By Patrick B. Craine
TORONTO, Ontario, June 7, 2010 (LifeSiteNews.com) – Women’s College Hospital (WCH) of Toronto, long known for its feminist and pro-abortion advocacy, has decried the Canadian government’s decision against funding Third World abortions through their G8 maternal and child health initiative. In a letter to the editor for the National Post, chief of staff Dr. Jim Ruderman claims that abortion is necessary to advancing the health of children in the developing world.
Ruderman wrote Monday that because of WCH’s “commitment to women's health and to women's reproductive freedom,” they “feel compelled to comment” on the government’s decision.
“Prime Minister Stephen Harper himself remarked on ‘the appalling mortality among mothers and small children in the Third World,’” he wrote. “It is important to remember that the lack of access to safe abortion contributes to that ‘appalling mortality.’”
“The United Nations points out that approximately 70,000 women in the developing world die each year from unsafe abortions,” he continued, claiming parenthetically that another 8 million “suffer serious complications.”
These women “leave behind 220,000 motherless children—children who are 10 times more likely to die within two years than children who still have their mothers,” he added.
Prime Minister Stephen Harper announced in January that Canada would use its presidency of this month’s G8 summit to rally governments in support of maternal and child health in the developing world. He immediately faced strong pressure from the abortion lobby and opposition parties, but in April the government confirmed their position against abortion funding in the plan.
From the beginning, Harper laid out his intention to focus on such “simple health-care solutions” as clean water, inoculations, nutrition, and skilled birth attendants. When he defended the government’s stance against abortion funding in the House of Commons on April 27, he pointed out that they need to focus their use of funds. “We are clear what initiatives we are funding and, believe me, there is more than enough to do in those areas to save the lives of women and children,” he said.
His decision was supported last week by a new report from the World Health Organization and UNICEF which emphasized that the highest risk of mortality for mothers and babies occurs before, during, and just after birth. The report revealed that two million maternal, newborn, and stillbirth deaths could be averted each year simply by providing skilled birth attendants.
Ruderman, however, wrote that the government ought “to reconsider a policy that is neither sound in public health terms nor compassionate and fair in providing full access to health care for the vulnerable women of the world.”
Mary Ellen Douglas, national organizer of Campaign Life Coalition, told LifeSiteNews (LSN) that “suggesting the abortion of a child is beneficial to the other siblings in a family is just plain crazy.”
Ruderman’s claim that large numbers of women are dying from abortions in the Third World is “deceitful,” she added, pointing out that inflating that statistic has been a longstanding tactic of the pro-abortion movement.
For example, in 1985, infamous Canadian abortionist Henry Morgentaler claimed that one million women had died in back-alley abortions. He was being interviewed with Dr. Bernard Nathanson, founder of NARAL Pro-Choice America, who converted to the pro-life cause following advances in ultrasound technology. Dr. Nathanson revealed that he and his colleagues had made up the statistic on deaths stemming from illegal abortions.
As Douglas wrote in a May 2009 op-ed for the Catholic Register, Dr. Nathanson responded to Morgentaler’s claim by saying: “Henry, we made up that lie around my coffee table. We thought the media would accept the one-million number and they did. Now you [Henry] are feeding me my own lie.”
Women’s College Hospital was founded in 1883 as a women’s medical school, and their abortion advocacy goes back at least several decades. In 1973, the hospital opened its Bay Centre for Birth Control, which has housed Planned Parenthood of Toronto for over 30 years, and is accredited with the National Abortion Federation. The hospital’s board of directors has been led for a time by pro-abortion former Toronto Star columnist Michele Landsberg, who continues on the board. The board also includes Marcia Gilbert, the former executive director of the now-defunct Canadian Abortion Rights Action League.
Commenting on Ruderman’s claim that abortion benefits the health of children, Douglas said that based on WCH’s history “it’s not surprising that they would make such an outrageous statement.”
See related LifeSiteNews.com coverage:
New UN Report Confirms Canada’s Refusal to Fund Third World Abortion
Third World Women Don't Want Contraceptives, Expert Tells Canadian Politicians
Canadian Gvmt: No Abortion in G8 Maternal Health Plan
Liberal Party of Canada Demands Abortion Push in Maternal Health Initiative
Canadian PM Calls for G8 to Tackle Maternal Mortality – Abortion Push Feared