Monday, February 27, 2017

Ministry of silly walks has nothing on the Ontario Government

Our charter challenge against the Ontario government has been full of details, large and small, that probably to many people are kind of dry and boring.

I myself frequently grow weary of the nonsense we have to deal with when trying to understand the silliness of what the government did when they decided to play what they thought was a trump card with pro-life people who use freedom of information requests to uncover just how many abortions are done in this province every year and what those pre-natal killings cost tax payers--by simply striking those FOIs that uncovered those abortion numbers off the books once and for all.

Easy peasy. Good-bye you pesky pro-lifers. We don't want you commenting on this any more so we'll just shut you down it's none of your business anyway. Kill democratic rights. Kill transparency. Kill openness. Kill accountability. Kill the babies and make sure nobody knows how many babies are being killed.

They thought they were geniuses.

And as I've shown again and again they have made no sense in anything they've said and argued.

For instance. In this blog entry I talk about how the government's lawyer argued to the judge that there was already "a large body of scholarly works on abortion policy" so that should be good enough and I don't need any other information. Which is nonsense in itself, since that argument is really just about censorship and in a democracy censorship of government information should not be allowed unless safety and security is an issue and in this case safety and security is not the issue even though they say it is. Never mind that the "scholarly work" itself grossly under reports what we're looking for..

In fact if we dig a little deeper into the public document that the government points to, the document that the government says should be enough for me and I don't need FOIs on abortion, we learn something that actually argues against their very own safety and security argument.


It's amazing how you can tie yourself up in knots when your arguments are illogical. And silly.


So what is it in that document that works against their S&S argument? Well it's this. According to abortion doctor Wendy Norman there is "minimal or no harassment" of facilities:

"Facilities reported very little harassment (Table 4). No Canadian facility reported a resignation of an abortion provider–physician or any staff member owing to harassment. Only a single facility reported any resignation of an allied health professional staff member, and in this case the facility specified that the one resignation was not owing to violence, fear, or threats. Similarly, two-thirds of reporting facilities (49 of 74, 66.2%) indicated no episodes of harassment or violence in 2012, with a further 28.4% (21 of 74) reporting solely picketing without interference. Among 7 facilities reporting “other” episodes of harassment, half specified only receipt of harassing e-mail."

Or their argument that hey, we're going to give you information outside of FIPPA all you have to do is ask is ask for it. Right. On Feb 2, I sent an email to Minister Eric Hoskins asking for more data. Three weeks and a half later and I still haven't even received an acknowledgement from the Minister.

Never mind that there is no policies, no gudelines, nothing at all that ensures that they will give us the information. Oh but we do have the word of the government that we can get the information. Well then. That's comforting.

And why don't they want this information to be given to us? Because we might want to defund abortion. Well yes we do but what has that got to do with freedom of expression rights? Nothing.

So what is this bogus safety and security argument anyway? Just one more of the boring silly arguments the government made in an effort to shut down free and open access to information for those pesky pro-lifers who keep asking for information on abortion and the powers that be don't want the public to know so we'll just keep making up silly arguments and wear them down.

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Government wrong when it says "large body of scholarly works on abortion policy"

Another argument that the government's lawyer, Dan Guttman made as to why I don't need access to abortion statistics through FOI requests, is that there is already data publicly available:
"There is a large body of scholarly works on abortion policy."

He identifies two public documents written by abortion doctor Wendy Norman along with some other doctors. 

Guttman also brings up CIHI as a source of data. We already know that CIHI's data is grossly under reported (not all clinics report and no doctor's offices report abortions at all). Now we learn that the two additional reports by Dr. Wendy Norman (Abortion Health Services in Canada and First-trimester medical abortion practices in Canada) also under report abortion data, one of them actually reports less abortions than CIHI does.

1) Abortion health services in Canada (Objective: To determine the location of Canadian abortion services relative to where reproductive-age women reside and the characteristics of abortion facilities and providers.)

This paper is based on a national survey of abortion providers. It reports that 75,650 abortions were done in 2012. CIHI reported 83,708 abortions in 2012:
"We report the first detailed data on abortion facilities and providers in Canada, including data on facilities providing 90.4% of the total number of Canadian abortions (83,708) reported to the Canadian Institute for Health Information for 2012".
The report makes no mention of the fact that the 83,708 CIHI number is also an incorrect under reported number, but the statement leads the reader to believe that CIHI's numbers are accurate when they are not. My calculations based on my 2010 FOI requests show that OHIP numbers were 53.28% higher that CIHI's numbers that year. And since every year since 2010 we have not had accurate data, I've had to estimate the numbers.

And now we know, my 53.28% number is probably even higher based on what we learned from the government during our court appearance.

2) First-trimester medical abortion practices in Canada (Objective: To understand the current availability and practice of first-trimester medical abortion (MA) in Canada):
"A strength of this study was the high response rate, allowing it to capture 90.4% of the terminations reported to CIHI in 2012.1 It also presents the first picture of MA in Canada and can provide a basis for further evaluations. However, we recognize that it might not be completely representative; physicians were recruited from publicly advertised sites providing surgical abortion services, which might have introduced a lower response rate from hospital-based services and from MA providers not associated with an advertised abortion facility. Another potential limitation is the low response rate observed in Ontario (56.3%), a high-population area; thus, the results of this survey might not be generalizable to every province, especially Ontario."
Another problem is that these reports are not published annually. And there is no guarantee that they would be published every year, and most probably won't be. Since these two Wendy Norman reports are for 2012 stats, but were only published in 2016 (four years later), it's pretty certain that these reports are probably a one off. Reports that are published occasionally or only once, are not a good argument for telling someone there is already abortion information out there. And two public one-off reports that are known to under report abortion data, does not qualify as a "large body of scholarly works", wouldn't you say?

Sunday, February 19, 2017

Hiding abortion information was done for political reasons

The Ontario government argued (at length) that they had safety and security concerns regarding my requests for abortion data.

If safety and security was a concern, then why didn't they ever tell me that way before our court date? Because they couldn't defend their specious argument.

Back when I was originally denied my FOI request, I sent multiple letters to Deb Matthews and Kathleen Wynne, asking them to give me a reason why they had enacted this law. After repeatedly sending follow emails to both of them; after repeated phone calls to their offices; after meeting with m MPP Madeleine Meilleur who told me to contact the Minister of Health Deb Matthews--I received no answers.

(Wynne always referred me back to Deb Matthews refusing to be accountable herself.)

Meilleur did tell me when I met her that the change was enacted for "privacy" reasons. Which makes no sense because I never asked for, nor did I ever get, any private information.

Minister Deb Matthews did tell me though that "These amendments were debated and passed in the Legislature." Which is untrue. The abortion exclusion clause was never debated in the legislature, nor in committee hearings. Never debated at all. And notice Matthews never mention the so-called safety and security argument in her letter to me. Why not? Because the government hadn't dreamt up that argument yet at that point.

Fast forward to my bringing a charter challenge against the government, and all of a sudden safety and security is the main basis for their defense of their change to FIPPA. You know I wasn't born on a turnip truck.

In any case, do they really expect us to believe that safety and security could possibly be an issue when I never asked for any personal information of anyone, but was only asking for three aggregate numbers:
  • Total of Abortions done in hospitals
  • Total of Abortions done in clinics
  • Total of Abortions done in physician's offices
I never asked for hospital names. I never asked for patient names. I never asked or clinic names. I never asked for the location of any of these abortion places. So there was no privacy concerns. There was no safety concerns. There was no security concerns.

The Wild West of getting abortion information

I've finally started going through some of my notes from the court proceedings of our charter challenge from Feb. 1.

I have documented below where the judge asked some pretty hard questions to the government's lawyer.

In a nut shell, this exchange is about the government saying that we can have abortion information all we need to do is ask. But as the judge points out, there is no guarantee that one can get the information. There are no policies or guidelines to get this information, and if we are refused the information, our only recourse is to take the government to court. In other words we can't appeal to the information and privacy commissioner (like before), We have to go to court and incur costs. How's that for accessible open and transparent government?

As we know, accessing information through FIPPA (as used to be the case), there were all kinds or rules that guided what could and couldn't be divulged. This ensured that any privacy concerns would be properly dealt with.

But if this clause is allowed to stay in place, we are left with access to abortion information being given based solely on the whim of government bureaucrats (maybe today I'll give it to you and maybe tomorrow I won't), and not protected anymore by law (FIPPA).

This exchange began with the Attorney General's lawyer Dan Guttman saying that abortion data would be made available on a case by case basis.
J: How does the court rely on your assertion that the data is available on a case by case basis? 
L: We did release information during the first litigation, so there is a past history of doing it and we've done it again in this case. And we are saying in a publicly filed document not only is it our position but these are the numbers.
J: So then in order to get the information, people who are seeking the information
have to start court proceedings? 
L: No. So far that has been the extent of our disclosure outside of FIPPA, but today we are saying publicly both in our factum and in court here today before you that if we are asked, our position will if we are asked, we will give generalized abortion statistics out. 
J: What does that mean?
L:  ...if there is an exclusion you are entitled to ask government and when you ask government for that information, the government has to weigh the decision just like in any other decision...you make the request and if the request is denied you have the decision by the court. And we are saying we are going to give out this information. 
J: Where are you saying that? You're saying that here today to me, that doesn't mean anything, you haven't made a public statement, you haven't put into place a policy that will allow me as a court to be reassured that information that is outside the stated intent of the legislation is going to be made available. The only two examples I have is where litigation has been started...
The government has no policy, no guidelines, no rules and no laws regarding divulging abortion information when we ask for it. We just have to believe they will.

Thursday, February 16, 2017

Patrick Brown and freedom of expression rights

The email chain below speaks for itself.

From: Patricia Maloney 
Date: Fri, Feb 10, 2017 at 11:27 AM
Subject: Re: Ontario government hiding abortion information
To: patrick.brown@ontariopc.com
Cc: Patricia Maloney


Dear Patrick,

I still haven't heard back from you regarding my question below. 

I take this to mean that you don't support freedom of expression rights regarding the Ontario Government's decision to hide abortion information?

Unless you provide me with an answer that negates that position, I'll let the readers of my blog know this is why I haven't heard back from you on this.

Thanks

Patricia Maloney


On Thu, Feb 2, 2017 at 4:58 PM, Patricia Maloney <maloneyp64@gmail.com> wrote:
Dear Patrick,

Still waiting for an answer.

Thanks
Patricia Maloney

On Mon, Jan 9, 2017 at 1:12 PM, Patricia Maloney <maloneyp64@gmail.com> wrote:
Dear Mr. Brown,

Can you please tell me your position on the Ontario government's decision in 2012 to hide all abortion related information?

You can read more on this at my blog at:

I am challenging the Ontario government to overturn their non-accountable, non-transparent, closed law, that prohibits freedom of information requests regarding FIPPA.

I look forward to hearing back from you soon.

Sincerely,
Patricia Maloney

A prayer for health care professionals

Yesterday morning during prayer I was filled with gratitude for the men and women who refuse to participate in assisted suicide and abortion. They need our continual prayers and support.

God bless them all and keep them strong in their resolve to protect and defend the most vulnerable members of our society.

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Kevin O’Leary drinks pink Kool-aid

Kevin O’Leary:
So LGBTQI done, marijuana done, reproductive rights 100 percent. Get used to it, that is the definition of the Conservative Party of Canada going forward.
Has anyone else noticed how pinko the Conservatives have become? Why don't we just keep Justin Trudeau as Prime Minister? Kevin sounds just like him.

At least we still have Pierre Lemieux and Brad Trost who will stand up against abortion, and haven't caved into Liberal ideology. At least we still have a few good men.

"Reproductive rights" blah blah blah. Really Kevin? You buy into that nonsense? You know what it means don't you? That's just the pretend right the left made up instead of calling it what it really is: the right to kill unborn children. And it's not a right at all. But you already know that don't you? And using the word "reproductive" is just code word for the word you couldn't say: abortion.

We're onto you Kevin. Maybe you should become a Liberal and be done with it.

Wednesday, February 8, 2017

UPDATE: 2014-2015 abortion statistics

I've had a few people ask me to point to exactly where the Ontario Government reveals the number of abortions performed in Ontario in 2014-2015.

This information is on page 26, Appendix A: of the Ontario government's Factum. The link for the government's factum (Ministry of the Attorney General) is here:

https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B_QDsYLWnwO6QU9HQ01ISDdLSWc/view

Appendix A:  DATA RE PROVISION OF ABORTION SERVICES

NUMBER OF ABORTION SERVICES (15) BILLED IN ONTARIO IN FISCAL YEAR 2014-2015: 45,471

(15) Total number of services billed under OHIP Billing codes: A920A, P001A, S752A AND S785A

I have since then asked the Minister Eric Hoskins to provide me with a further breakdown of these abortions by hospital, clinic, and physcians's offices.

Friday, February 3, 2017

Defunding abortion worries the Ontario government

I noticed something very interesting during our court session on Wednesday. The government's lawyer, throughout his arguments to the judge, kept bringing up the notion of defunding abortion.

Remember that one of the government's arguments is that I can still meaningfully comment on abortion without having accurate abortion statistics, or abortion costs or all the myriad things associated with abortion like abortion policy, gestational ages, repeat abortions, etc.

Not only did their lawyer argue that I could still comment on abortion without this information, he also raised what other pro-life people talked about and blogged about in the context of abortion as well. They could also comment on abortion without this information. (Also interesting that other groups and websites were entered into evidence when our case had nothing to do with them.)

So why this continual mentioning of how many of us would love to defund abortion, which also had nothing at all to do with my case? Why keep bringing it up?

I think this finally brings us to the heart of why the Ontario Government chose to hide abortion information in the first place. And it has nothing to do with their health and safety argument (more on that later). By their forcing us to rely on CIHI's very under reported abortion statistics (CIHI reported 23,746 while the government reported 45,471 for one year.) and not on actual performed abortions, the government is worried that our calls to defund abortion might finally get more traction from the public at large, if they only knew just how much we spend on abortion each year in Ontario.

For instance at $1000/abortion relying on CIHis numbers, that would be $23,756,000 compared to $45,471,000 spent on abortion in one year only(This is an estimate of course, because we don't know the actual cost per abortion. In fact we are perpetually forced into estimating the cost of abortion because we don't have access to that information). That's public money spent on one medically unnecessary medical procedure. And it's almost twice as much as we thought it was. And it's completely hidden from the public.

With the Liberal government in such a mess financially, that's a lot of money to spend, year after year, after year, after year, on the willful killing of innocent, defenseless human beings.

This is the real reason the Ontario government decided to hide abortion information: they really don't like us talking about defunding abortion. Seems like their lawyer did us a favour.

Thursday, February 2, 2017

Getting abortion information outside of FIPPA

Yesterday in court, the Ontario government's lawyer stated that in the future the the Ministry of Health and Long Term care (MOHLT) "will release annual statistical abortion data outside of FIPPA". This was stated by the lawyer yesterday, as well as in the government's factum.

And as I stated yesterday they did release 2014/2015 abortion statistics45,471.

So I just sent the letter below to the Minister of Health Eric Hoskins and cc'd Kathleen Wynne, asking for the breakdown of that data. Since there is no identifiable hospital information, patient information, provider information in my request, my request should be granted. 

I will keep you posted.
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

February 2, 2017

Dr. Eric Hoskins
Minister of Health and Long Term Care
Legislative Assembly of Ontario
111 Wellesley St W, Toronto
ON M7A 1A2, Canada

Dear Dr. Hoskins,

As I'm sure you are aware, yesterday we sat in a court room in Ottawa trying to find out why your government decided to hide abortion information in 2012.

This is when your government inserted clause section 65.(5.7) “This Act does not apply to records relating to the provision of abortion services.” into the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act.

One of the interesting things we learned yesterday from the government's lawyer, is that although abortion related information is excluded from FIPPA, we only need to contact the government and they will provide us with abortion information.

So I am making a request to you (outside FIPPA), to provide me with the breakdown of the 2014/2015 abortion number (45,471). I would like to receive all the OHIP billing codes that make up this total number.

I assume that the billing codes would be similar to the codes I received in my 2010 FOIs on abortion. they are as follows:

P054 - selective fetal reduction of one or more fetuses by intracardiac potassium chloride injection
S752 - induced - by any surgical technique up to and including 14 weeks gestation
S785 - induced - by any surgical technique after 14 weeks of Gestation
S770 - hysterotomy (may be claimed for purposes other than Therapeutic abortion)
S783 - hysterotomy with tubal interruption (may be claimed for purposes other than Therapeutic abortion)
A920 - medical management of termination of pregnancy

This code is also a possible code:
P001A - Medical management of non-viable fetus or intra-uterine fetal demise between 14 and 20 weeks gestation

There may be additional codes that make up the total number, in which case I would like to see those codes and associated totals as well.

I would also like to receive a breakdown like I did in 2010 where the abortions are further subdivided between hospital abortions, clinic abortions, and physician's Offices abortions. See here for an example of the data I received before http://run-with-life.blogspot.ca/2012/03/more-abortion-statistics-for-ontario.html

I look forward to hearing back from you at your earliest convenience,

Sincerely,

Patricia Maloney

The tragedy that is abortion

Father Mark Goring pretty much captures my motivation for doing what I do. I think what he says is in this five minute video, is probably the same motivation for all pro-life people.


When dealing with governments who hide the acts of abortion taking place in Ontario, who want everything they do about abortion to be kept secret, numbers, costs, policies etc, this is a good reminder to us all, the tragedy of this so-called medical procedure that takes the innocent defenseless life of an unborn child.

Wednesday, February 1, 2017

Guess how many abortions were done in Ontario in 2014/2015?

Well we finally had our day in court. I will be writing on this more later.

But for now, I'd like to let you know how many abortions were done in Ontario in 2014/2015.

This number was released by the Ontario government via their factum today.

45,471 abortions were done in Ontario in 2014/2015

One of the government's arguments was that I can already have meaningful debate on abortion without accurate abortion numbers, and that there is other information out there on abortion (more on that later).

This is the second time the Ontario Government has given me abortion data in the past five years. And both times it was litigation that made them release it. Yet they tell us that I can ask for abortion information outside of FIPPA, and I will get it. (I will be testing this out very soon on Kathleen Wynne and Eric Hoskins. I guarantee it.)

Let me repeat that number. The number of abortions done in Ontario in one year is 45,471 abortions, based on OHIP billings.

CIHI reported 23,746 abortions in Ontario for 2014.

That's almost twice as many abortions performed in Ontario than is officially reported. No wonder the Ontario government doesn't like me going after abortion statistics. It also goes to shows how important open, transparent and accountable government is. We are paying for these abortions so it's our right to know how many there are and what we are paying for them.

Mind you that is a total number with no breakdown at all. When I was doing my FOIs to obtain abortion numbers, I was also learning all kinds of statistics that this umber doesn't tell me, like:
  • How many abortions are being done in hospitals.
  • How many abortions are being done in clinics.
  • How many abortions are being done in doctor's offices.
  • How many abortions were done before 14 weeks gestation.
  • How many abortions are being done after 14 weeks gestation.
  • How many abortions are fetal reduction abortions.
And if I had been allowed to continue to do my FOIs I'm pretty sure I would have been able to find out a whole lot more information on abortion in Ontario.

Meaningful debate can only happen with meaningful information.

The judge will rule on our case later.