Monday, February 4, 2013

Rules for abortion on demand

Check out Jonathan Kay: Some questions for Carolyn Bennett (and my other pro-choice critics) on late term abortions.

He talks about what MP Carolyn Bennett says about his article this weekend:
"Over the weekend, Liberal MP Carolyn Bennett wrote a brief rebuttal, in which she declared: “I am totally fed up with ‘lawyered’ assertions that totally misrepresent the facts. While in Canada, we do not have a law, we do have very strict professional guidelines. No physician in Canada can terminate a pregnancy over 24 weeks without serious indications: the life of the mother at risk, or the fetus has very serious malformations.”

Ms. Bennett also said:
"I challenge him to find ONE late trimester abortion perfomed in Canada to a healthy mother with a healthy fetus. I am one of many politicians ‘willing to tackle’ this subject. He needs to be one of many journalists who are prepared to admit when their fine prose may have misled Canadians …in this case to admit that late-trimester abortions are NOT happening in Canada without ‘reason’."

Well I would like to challenge Ms. Bennett to tell us how she can know that late-trimester abortions are NOT happening without reason? Because nobody else in Canada knows the reasons for late-term abortions as I've written here and here. Why? Because that information is neither captured nor reported. If she does know, then she needs to share that information with the rest of us so we can all be smart.

Then Mr. Kay asks a question:
"my question is this: How is this status quo meaningfully different from a federal abortion law that sets 24 weeks as the gestational limit for elective abortion? The current Canadian policy, as Ms. Bennett describes and praises it, is basically a civil variant of the one encoded in the criminal laws of just about every European nation — except that most of those countries generally have gestational limits well below 24 weeks (12-18 weeks is typical).

And so I ask: If some Canadian decision-making body is going to determine when a women is allowed to have an abortion on demand, why is it better that such a body be composed of unelected doctors, rather than elected politicians?"

Good question. I know how I'd answer it.


  1. Margaret Somerville has an article listing late term abortions that she has personally consulted on:

  2. Patricia, you seem to be very good at finding out information. How about asking how many women have died from abortion in Canada?

  3. Julie that is an excellent question. Let me see what I can find out.