VANCOUVER, B.C., June 18, 2009 ( – A leader in the B.C. abortion industry has called for better access in Canada to late-term abortions.  At a Tribute Rally honoring the recently-killed late-term abortionist George Tiller in Vancouver on June 18th, Jill Doctoroff, Director of the Elizabeth Bagshaw Women's Clinic in Vancouver, delivered a speech on the need for later abortions.

According to Doctoroff, “the need for later abortions and access to them is essential.”

Emphasizing the uniqueness of each case in which abortion is “needed,” Doctoroff said, “The story of later abortions isn't one story but many: the stories of women, and women and their families.” 

Appealing for compassion, she used hypothetical incidents in an attempt to show the difficulty imposed upon women by limited access to late-term abortion.  She described, for example, a couple who want a baby, but find their child has a genetic abnormality.  After waiting, so as to be sure, for appointments and test results, the couple is already late into pregnancy, and would have difficulty in obtaining an abortion.

Since 1988, when the Supreme Court struck down what remained of Canada's abortion law, there has been no legal restriction on abortion whatsoever, making late-term abortion fully legal.  Currently, however, it is impossible to gauge the situation with regard to late-term abortions, since accurate statistics on the procedure do not exist. According to some reports there are not many doctors willing to perform abortions late into pregnancy and late-term abortions appear to make up a small percentage of the number of abortions conducted in Canada. However, as LSN has reported, access to these abortions may not be as limited as abortion advocates assert (see related articles below).

In her speech Doctoroff blamed the pro-life movement for the current state of late-term abortion in Canada.  “The success of the anti-choice in framing this issue runs deep,” she says.  “It is easy to have a knee jerk reaction to later abortions mainly due to the misinformation that has been spread about these procedures and the reasons that surround them. Anti-choice, anti-abortion groups have been successful at framing the discussion about later abortions.”

Doctoroff offered tribute to recently murdered late-term abortionist George Tiller, who is revered as a hero by many abortion advocates. “It is thanks to the courage, dedication and competence of providers like Dr. George Tiller that women have access to later abortions,” she said.  “One positive thing that has been happening in the weeks since his murder is that people are starting to talk and women are telling their stories.”

Estimates say that over 60,000 unborn children were killed at Tiller's Wichita abortion facility since he began in 1975.  The month before his death, Tiller was acquitted of 19 charges of committing illegal late-term abortions. But immediately following the announcement of the acquittal the Kansas State Board of Healing Arts said they were going to bring 11 charges against his license.

Concluding her speech, Doctoroff said, “Unfortunately, access to abortion, and especially later abortion, remains an unnecessary barrier in Canada.   Can't we provide better comprehensive reproductive care, which includes abortion care, to women? I think we can.”

See the text of the speech:

The Need for Later Abortions

See related coverage:

The Canadian Late-Term Abortion Cover-Up

Proof of Third Trimester Abortions in Canada

More and Better Late-Term Abortion Data Called for by Canadian Federal Agency


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