Top abortion activist investigated after allegations of inseminating women with wrong sperm
OTTAWA, October 15, 2012 (LifeSiteNews.com) - Dr. Norman Barwin, a prominent pro-abortion activist who runs a fertility clinic in Ottawa, is reportedly under investigation by the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Ontario (CPSO), amidst allegations that he repeatedly inseminated women with the wrong sperm, possibly even his own.
The College of Physicians and Surgeons of Ontario has charged Barwin with conduct that “would reasonably be regarded by members as disgraceful, dishonourable or unprofessional,” according to the Ottawa Citizen.
Barwin is a founder and president of the pro-abortion advocacy group Canadians for Choice, which offers a scholarship for graduate students who are “committed to pro-choice values” and are involved in “research on sexual and reproductive health and rights.”
He was a past president of the Canadian Fertility Society, the Planned Parenthood Federation of Canada and Planned Parenthood Ottawa, and received the Order of Canada for his contribution to “women’s reproductive health.” His biography also notes that he “established the first high school family planning clinic in 1982, which is now established at 10 high schools.”
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.
The investigation by the CPSO’s Discipline Committee stems from allegations that Barwin artificially inseminated three women with the wrong sperm, with suspicion that the sperm he used was his own.
In 2010, two families who accused him of using the wrong sperm when their children were conceived in 2005 and 2007, respectively, sued Barwin. The lawsuits alleged the two children were not biologically related to the men who were meant to be the sperm donors. Both suits asked the court to order that Barwin submit to DNA testing “to conclusively rule out the possibility that he is the donor whose sperm was used.”
The families were seeking $3 million in damages, but the cases did not go to trial.
In 2010 The Globe and Mail reported on another case from the mid 90s, in which a lesbian couple went to Barwin for help conceiving a child. The following year they sued the doctor for allegedly inseminating one of the women with the wrong sperm. The Globe reports that the case was settled out of court.
Another incident, dating back to 1985, reportedly involved a woman who went to Barwin’s Broadview Fertility Clinic to be inseminated with her husband’s sperm. The woman gave birth to a son, but DNA testing proved the husband was not the biological father of the child.
Barwin’s ethical choices were brought into question for other reasons when he was caught, twice, cheating in marathon races.
The Ottawa Citizen reported that Barwin cheated in the May 2001 National Capital Marathon when he placed first in his age category 60-64 - with the help of a car. He was also caught cheating the year before at the Boston Marathon when race officials checked the computer chip, given all racers, to see if he passed all checkpoints.
When interviewed by the Citizen, Barwin first denied any wrongdoing, suggesting his chip was faulty. However, he later changed his story saying he dropped out of the race because he had a hernia and joined in at the end for the “high of coming in.”
Frank Mountain, President of Campaign Life Coalition Ottawa at the time, told LifeSiteNews at the time that it was very much in Barwin’s character to lie and cheat. “When Mr. Barwin broke the moral code by supporting and promoting the killing of the unborn child by abortion, then cheating at marathons is just a piece of cake.”
The College of Physicians and Surgeons of Ontario has not set a date for Barwin’s discipline committee hearing, however the Ottawa Citizen reports that Barwin has ceased the practice of artificial insemination and intra-uterine insemination at his clinic.
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