Canadian gvmt reports 82,869 abortions for 2013, but the figure is ‘woefully inadequate’: pro-life leader

The latest official statistics show a drop in abortion numbers, but the report admits it only gives part of the picture.
Fri Feb 20, 2015 - 1:26 pm EST
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OTTAWA, February 20, 2015 ( -- According to statistics released February 17 by the Canadian Institute for Health Information (CIHI), abortion in Canada decreased in 2013, with the number of children killed in utero dropping from 83,708 in 2012 to 82,869.

But as much as pro-life advocates would like to welcome this as evidence that abortion is on the wane, their own investigations and CIHI’s stated methodology lead to the inescapable conclusion that there are literally countless more victims of abortion in Canada.

Hospitals must by provincial or territorial law report to CIHI, a non-profit inter-governmental organization that has been collecting abortion statistics since 1995, and replaced Statistics Canada in 2006 in publishing them. But abortion clinics are not so compelled, leaving data “incomplete,” as CIHI’s report notes. There are clinics in BC, for example, that provide no information at all.

Moreover, CIHI collects hospital data using a “discharge abstract database,” points out Patricia Maloney, a pro-life blogger who has been battling a 2012 Ontario ban on the release of abortion information.

Discharge records exclude abortions committed in doctor’s offices, and drug-induced or “medical” abortions, Maloney told LifeSiteNews.

“Fee-for-service” records, for all fees paid to doctors by provincial health insurance plans, provide the most accurate statistics, she contends, because these include all medically insured abortions, regardless of method or venue.

Maloney, who blogs at Run With Life, can back up her claim. After painstakingly obtaining and analyzing 2010 OHIP records, she discovered a discrepancy between these and CIHI’s statistics, which reported 28,765 abortions in Ontario for that year. Maloney’s tally was 44,091, a shocking 45.4 percent increase.

CIHI’s report on 2013 describes “exploring using fee-for-service records” for abortion statistics, but ultimately rejecting the idea because of national variation in use of fees. Reporting on abortions committed in “hospitals and abortion clinic only,” it notes, “probably underestimates” the number.

Maloney doesn’t buy this argument, but she is currently in no position to provide accurate statistics. Since Ontario’s freedom of information law exempted information on abortion from release in January 2012, her requests for OHIP records have been denied.

She and constitutional lawyer Albertos Polizogopoulos took the matter to court in July 2013, but despite their best efforts, the exemption remains in force, leaving Maloney and Polizogopoulos deciding on their next move.

Accurate abortion statistics are essential, she says, adding that this is not just an Ontario problem. If there were 45.4 percent more abortions committed in 2010 in her province than reported, it’s possible that result could be extrapolated across the country.

Which means, points out Johanne Brownrigg of Campaign Life Coalition, that CIHI’s “woefully inadequate” figure of 82,869 vindicates her group’s conservative estimate of 100,000 babies aborted annually in Canada.

An Ottawa lobbyist for the national political lobbying group, Brownrigg says an estimated prenatal death toll of 100,000 cannot be regarded as “an exaggeration” but “an accurate reflection of the tragedy.”

According to Rick Hiemstra of the Evangelical Fellowship of Canada (EFC), accurate abortion statistics are essential because “governments and bureaucracies tend to ignore what they don’t measure. In the West numbers tend to make a problem real and their absence tends, at least politically, to make a problem go away.”  The EFC produced a comprehensive report in 2012 entitled Black Holes: Canada’s Missing Abortion Data, calling for full disclosure of abortion related records.

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Even if incomplete, CIHI’s 2013 statistics provide heartbreaking and chilling evidence of Canada’s culture of death.

Of the 82,869 recorded abortions for 2013, 35,003 were committed in hospitals, and 47,866 in abortion clinics.

Quebec, Ontario, and Alberta accounted for 77 percent of this total (25,253, 25,108 and 13,376 in each province, respectively). In Alberta, five times as many pre-born babies were aborted in clinics as in hospitals, (11,150 to 2,226 respectively).

A CIHI breakdown of hospital statistics (excluding Quebec, which does not provide detailed information) revealed that 40 percent of abortions were committed on unborn babies of 9 to 12 weeks gestational age (10,186). A further 1,740 children (6.8 percent) were aborted at 13 to 16 weeks gestation, while 822 (3.2 percent) pre-born children were killed at 17 to 20 weeks gestation. And CIHI reports 540 children (2.2 percent) aborted at 21 weeks gestational age, or older in Canada’s hospitals. Twenty-nine percent or 7,390 children were aborted at 8 weeks or under, and 4,741 (18.6 percent) were age unknown.

CIHI also reported that 27.6 percent, or 7,018, of abortions committed in hospitals were repeat abortions. (Again, this excludes Quebec.) Of these, 4,469 women were seeking a second abortion, while for 2,549 women it was a third, or more, abortion.

Based on data available from hospitals and clinics, CIHI reported that women aged 20 to 24 had the highest rate of abortion (27.3 percent, or 22,635), with women aged 25 to 29 accounting for 21.3 percent (17,682). Twelve percent of abortions were sought by women aged 19 and under (10,137). CIHI noted that, “detailed age information is not available from clinics in New Brunswick, Manitoba and British Columbia.”  

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