Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Canada's 'Abortion Law' - There isn't one

This week, the National Post will be featuring a series of articles discussing the effects of the 20th anniversary of R. vs. Morgentaler. David Frum kicks things off with The day humanity became cheap.

Frum points out Canada's lone stance in the Western world regarding a lack of abortion law of any kind:

The result of the two decisions was to give Canada the Western world's most radical abortion regime. The mother's ownership of the pregnancy is absolute and final, and she may end it at any moment, for any reason. Neither the father of the child-to-be, nor the government, nor the child itself has any rights in the matter at all.

Almost every other advanced country on Earth grants the fetus in the womb some measure of protection.

Frum is concerned that this lack of acknowledgment of the embryo or fetus as having any kind of rights will eventually compromise the ethical concerns and guidelines presently controlling scientific experimentation on human embryos:

...The federal guidelines on stem cell research urge "respect for community notions of human dignity." But the supreme arbiters of human rights in Canada have ruled that the fetus-in-the-womb has no humanity to respect.

Cures, no -- but late-term abortions, yes? How does that make any sense? It makes no sense and cannot endure...


This series is sure to provoke some letters to the editor and bring the whole question back to the forefront. Canadians need to be reminded again and again that we have no laws at all in Canada regarding abortion.

* * * *

More from Dr. Roy - Regina vs. Morgentaler: a tragedy.

Wednesday Update: Barbara Kay - 20 years of silence:

...in 1988, 16% of pregnancies in Quebec, Canada's most abortion-friendly province, resulted in abortion. Today, 30% do. Girls are using abortion -- tax-funded and easily available -- as an alternative form of birth control. No morally aspirational society should feel complacent abetting this trend...



15 comments:

Sandy said...

Well Jo -- We both made it to Round Two. Way to go!

http://cdnba.wordpress.com/finalists/

Joanne (True Blue) said...

Sandy, I'm in shock!

Wayward Son said...

"Frum points out Canada's lone stance in the Western world regarding a lack of abortion law of any kind:"

Well RU-486 is against the law in Canada, so I would consider that an abortion law - and a stupid one. Most of the European Countries that Frum says have "banned" abortion after a certain amount of weeks (12 - 18) have really just created a large expensive buraucracy (sp?) and the reality is that later abortions are rarely refused. Almost all of those countries have also approved RU-486. Frum failed to mention for instance that one of the abortion laws in Sweden is that a doctor who fails to comply with a woman's request for an abortion (at 18 weeks or less) has broken the law and can be sent to jail for up to 6 months.

Frum implies that the Americans are more ethical than we are because at least Americans have restrictions on late term abortions, then he goes on to say that Quebec opened up a late term (>22 wk) clinic because doctors wouldn't perform the abortions. He failed to mention that previously these women from all provinces had been going to Colorado, Kansas and Washington to have the late term abortion. So lets see in Canada where there are no laws concerning abortions, Doctors would not perform late term abortions, yet in the US where there are such laws, doctors would perform those same abortions. Yes, laws must be the answer.

Frum seems to be implying that elective late-term abortions are happening all the time. That couldn't be further from the trtuh. More than 90% of abortions are within 12 weeks. 97% within 16 weeks. Almost all of that 3% performed after 16 weeks is due to cases of severe fetal abnormality or the health of the mother and would qualify for abortion in the countries Frum mentions. Elective abortions post 16 weeks are extremely rare. Enacting laws that countries such as Sweden, France or Norway have would do nothing except increasing expense to the government.

Joanne (True Blue) said...

W.S. - More than 90% of abortions are within 12 weeks. 97% within 16 weeks. Almost all of that 3% performed after 16 weeks is due to cases of severe fetal abnormality or the health of the mother

Where did you get your stats from? Just curious? Thanks.

liberal supporter said...

In the US in 2001, it was 88% by 12 weeks, 94% by 16 weeks. 1% at or after 21 weeks.

The article goes on to discuss restrictions such as waiting periods: "He studied Mississippi after the state enacted a mandatory 24-hour waiting period and found that the abortion rate fell by 12 percent; however, second trimester abortions increased by 40 to 50 percent and the number of women going out of state for the procedure increased by 40 to 50 percent."

Almost every other advanced country on Earth grants the fetus in the womb some measure of protection.
As does Canada. All protections that exist for the mother apply to any fetus she carries.

Joanne (True Blue) said...

All protections that exist for the mother apply to any fetus she carries.

Really? Can you give me some example?

SUZANNE said...

Not all late-term abortions make the abortion survey stats. First, gestational ages are only reported for about 40% of the sample size. And late-term abortions are coded "stillbirths" and in many people's minds an abortion and an "induction" (i.e. late-term abortion) are two different thing. We have a crazy abortion culture in Canada that treats the post-20 week abortion as something entirely different than the pre-20 week one.

Even if there are only a few hundred late-term abortions in Canada, so what? We get hyped up about forms of cancer that kill a few hundred a year. It's a bit disingenuous to dismiss these abortions. And no, they are not all non-viable fetus. The abortion lobby says so: some of these late-term abortions are performed for social reasons.

Joanne (True Blue) said...

Hey, Suzanne. Congrats on surviving the cut in the blog awards. I voted for ya!

Roy Eappen said...

Congratualtions Jo, Sandy and Suzanne
I will be voting for all of you in the next round.
Perhaps LS remembers the Ottawa woman who shot her baby in the womb and had no consequences to face because the baby was not deemed a person. What protection does the fetus have? None

liberal supporter said...

All protections that exist for the mother apply to any fetus she carries.

Really? Can you give me some example?


As a part of its mother, the fetus is protected like any other part. If you remove any part of the mother without permission, it is some form of assault, grevious (mayhem) or aggravated.

Joanne (True Blue) said...

Thanks, Dr. Roy. I know I'm not going to win, but I never thought I'd make past the first round.

Joanne (True Blue) said...

If you remove any part of the mother without permission, it is some form of assault, grevious (mayhem) or aggravated.

So a baby has the same status as a liver, for example?

liberal supporter said...

We get hyped up about forms of cancer that kill a few hundred a year.
Yes we do, because such a thing could happen to you. On the other hand, being killed in the womb cannot happen to you once you are born.

Laws exist solely to protect the elites from the rest of us. They do this by providing recourse for harms caused by others to us, so that we do not resort to vigilante types of frontier justice. The only harms that the law provides recourse for are those that happen to us or could happen to us. Therefore a law against stealing exists because we want to discourage people from stealing, since they could steal from us. A law against murder exists to discourage people from murdering us. Laws against killing animals only exist in the context of how it may affect us. So a law exists against killing my livestock, or killing wild game on my land that I might want.

A law against abortion does not serve to provide recourse for a harm that could happen to any of us that are already born. Therefore it serves no purpose.

Can you cite any other law that exists but does not deter harms happening to already born people? They all deal with harms of varying degrees to already born people.

You can parse my wording and demand that "us" include babies in the womb, but I would suggest it should then also include all animals as well. At birth, you become physically separate from your mother, and the State asserts its interests at that point. You could argue that infanticide falls outside my definition for why laws exist. I would agree, but I think infanticide should be treated as murder. A born child can be simply picked up and given to anyone. It is an asset of the State, just as we all are, and the State's investment in that asset starts at birth. Killing a born child, even by a parent is murder, since the physical separateness makes them a separate legal entity.

liberal supporter said...

So a baby has the same status as a liver, for example?

Legally, yes.

And we are talking about law in this, nothing else.

Nicol DuMoulin said...

Great post,

The comments from liberal supporter were especially entertaining. I love seeing liberal supporters go into verbal and intellectual gymnastics to make things true that are not.

Increasingly liberals have no more higher ground on moral issues and have to contort the 'truth' to convince themselves that they do.

Last time I checked, there were three instances in 2007 where women had their babies taken from them without consent and there was nothing that could be done about it.