fetus is an organism of the species homo sapiens, i.e. a human being.

    Discounting him because he’s not “old enough” to be a human being in your book is the same kind of discrimination that has been practiced in the past: a person of the wrong color was not a human being; a person of the wrong gender; a person of the wrong ethnic group, etc.

    All human beings are equal.

  20. 20
    Joe Agnost Says:

    “Discounting him because he’s not ‘old enough’ to be a human being”

    Pul-ease!

    Nobody is discounting him because he’s not “old enough”… he’s discounted because he’s a bloody fetus!! (sheesh!)

    When you’re through forcing women to carry babies (they DON’T want) to term are you going to start campaigning for fetus driver’s licences too? I mean, they’re human beings right? They deserve the right to drive… (roll eyes).

    “All human beings are equal.”

    First of all, that’s not true. Second of all, how is a 2 month fetus in need of mummy’s body to grow for another 7-8 months equal to a person running around the playground??

    Oh right – I know. The 2 month fetus is important to the pro-lifer, but once they’re born they’re not important anymore. Adoption? Foster homes? Unfit parents in way over their head?? Ahhhh, that’s not important right? The important thing is you managed to get a woman to carry this unwanted fetus to term – no need inconveniencing yourself with what happens to it once it’s born… that’s not your fight is it?

  21. 21
    Chimera Says:

    Organism: noun: a living thing that has (or can develop) the ability to act or function independently.

    So an acorn is not an organism? That’s gonna be big news to a lot of botanists. And an agg is not an organism? That will probably surprise the hell outa the zoologists, especially the ornithologists.

    ‘Scuse me, but you don’t mind if I get my scientific definitions from real scientists, do you?


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