Monday, November 19, 2012

"Anti-abortion laws are unjust, harmful, and useless"

Joyce Arthur is advising the United Kingdom on abortion law. She recently wrote Why the UK doesn’t need an abortion law at all for the "Abortion Review", a UK group that is an "educational service by bpas". bpas are the UK's "premier abortion provider" and stands for British Pregnancy Advisory Service. (Not sure I'd want an abortion provider advising me on my pregnancy though.)

She says:
"For 25 years, Canada has had no legal restrictions on abortion whatsoever – not even any gestational limits. From my perspective as a Canadian, the UK’s current debate over the proposed reduction in its legal time limit for an abortion is way off-base.

Politicians and the media seem trapped by the assumption that some kind of abortion law is necessary and they just need to decide what the limits are. In reality, the best solution is full decriminalization, because all anti-abortion laws are unjust, harmful, and useless – including the UK’s 1967 Abortion Act."

Pretty much what we'd expect from Canada's premier abortion advocate.

But it's when she starts describing Canada's situation and rates of abortions, that my alarm bells go off. Her "information" has gone international:
"Despite the lack of a gestational limit law in Canada, 90 per cent of abortions occur during the first trimester, and less than half a percent after 20 weeks. The latter are all for compelling reasons, such as fetal abnormalities incompatible with life or a serious threat to the woman’s health or life."

Since Canada's abortion statistics are so woefully under-reported, it is impossible to draw such conclusions from them.

Once again, let me explain what we do know about Canadian abortion statistics based on the last year for which abortion data was published in Canada, 2010.

Here I did it for Canada's 2009 CIHI stats, and I'll now do it again for CIHI's 2010 stats.

That year CIHI reported 64,641 abortions, a number we know is grossly under-reported Why? Frist, because Quebec did not report any statistics in 2010; second, it is not mandatory for clinics to report data so clinic data is under-reported; and third, abortions performed in private physician's offices are not published or reported at all.

Of these 64,641 known abortions, the gestational age is only reported for 22,668 of them (8,300 performed on fetuses <=8 weeks, 11,191 on fetuses 9-12 weeks, 1,794 on fetuses 13-16 weeks, 846 on fetuses 17-20 weeks, 537 on fetuses 21+ weeks). These known gestational age abortions are reported for hospital abortions only--we have no gestational ages for those done in clinics or physician's offices.

Therefore there were at least 41,973 abortions performed in 2010 with an unknown gestational age. This means all of those 41,973 abortions, or most of them, or some of them, or none of them, could be late term abortions--we don't know. And we don’t know these gestational ages because most abortion providers don't report them.

If all of the unknown gestational age abortions were in fact late term, then the percentage could be as high as 65%. But we don't know. You must understand that the definition of "unknown" is--we don't know. To say that only .5% of abortions are late term is completely unknowable. It is also grossly misleading.

Next, Ms. Arthur says that 90% of all abortions are first trimester abortions. Again, this information is also unknowable. See explanation above.

In Canada there is no requirement to report or publish the reasons for late-term abortions, so Ms. Arthur can't know the reasons for them. She has no basis or knowledge to state that they:
"are all for compelling reasons, such as fetal abnormalities incompatible with life or a serious threat to the woman’s health or life".

So we don't know how many late-term abortions there are, to go along with not knowing the reasons for them. That's a lot of unknown information to be able to make such conclusions.

Finally, there is one other very disturbing statistic that Ms. Arthur doesn't divulge to the UK pro-abortions.

Statistics Canada reported that from 2000 to 2009 there were 491 late-term, born-alive abortions performed in Canada. These babies were "aborted" but resulted in live births: code name P96.4 or ‘Termination of pregnancy, affecting fetus and newborn’. The aborted child died after it was born.

I'm all for talking about abortion statistics. But let's base the discussion on what we do know, and not on what we don't know.

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