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OTTAWA, December 6, 2016 (LifeSiteNews) – The taxpayer-funded Canadian Broadcasting Corporation has shrugged off a complaint about biased coverage of the abortion drug RU-486 with two arguments that “compete with one another for idiocy,” according to one pro-life group.

Ottawa pro-life blogger Patricia Maloney complained to the CBC ombudsman about a report on the restrictions Health Canada imposed on RU-486,or Mifegymiso, when it allowed the abortifacient to be prescribed to women for do-at-home abortions.

Though the restrictions follow those in other countries intended to protect women from the dangerous side effects, especially hemorrhaging, the CBC interviewed University of British Columbia public health professor Wendy Norman about how the restrictions hurt women’s access to the drug. Norman called the restrictions “bizarre and strange.”

The CBC made no attempt to find a doctor or organization that explained the reasons behind Health Canada’s regulations, Maloney complained.

After three months and several emails and phone calls, CBC ombudsman Esther Enkin responded to Maloney, informing her that she found no evidence of bias. Her explanation was twofold.

First, the report did not require balance on the overall issue of RU-486’s risk to women because Norman’s comments were only about how the requirement that a doctor dispense the drug rather than a pharmacist made it harder for women to get the cocktail (one pill to kill the baby, the second to expel the baby from the womb).

As Enkin put it, “The Managing Editor for CBC News Network, Jennifer Harwood … replied to your complaint. She stated that the interview was not a debate about the safety of the drug. Rather it was about the issue of accessibility. … In that context, it is my view that the coverage was fair and balanced.”

Maloney found the explanation ludicrous. “My point was that it is precisely because the safety of the drug is dangerous, is exactly why accessibility should be more difficult.”

The second reason Enkin found no bias is that the CBC believes it must be “fair and balanced” in its coverage, not on a story-by-story basis but with all its stories on the topic over a “reasonable period of time.”

“Fair” enough, Maloney said. She checked 20 recent CBC stories on RU-486. “The first four might be said to be somewhat neutral. … The remain[ing] 16 CBC articles on RU-486 all quote only pro-abortion advocates, and no alternate pro-life viewpoints, with Dr. Wendy Norman a seeming favourite of CBC journalists. Dr. Norman is quoted six times.”  

Gwen Landolt of REAL Women of Canada told LifeSiteNews, “These two arguments compete with each other for idiocy. They just show the CBC shares the feverish intent of the pro-abortion industry to bring about abortion with no concern for the safety of women.”

According to Landolt, “The CBC never, never, never had any interest in balanced coverage on abortion since 1969.” Her own organization did a content survey several years ago and found clear evidence of bias.

Jack Fonseca of the Campaign Life Coalition agrees. “The CBC is undeniably in the tank for the abortion industry. It is absurd for it to deny its bias.” In fact, Fonseca says, it should proclaim its pro-abortion position by saying, “We make no apologies for it and please view all our coverage through that lens.”

The regimen prescribed by Health Canada requires the mother to be given the prescription in the doctor’s presence. Within two weeks, she must see the doctor again to check for the possible side effects, including “infection and sepsis, the risk of heavy bleeding and the embryotoxicity of Mifegymiso for an ongoing pregnancy (treatment failure) or any immediate subsequent pregnancy.”

Other aftereffects of RU-486, posted on Health Canada’s website: diarrhea, fever/chills, nausea, vomiting, weakness, headaches, and dizziness. The most frequent severe aftereffects were vomiting, fever/chills, and headaches.


– Abortion pill coming to Canada this spring
– Canadian pharmacists protest exclusion from RU-486 sales