Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Secret abortion information = open transparent government

Kathleen' Wynne's understanding of open and transparent government:
"We must also unlock public data so that you can help us solve problems and find new ways of doing things. I believe that government data belongs to the people of Ontario and so we will make government data open by default, limiting access only to safeguard privacy, security and confidentiality.
Our Open Government initiative will help create the transparent, accessible government that the people of Ontario deserve. Over the months and years to come, we’ll be bringing forward additional initiatives that will improve transparency, accountability, and connectivity." 

Feb 8, 2014 Part 12
Feb 5, 2014 Part 11
Jan 30, 2014 Part 10
Jan 3, 2014 Part 9
Dec 19, 2013 Part 8
Dec 12, 2013 Part 7
October 27, 2013 Part  6
October 21, 2013 Part 5
October 17, 2013 Part 4
Oct 17, 2013 Part 3
Sept 29, 2013 Part 2 
Sept 5, 2013 Part 1

Sunday, February 23, 2014

The Liberals aren't thinking clearly

This is a stupid move on the part of the Liberals.
"The Liberal Party of Canada is in favour of decriminalizing medically assisted suicide, adopting a resolution on the controversial matter at the end of its four-day policy convention in Montreal."
This is strategically a really dumb mistake for them to make. As it was, they could have picked up some disenfranchised social conservatives in the next election, especially Catholics who have tended to vote Liberal in the past.

What were they thinking? Not that I would ever vote Liberal myself. Especially with Mauril Belanger as my candidate (shudder).

But there was a small chance that other social conservatives might have considered voting Liberal. Probably not now though. Especially the elderly and more vulnerable citizens. For them, voting Liberal could be a death sentence.

Dumb. Dumb. Dumb.

Friday, February 21, 2014

Time to put Quebec's euthanasia bill out of its misery

The Time to Stop the Euthanasia Train from Running off the Tracks is Now!

Bill 52 Update: By God's grace, Quebec's euthanasia bill was stalled by the opposition Liberals on Thursday, preventing it from being passed. The governing PQ party pushed hard for a vote so that it could become law before they called an election. Now they will be forced to decide whether to proceed with an election call. Either way, we can be thankful that some time has been bought. Please pray earnestly for a softening of hearts in Quebec and across this land.
Now is the Time to Keep the Euthanasia Train from Running off the Tracks!
By Mark Penninga, In her article "assisted suicide – what could possibly go wrong" the Globe and Mail's Margaret Wente looks at how Belgium's and Holland's euthanasia laws are running off the rails. As Quebec is on the verge of legalizing euthanasia, she rightly concludes that our ethical dilemmas may only be just beginning. And that is it. End of article.
Wente's uncomfortable musing about what kind of reasons are compelling enough to justify euthanasia shows why Canada needs to stop rushing to make decisions about life and death.
The central problem with trying to determine what justifies state-sanctioned death is that it puts the value of human life on an arbitrary scale. At the top of the scale are the terminally ill – those for whom death seems imminent. A little lower we find those with life-altering diseases. Although Canada isn't quite ready to talk about it yet, Belgium and Holland reveal that it only takes a decade to expand the scale to include the depressed, physiologically troubled, and even infants born with a cleft-palette. By that point there is some recognition that the train has run off the rails. But what exactly was that line where life ought to be protected and valued?
Western society forgets its lessons so quickly. It was less than 70 years ago that we looked at this exact question. Dr. Leo Alexander was an investigator in the Nuremberg Trials and also contributed to writing the Nuremberg Code. In 1949 Dr. Alexander wrote an article in the New England Journal of Medicine where he revealed some telling observations from the trials:

Whatever proportions these crimes finally assumed, it became evident to all who investigated them that they started from small beginnings. The beginnings at first were merely a subtle shift in emphasis in the basic attitudes of physicians. It started with the acceptance of the attitude, basic to the euthanasia movement, that there is such a thing as a life not worthy to be lived. This attitude in its early stages concerned itself merely with the severely and chronically sick. Gradually the sphere of those to be included in this category was enlarged to encompass the socially unproductive, the ideologically unwanted, the racially unwanted, and finally all non-Germans.
In other words, expanding euthanasia to children is not the end of the scale. This is not merely a "slippery slope." It is a logical progression. The euthanasia movement does what it can to sterilize and even celebrate what it stands for, using terms like "dying with dignity." But putting a white coat on the person administering the needle doesn't change what is happening. Society is sanctioning the death of humans whom we (the strong) determine should not be worth living.
The train runs off the tracks as soon as we decide that some lives are not worth living. When we grant that human dignity is lost because of a disease, we make the value of human life into something that is arbitrary and violable. This undermines basic human rights, which presuppose inalienable worthiness of life for all humanity, regardless of our vulnerabilities.
If we don't want Canada to look like what we see in Belgium, the time to prevent that is now, before we allow euthanasia for even a few.

Monday, February 17, 2014

Bishops said we must protect the unborn child to the maximum degree possible

I have just read the Bishop's statement that CLC refers to in this entry.

CLC states in their statement that the Bishops said this:
“We are particularly relieved that the gestational approach has been rejected. The concept is offensive and unprincipled because it presumes that human life is more worthy of protection at one stage than at another".
What CLC doesn't say, is the other pertinent statements about the Bishops' thoughts on gestational legislation. All emphasis are mine.
"While Catholics may not favor abortion or any proposal which seeks to weaken existing legal protection of the unborn child. Nor may they advocate that there be no legal protection. However, when it is the only available or feasible political option, support may be given to legislation which attempts, if only imperfectly, to restore protection or strengthen existing protection. In this case, they must continue to work for complete protection and to express publicly their opposition to abortion.
As we already know with our current 9 month abortion law, a gestational law of any length, although "imperfect" would be "feasible".

The Bishops continue:
Questions as to the feasibility and whether the legislation improves or worsens the legal position of the unborn child, are always matters of prudential judgment where certitude is not possible.
In a country as diversified as ours, in matters of religion and ideology, Catholic politicians must assess the legal and political realities they face and work for the law which will provide the maximum possible protection for unborn children."
This is exactly what a gestational law would accomplish: the "maximum possible protection for unborn children" given that a total ban on abortion would not be accepted by the country.

And this:
"We urge your Committee to draft a law which will protect the unborn child to the maximum degree possible. It is understood, however, that as bishops, it is not our role to suggest in detail the best possible legislative solution..."
Now this is interesting. At the end of the Bishop's statement, CLC/AFLO makes its own comments on Bill C-43, saying this:
"Finally, Bill C-43 sets no time restrictions on “terminating pregnancies” and is, therefore, worse than a Bill which would have restricted abortions to 12 or 16 or 20 weeks of gestation. In fact, Bill C-43 is the worst gestational law possible.
CLC is saying they would prefer (at that time in 1991) a limit at 12 or 16 or 20 weeks gestation over no limit. Yet we have no limit today. Therefore CLC should (by their own words) accept a 12 or 16 or 20 week limit. In fact, the reality is that today, we already have a gestational law. And that gestational limit is the point in gestation when the baby is born, i.e. at the end of gestation, and so a 12 or 16 or 20 week gestational limit is far preferable than our current gestational limit of 40 weeks.

Then CLC ends with this self fulfilling prophesy:
"In view of these facts, the pro-life groups said, it is better to continue without a law while working for a pro-life one, with government help, or otherwise by means of private member bills, or through elections. In the meanwhile pro-lifers can maintain a conscience untarnished by surrender or submission to evil. And from the point of view of political tactics, supporting this bill is equivalent to ending pro-life legislation for the next 10-20 years or more, because every politician in the country will claim that it was the best attainable and refuse to do anything more."
Well we've surpassed the 10-20 years, in fact it will be about 24 years and counting...

Right now abortion is already legal for all nine months. Gestational legislation is a lot better than what we have now. According to CLC's philosophy, we are guaranteed to wait forever for something to change.

On the whole of it, I believe that CLC has taken the Bishop's statements on gestational legislation out of context.

Sunday, February 16, 2014

CLC says that spiritual leaders not well formed on life issues

CLC issued this official statement today: Campaign Life Coalition and Gestation Legislation

Notice this statement, which I don't agree with:
"The Canadian pro-life movement must continue focusing on prayer as the essential core of the work, and educating spiritual leaders. Sadly, the majority of the latter are neither as knowledgeable nor as well formed as one would expect on the issues affecting life and family.
I believe many of our spiritual leaders are very well formed, like Cardinal Ouellet, Cardinal Collins Archbishop Miller, and the Priests at Priest For Life Canada, to name but a few.

And this statement which I also don't agree with:
"Regular church goers tell us that they never hear a talk, a sermon or a homily educating the faithful on crucial life and family issues."
Our priests at our Parish do speak out on Life issues regularly. And this year our Pastor went to the abortion defund rally, attended Life Chain and 40 days for life. He also spoke about these events, and arranged car pooling for parishioners.

(Update: My last entry on the CLC/AFLO position here)

Friday, February 14, 2014

Pinko Pepsi

Today my sister and I saw a pink Pepsi truck. It was doing the breast cancer industry a great big favour with their "support" breast cancer schtick.

That's the very same industry that refuses to acknowledge any possible link between abortion and breast cancer.

This week while shopping, I saw Cashmere toilet paper at a great price. But when I looked to see if the breast cancer industry logo was still on the package, and it was, I said nope, not buying that.

And now I won't buy Pepsi. Not that I buy Pepsi in the first place. But if I did, well I wouldn't anymore.

For more on the ABC link see here.

As Barbara Kay wrote in the National Post on the recent ABC research done in China.
In what has been described as a “real game changer” in breast cancer research, a new peer-reviewed study from China not only endorses the long-mooted link between IA and breast cancer, but concludes the risk rises with every abortion a woman has. The study, “A meta-analysis of the association between induced abortion and breast cancer risk among Chinese females” was published last week in Cancer Causes and Control, an international cancer journal.
Even after this recent study, what do we still find on the Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation's web site?
MYTH: Abortion and miscarriage cause breast cancer
THE FACTS: Abortion does not increase the risk of breast cancer. Scientific evidence  demonstrates that there is no link between breast cancer and spontaneous abortion (miscarriage) or induced abortion. 
Pretty sure I won't be buying anything pink anytime soon.

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Universal truths are constant

I saw the movie 12 years a slave yesterday. It is the true and stark story of Solomon Northup, a free black man who was captured and sold into slavery.

Throughout the movie you feel depressed at what it must have been like to be an African American who lived in those days. The reality that black people were not considered human beings. The reality that black people were considered to be property. The reality that black people could be tortured and killed because they had no rights. The reality that black people were owned by someone who did have rights. The reality that the only worth black people could expect, was what someone else bestowed upon them.

It was a shameful era for the world. Like the world in which we live today for children in the womb.

I know the pro-abortions hate it when we compare the plight of African American slaves to pre-born citizens. They hate it because it's true.

Sitting through two hours of graphic hate and hostility towards a whole race of people makes it very real to the viewer. It makes you feel like maybe, in a very small way, you get it.

I wondered what it would be like to watch a two hour movie based on the dismembering and killing of children in the womb. What would that feel like to see? Would we be horrified and disgusted? Or would we say, well pre-born children aren't really human? That they are just property, right? That they belong to the woman? That it's okay for society to sanction abortion because it doesn't have human rights like other people do?

There is one scene in the movie where Samuel Bass (Brad Pitt) argues with slave owner Edwin Epps about what the law said at the time about slavery.
Bass: The law says you have the right to hold a nigger, but begging the law's pardon... it lies. Is everything right because the law allows it? Suppose they'd pass a law taking away your liberty and making you a slave?
Edwin Epps: Ha!
Bass: Suppose!
Edwin Epps: That ain't a supposable case.
Bass: Because the law states that your liberties are undeniable? Because society deems it so? Laws change. Social systems crumble. Universal truths are constant. It is a fact, it is a plain fact that what is true and right is true and right for all. White and black alike.
When the movie ended I thought thank God we no longer allow slavery. Someday we will be able to say, thank God we no longer allow abortion.

Non persons then (*)

Non persons now 

( * East African slaves taken aboard HMS Daphne. Credit: National Archives UK)

Monday, February 10, 2014

Is Stephen Harper afraid of Joyce Arthur?

Remember the old Charlie Brown cartoons, where the grownups used to say "Wah wah wah Wah wah wah wah wah wah Wah wah wah wah wah wah"? And how the Peanut characters didn't have a clue what the grownups were saying? And how they just didn't care what they were saying either? Probably because it wasn't important?

Well last week I read Joyce Arthur's recent posting on I think it was about Wah wah wah. Here's the link. But don't bother reading it. It's just more of the same Wah wah wah.

But what I really want to know is this. Why does Stephen Harper even listen to Arthur? Doesn't he hear the Wah wah wah? Is he deaf? Or is it something else?

Sunday, February 9, 2014

Gestational abortion laws are not immoral

This week I came across a joint statement by Campaign Life Coalition and Alliance for Life Ontario. It was titled "WHY THE CASE FOR GESTATIONAL ABORTION LAWS IS MORALLY AND LOGICALLY INCOHERENT".

The title of the document sent off warning bells for me. I--along with many other pro-life people and pro-life organizations--am in favour of gestational, or incremental abortion laws.

The statement says that a gestational law is "intrinsically evil", and that a "gestational law is immoral". If this is true, then I would be a supporter of something both intrinsically evil and immoral. This is not the case.

As I continued to read the joint statement, I became more and more disturbed. The document itself isn't on line, but I'd like to quote a few paragraphs from it.
"we will never propose or support a gestational abortion law for Canada. We will never conclude that we must accept what is intrinsically evil so that some good may be achieved. Specifically, we reject the argument made to us by some pro-lifers that the faint and unrealistic prospect of the right to life of some unborn children being recognized in the Criminal Code of Canada at the current time justifies setting aside our longstanding opposition to affirming, in the same law, that some other unborn children may be lawfully killed." 
"A deliberate decision to propose, support, or vote for a gestational abortion law is a behaviour that is in itself immoral. Even if such a law might have some good effects, we can always refrain from engaging in such conduct altogether when to do so would itself not be immoral. If serious harm results from our refusal to participate in such conduct, we are not morally responsible for such consequences because no one can be morally required to sin. Our goal of establishing in civil law the right to life of all unborn children does not justify our use of evil means to accomplish that goal." 
"To counsel another person to choose an action as the lesser of two evils is immoral if both are moral evils, especially if the alleged “lesser evil” is an intrinsic evil." 
"We simply observe that a gestational abortion law would still affirm that a sub-class of unborn children may be lawfully killed, regardless of the motives of any particular legislator who may have voted for it, or of any pro-life activist who supported its enactment."
I respect a point of view different from my own. I believe that two people fighting for the same cause--the legal protection of pre-born children--can adhere to different strategies and ways of achieving the same end. For me to respect your viewpoint doesn't mean I have to agree with it, and vice versa. Both strategies are valid, and neither is morally or intrinsically evil.

I don't believe it is at all helpful though, for a pro-life organization to come out and attack another pro-life world view.

What is also troubling, is that this is an organizational statement, and not simply the view of a single person. It demeans and marginalizes pro-lifers who do not subscribe to CLC/AFLO's position.

This statement implicitly judges me as being immoral and supporting intrinsic evil. I am not and I do not. I am confident that my views are perfectly in line with Cardinal CollinsArchbishop MillerPriests for Life Canada, and my own spiritual director who is a Jesuit Priest and Canon Lawyer.

The other concern is that the statement can lead people--who might otherwise support gestational legislation--away from supporting a gestational approach, because they wrongly assume that if two large pro-life groups believe it to be wrong, then it must be wrong. This is very troubling indeed.

I believe in gestational legislation. Others do not. My conscience and my respected religious leaders agree with me. If others do not believe in gestational legislation as a valid strategy, that is fine. But making up reasons that are untrue to argue one's case, is not the way to persuade others to your viewpoint.

Two easy pro-life things you can do at home

This video is adorable. A converted pro-life comedian, Gavin McInnes, tells us how to "fight" a baby.

I remember those days when we would tickle our babies to the sounds of beautiful baby laughter. I always thought of it as a sort of sanctioned baby torture.

And sign this petition and tell the UN to back off with attacking the Catholic Church's position on abortion. Tell them to get their big noses out from where they aren't needed or wanted.

Saturday, February 8, 2014

Don't make the perfect the enemy of the good

Jonathon Van Maren interviews Barbara Kay on abortion.

Barbara Kay is pro-choice. Joyce Arthur is pro-choice. So why are these two women's views so radically different? Listen to the interview.

Politicians and respect for taxpayers

Politicians are a funny lot. Some of them seem to forget who they work for. That would be you and me. You know, the taxpayer? We pay their salaries from our hard earned income. They are our employees.

We may not want to pay their salaries, for the simple reason that we may not adhere to their pro-abortion ideology, or their abuse of power, or their paying off gas plants for political purposes, or for hiding abortion data. Regardless. We are stuck with them. And they are stuck with us.

So when we ask them a direct question, I think we deserve a direct answer. No obfuscating. No ignoring us. No buck passing.

At the very least, they owe us this.

And so, regarding my letter to Premier Kathleen Wynne, I received this reply from her yesterday :
Thank you for taking the time to send your emails. I have noted your concerns. 
As the issue you raised falls within the area of responsibility of my colleague the Honourable Deb Matthews, Minister of Health and Long-Term Care, I have asked that she or a member of her staff respond to you directly.

Thank you again for writing. Please accept my best wishes.  
Kathleen Wynne
Premier of Ontario 
cc: The Honourable Deb Matthews
To which I replied...again.
Hello again Ms. Wynne, 
Has your open and transparent government initiative now been moved over to the Ministry of Health then? Since it was you who announced this initiative, I assumed that it is your initiative and not Minister Matthews. If this indeed is the Ministry of Health's initiative, please confirm this for me. 
I also notice that you state in your reply to me, that you have "noted my concerns." I was actually asking you a question in my email. I would be ever so pleased if you would kindly answer my question: 
"Can you please tell me if your plans for open and transparent government will include the lifting of the secret curtain on abortion services in Ontario?"
Our government is elected to serve the people, and salaries of our politicians are paid for by citizens like me. Therefore I am sure you would agree that responding to a citizen's direct question deserves a clear and simple response. 
I look forward to hearing back from you soon. 
Thank you. 
Patricia Maloney

Friday, February 7, 2014

RU-486 is a bad idea

We should be very cautious about approving the abortion drug RU-486 in Canada. There are health concerns about this drug, and this alone should cause us grave concern. But what about our democratic rights? As Mike Schouten at says:
"The Conservative government along with all the political parties in Ottawa have denounced any attempts at debating abortion in the House of Commons. That Health Canada could approve RU-486 through the proverbial backdoor is contrary to democratic principles that should allow for an abortion discussion"
And speaking about democracy (or lack there of) what about the fact that in Ontario right now, no person can do a Freedom of Information request on anything related to abortion services?

This would mean that any and all information (in Ontario) regarding this new drug, like how many abortions occurred using the drug, what complications women are experiencing from the drug, how many deaths are attributable to it, etc. would now be completely hidden from us.

Since most abortions in Canada are done in Ontario, and if RU-486 is approved, we can extrapolate that most of the RU-486 abortions will also be done in Ontario. And because everything related to abortion is now hidden in Ontario, any complications, how many prescriptions doctor's write, etc.--all will be hidden under a cloak of secrecy. By allowing RU-486, the federal government will be just exacerbating the abortion cover-up in provinces like Ontario (and BC to a certain extent as well).

In Ontario, in 2010 there were at least 44,000 abortions performed in Ontario. That's 53% more than officially reported by the Canadian Institute of Health Information (CIHI) (CIHI only reported 28,765)

CIHI already does not report medical abortions, as well as abortions done in doctor's offices. And now with RU-486, none of those abortions will be reported either.

Women will be getting more and more access to abortion, while we get less and less information about these abortions. This is a deadly combination for women.

The other grave concern we should have with RU-486 for the women taking it, is for those women who may live in remote areas of the country, and/or places where abortions are not currently available.

In this article by the CBC,
 Dawn Fowler, the Canadian director of the National Abortion Federation, says it can take a day or two for women in rural and remote communities to travel to a bigger centre to have an abortion. She says that this is "about delivering safe, quality care". 

Yet in remote parts of our country, like reservations, there are very good reasons why this drug should not be made available to women because it won't be safe. If a women has a serious problem while taking this new drug, and if she is in need of expert medical care to treat her for that problem, that care may not be readily available to her in these remote or unserviced places, putting the women at great personal risk.

We already know that--contrary to what abortion advocates like to tell us--abortion is already not safe. Many say that abortion complication rates are less than 1%. Yet Echo, an Ontario government "pro-choice" agency, informs us that complication rates for abortions are actually between 6.95% and7.70%:

NDP MP Libby Davies says approving RU-486 is important to a lot of women who do not have access to reproductive choice. My goodness, Ms. Davies is a
woman and a Member of Parliament. Surely she can get out of the way of her own ideology to see the potential danger this drug can have on women.

With this kind of advocacy for this deadly drug coming from the powerful National Abortion Federation, and from the ideological NDP, women's health will take a back seat to the abortion industry's and pharmaceuticals' profits.

RU-486 is bad for all of us. This drug should not be approved.

Thursday, February 6, 2014

Backbone of Conservative values is "do not discuss abortion"

I'm still getting these emails from the Conservatives as they kick up into high gear for an election.

Last week I got this one:
The byelections in Thornhill and Niagara Falls are just over two weeks away.   
Hundreds of volunteers are working with our two all-star candidates, Gila Martow and Bart Maves, to help them get elected. 
They're doing everything they can, but we need your help, too.  Please click here to donate today! 
There are many, many reasons to support Gila and Bart.  Here are five:
    They will be strong advocates for their constituents.
    Bart's 12 years of combined political experience, and Gila's 23 years fundraising and volunteering for children's charities and non-profits.
    They're committed to bringing good, well-paying jobs back to Ontario.
    They're passionate about putting Ontario back on the path to prosperity.
    Because people have had enough of the McGuinty-Wynne Liberals and their NDP supporters. 
Our campaigns run on your contributions.  Every dollar you donate helps us fund another ad, buy an other sign, and purchase more lit to hand out at the door.   
We can't do it without you. 
DONATE TODAY to help us win in Thornhill and Niagara Falls. 
Thank you for your generous support, 
The Ontario PC Party
To which I responded:
Nope. Won't be supporting Gila and Bart. The Ontario Conservatives don't support access to information rights, so why should I support the Conservatives? And...they don't have the courage to say so.
To which MPP Michael Harris's office responded:
I just wanted to follow up on your comments, which are quite concerning. The Ontario Progressive Conservatives are all for accountability and transparency. It’s the backbone of our values. Would you mind giving me your postal code so we can have your MPP call you? 
To which I responded:
Finally someone has responded to me, thank you! 
I must beg to differ however about the Conservatives being for accountability and transparency and I'll tell you why. And I have already met with my MPP Madeleine Meilleur. She seemed completely oblivious to what her government did with the Bill 122, the Broader Public Sector Accountability Act. 
I've also been questioning both the Kathleen Wynne, Deb Matthews, Tim Hudak, and countless other MPPs on what happened in 2010, when the Liberal government excluded abortion services from all Freedom of Information requests, of which I do many. And that was the only medical procedure excluded from the act. Why is that?

And I was not asking for patient's names or doctor's names. I was asking for total procedures done and their cost. Because of this law, from here on in, all abortion numbers and dollars spent on abortions will be hidden from the public in Ontario. That is neither accountable nor transparent government. 
The Conservatives did nothing to stop this attack on accountability and transparency, and I have asked Mr. Hudak why, and written to him (and other Conservatives) many times. They refuse to respond. 
After much pressure to the Liberals about what they did, I have received a couple of "no response" responses. In other words, they don't answer my questions. And neither could Ms. Meilleur.
Please go to my blog and you can see what's been going on.
You can also do a search on my blog for Bill-122 Bill 122 or the Broader Public Sector Accountability Act, and you will see all my writings on this topic, including my letters to Mr. Hudak, Ms. Meilleur and Ms. Wynne. There's a ton there. 
If accountability and transparency is the backbone of PC values, then why isn't Mr. Hudak doing something about this? 
But if I could find a Conservative ally in Mr Harris, that would be awesome.  My feeling however, is that there is a "do not discuss abortion" rule in the Conservative Party, just as there is with most politicians. I hope Mr. Harris can convince me otherwise. 
I look forward to hearing back from Mr. Harris. 
Did I hear back from Mr. Harris?

Nope. I guess the Ontario Conservatives can't actually care about accountability and transparency. They just like to say they do.

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

The abortion exclusion clause - no transparency here

Nobody asked for the abortion exclusion clause to be inserted into Bill 122 (the Broader Sector Accountability Act and the Freedom of Information and Privacy Act (FIPPA).

Not a single person. Not a single organization. Nobody.

So how did the exclusion clause end up in the Bill?

There were no hospitals advising for the exclusion clause. There were no physicians advising for the exclusion clause. There was no public at large advising for the exclusion clause.

There was one person though, who advised the government against putting in the exclusion clause.

Through a Freedom of Information request, I learned that Cybele Sack, a patient care advocate, advised the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care to not include the abortion exclusion clause. Ms. Sack made her submission on November 23, 2010:
"Current provisions in Bill 122 which should be reconsidered given the patient safety context:- Not applying it to boards of health, health professionals' personal practice, abortion services..."
If doctors and physicians had advised the government to put the clause in (as my MPP Madeleine Meilleur indicated to me), I would have seen those recommendation in the FOI. 

No other stakeholder made any reference to the clause. Their presentations are here and here. The word "abortion" doesn't appear anywhere in these consultations.

In any event, the clause was already in the Bill before public consultations took place. If someone had asked the government to put the clause in, I would see that in what I received. I didn't. 

Did the Minister put the clause in herself for ideological reasons?

I've given Minister Deb Matthews ample opportunity to explain the source of the clause. But she can't, or won't, or doesn't want to.

The only logical explanation is that--contrary to my MPP's statements that the Ministry doesn't put in clauses for their own sake, but rather that it is only done after public consultations--the Ministry or Minister put this clause into the Bill.

Here is the narrative of what Ms. Meilleur told me when I met her in her office:
I asked her why the exclusion clause was included in the Bill. She said that it came into affect:
"to assist hospitals, at the request of the hospitals, to maintain the quality and the privacy of the information. So it was not specific to abortion, it was among other things...I don't think you'd like your private information to be disclosed to the public." 
When I pressed her further she said:
"at the request of the hospital, at the request of the physician, this was supported...the objective of this government and past governments have put in place the Freedom of Information Act, so it was to protect certain information, and this was added because of concerns the physicians had and the concern the hospitals had, so that's why it's in place." 
I then asked her to confirm that the hospitals and physicians has asked to have this exclusion clause. Her response was: 
"When we do amendments it's not because the government that decides there is an amendment, it's at the request of others and it's discussed and its put forward after wide consultations with those concerned". 
As I continued to press her on this, she responded: 
"You know what, it's not my Ministry so I don't know all the details, so I think that these questions should be put to the Ministry of Health to see how it came about. You will get the information." 
She said it was: 
"the hospitals, the physicians and the public at large...the Minister can give you the specifics...the Minister has all the answers...your questions are very detailed...send her a letter and cc me so when she replies I will receive your response...the Ministry has all the expertise and all the answers..."
It may be the case that the Minister has all the answers. But she won't share them with me. After sending her many emails and calling her office many times, I still don't have any of the answers, never mind "all the answers". 

The only feasible answer is that the Minister herself is responsible for the clause. A clause that does away with our access to information rights.

If I'm wrong, she should let me know.

Saturday, February 1, 2014

Abortion-rights advocates ran away from Gosnell

Saw this in today's National Post. Here it is from the Washington Post by Charles Krauthammer.

Krauthammer is talking about a strategy for Republicans. Now if we had a political party in Canada who had any backbone, we could easily do this in Canada.

Since we don't have a political party with backbone on life issues, this strategy can be used by pro-lifers themselves. That's us, people.
"...Yet there is a very simple, straightforward strategy for seizing the high ground on abortion in a way that transcends the normal divisions and commands wide popular support: Focus on the horror of late-term abortion — and get it banned. 
Last year’s Kermit Gosnell trial was a seminal moment. The country was shown a baby butcher at work and national sentiment was nearly unanimous. Abortion-rights advocates ran away from Gosnell. But they can’t hide from the issue. 
And the issue, as most succinctly defined by the late liberal Sen. Daniel Patrick Moynihan, is infanticide. Describing one form of late-term abortion known as partial-birth, Moynihan said: “I had once remarked that the procedure was too close to infanticide. And now we have testimony that it is not just too close to infanticide, it is infanticide.” How else to describe crushing the infant’s skull in mid-delivery before the head leaves the birth canal?"
Calling late-term abortion what it is: a living, viable, pain-feeling human being being killed. Infanticide.
"Stay away from the minefield of gender politics. Challenge the other side on substance. And watch them lose."