Accuracy is a news agency’s bread and butter. Readers want facts, laid out clearly and correctly. That’s why we’re always grateful when readers hold our feet to the fire.
After the enormous response to last Wednesday’s story on the 491 babies who died after they were born alive following an abortion, we’ve had a couple of readers raise questions about the statistics we reported. Some have suggested that the number includes both live births and stillbirths. That would obviously undermine the story’s significance.
Before running it we had the same question. The statistics, admittedly, were somewhat confusing. So we contacted StatsCan.
The confusion was that the statistical code used to indicate the cause of these 491 deaths (P96.4) does indeed include both stillbirths and live births. That’s what you’d find if you looked up a description of the code in the Coding Standards put out by the Canadian Institute for Health Information, to which we had linked in the article.
But, while the code includes stillbirths, the particular table (CANSIM Table 102-0536) where you find the 491 deaths listed does not include stillbirths.
The day before running the story, we asked StatsCan whether deaths coded P96.4 on CANSIM Table 102-0536 are just live births or include stillbirths as well, and here was the crux of the response:
“Deaths coded P96.4 are indeed live births. Information regarding stillbirths are provided in CANSIM tables 102-4515 and 102-4516.”
So even though code P96.4 includes stillbirths, all of those coded as such on this table were live births. This particular table is about deaths following birth. That means, as we reported, that between 2000 and 2009, 491 babies died after they were born alive following abortions.
To find the information on StatsCan’s website, you need to go to CANSIM Table 102-0536 and isolate code P96.4 (“Termination of pregnancy, affecting fetus and newborn”).
To do that, first go to the table (at this link), then at the top click “Add/Remove Data”. You’ll see a list of steps: go down to Step 4 and click “All” twice. Then still within Step 4, scroll down to P96.4 and click it. Finally, in Step 5, change the dates to “2000 to 2009”. Click apply, and a table is generated showing the number of babies who died in each year after they were born alive following an abortion.
Obviously every abortion is murder. But the possibility that Canadian babies who manage to survive the abortionist’s clutches are then being left to die is particularly egregious from a political and legal perspective. These babies’ lives are already protected under Canadian law.
The news signals another step down the slippery slope towards infanticide. We’ve already seen a Canadian judge let a mother walk free for infanticide because the country lacks an abortion law, and we’ve got leading ethicists calling for “after-birth” abortion.
Now it turns out doctors have been openly reporting that aborted babies have died after they were born alive, with no explanation for their death besides “termination of pregnancy” and apparently without any investigation.
Prime Minister Stephen Harper
Justice Minister Rob Nicholson