OTTAWA, January 29, 2016 (LifeSiteNews) – Apparently unaware that the abortion industry has opposed the release of abortion statistics for years, New Democratic MP Kennedy Stewart wants Statistics Canada to revive its once-annual therapeutic abortion survey.
Patricia Maloney, a longtime crusader for public access to abortion numbers, told LifeSiteNews she was “just thrilled that the NDP agrees with me in regards to getting accurate abortion statistics,” but doesn’t expect it to last. “I do think the Left has its signals crossed and I speculate that we will hear little on this in future once Stewart gets the memo. I just hope I'm wrong.”
Stewart had asked the Trudeau government to list all the data categories that Statistics Canada had stopped compiling under the previous government of Stephen Harper. Though the written response was more than 500 items long, the abortion survey, according to Ipolitics, “jumped out” at Stewart.
“That’s been collected since 1970,” said Stewart, who has not returned a LifeSiteNews request for an interview. “And then they cancel it. They cancelled the publication, the tables, and the survey. … We should look into it more. Again, we’ve had a lot of news reports about how abortions are hard to obtain in different provinces. Once you get rid of this tracking, it makes it very, very difficult to do things like enforce the Canada Health Act.”
But according to access to information crusader Patricia Maloney, “The decision was StatCan’s, not Harper’s.” Maloney, who has taken the Ontario government to court over its refusal to publish abortion statistics, told LifeSiteNews, that “after the 1988 Morgentaler decision when the abortion law was struck down, clinics began doing abortions.” But because private clinics, unlike public hospitals, did not have to report to StatCan, the agency realized that “the therapeutic abortion survey was no longer accurate.”
That’s why, according to Maloney, in 1995 Statistics Canada handed off the job of counting abortions to the Canadian Institute for Health Information, though, according to StatCan’s website, it continued to report CIHI’s numbers until 2006, when it got tired of being blamed for the obviously incomplete data.
Maloney told LifeSiteNews the abortion lobby wants to suppress abortion statistics “because I believe the numbers are far greater than we think they are, and the ‘pro-choice’ crowd most likely doesn't want people to know this. They prefer to delude people into believing stats are going down and not up.” Maloney in fact believes the abortion numbers that the CIHI reports for Ontario are 50 percent too low.
But Maloney and other pro-life activists also want detailed statistics about regional and age-group variations, ironically sharing the NDP’s belief that good policy cannot be formulated without solid facts.
Stewart’s comments indicate his concern that women across Canada do not have equal access to abortion, which Jack Fonseca of the Campaign Life Coalition, says is the abortion lobby’s “newest tactic,” emerging only in the last year. “The idea is that abortion is a human right and so everyone across the country should have access to it equally,” he told LifeSiteNews, “even in small towns.”
The problem with pushing for public subsidies to ensure every community has an abortionist, Fonseca argued, is “that many small towns don’t even have a family doctor, they don’t have an MRI unit, they don’t have a cancer clinic, they can’t replace hips and knees.” To put abortion ahead of these needed services for something that “isn’t medically necessary, isn’t a genuine illness or disease, is ludicrous.”
Fonseca agrees with Maloney that the NDP will quietly lose its interest in abortion data “when it gets the memo” from the abortion lobby.
Joyce Arthur, executive director of the Abortion Rights Coalition of Canada, could not be reached. But in the past she has argued that the Ontario government suppressed abortion statistics to “protect providers from being identified, targeted, harassed, and put at risk of anti-choice violence.” The Ontario Freedom of Information commissioner rejected the claim.
Fonseca believes that abortion advocates have a different motivation. “They don’t want Canadians thinking about the phenomenal number of human beings being mass-murdered each year.”
The Canadian Institute for Health Information reported 81,000 abortions across Canada in 2014, while LifeSiteNews and Maloney recently estimated the real total to be approximately 117,000.