TORONTO, Feb. 4, 2013 (LifeSiteNews.com) - An iconic figure in Canada’s pro-abortion movement has had his medical license revoked for two months after pleading guilty Thursday to inseminating three women with the wrong sperm.
Ottawa fertility specialist Dr. Norman Barwin, president of Canadians for Choice, was found guilty of professional misconduct at a disciplinary hearing of the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Ontario.
“It is hard to imagine a more fundamental error in your former specialty,” said panel chairman Dr. William King, according to the Ottawa Citizen.
The hearing came after two families brought lawsuits accusing the doctor of wrongful insemination. The families even charged him with using his own sperm, though the accusation was never proven and the lawsuits were settled out of court.
A native of South Africa, Barwin arrived in Ottawa in 1973 and opened his fertility centre in the 1980s. He specialized in gynaecology, but never became certified as a gynaecologist in Canada after failing the exam.
He is a former president of the Planned Parenthood Federation of Canada and received the Order of Canada in 1997 for his work in “reproductive health” and to advance the “Planned Parenthood movement.” Canadians for Choice offers an annual scholarship in his honour called the Dr. Norman Barwin Scholarship for Reproductive Health.
The College notes that they issued Barwin a warning in 1995 after another instance in 1994 when he used the wrong sperm.
In one of the three cases dealt with on Thursday, the patient became pregnant in 2004 and discovered after DNA testing three years later that her child was not biologically related to the man whose sperm Dr. Barwin was told to use.
The second case involved a woman acting as a surrogate for her sister who was supposed to be inseminated around the end of 2006 with sperm from the sister’s husband, but the family discovered in 2008 that the child was not biologically related to the husband.
In a third case from around 1985, a woman was supposed to be inseminated with her husband’s sperm, but discovered after DNA testing in 2011 that the child was not her husband’s biological offspring.
The abortion activist gave up his fertility practice last year, but maintains that he has no idea how the errors happened. His lawyer, Karen Hamway, told the hearing: “There must have been some type of human error. … He cannot explain how the error occurred.”
Barwin also made headlines in the early 2000s after he was caught cheating in the Boston Marathon and the National Capital Marathon, with the help of a car.