Monday, March 28, 2011

Money for nothing

The Conservatives have already started fundraising as of March 26 (pretty quick off the mark I must say).
But you know, I read their email letter (see below) looking for something about, you know, protection for the unborn. Did I find anything? Nope, nothing.

There was also no mention of even a glimmer of hope, that the Conservatives might actually tolerate any abortion debate any time soon. And there was definitely nothing about their dismal voting record on Roxanne's Law, a law that would have provided some legal protection to a woman who was being coerced into having an abortion she didn't want to have.

How could anybody not be against forced abortion? I have no idea, but 178 MPs actually voted against Roxanne's law.

A suggestion would be for all you folks out there, who received this election funds solicitation, to reply with a Dear Stephen letter:

Dear Mr. Harper,

Sure I'd love to help you out, but honestly I just can't do it. You see, you voted against the first bill in the House of Commons to be debated on in twenty years on the subject matter of abortion. Remember Roxanne's Law? The one that you and some Conservative MPs, who I thought were pro-life, voted against?

Perhaps if you came out with a public statement telling Canadians you've had a change of heart and will allow some proper abortion debate in Canada, then hey, I might even find a few dollars to contribute to your campaign.

But until then, well, I think I need to hang on to my money.  Let me know if you change your mind.

Jane and John Q public.

Here is the email the Conservatives sent out:
"I’m sure you have already heard that yesterday, the Ignatieff-led Coalition with the NDP and Bloc Quebecois united to force Canadians into an unnecessary and unwanted election.

By forcing an unnecessary election in this time of fragile economic recovery – Canada’s fourth in seven years – Michael Ignatieff and his coalition partners are irresponsibly and recklessly putting at risk Canadians’ jobs, our economy and stable government.

The budget our Prime Minister tabled this week – the next phase of Canada’s Economic Action Plan – is critically important to complete our economic recovery. It is Stephen Harper’s low-tax plan for jobs and growth. It’s a balanced plan to strengthen the financial security of Canadian families, and protect and create jobs. The Coalition’s actions today make clear they don’t care about any of the practical initiatives in the budget. Or the fact that without it, Canada’s economic recovery will be put in jeopardy just as we enter the home stretch.

Simply put, in forcing this unnecessary election the Ignatieff-led Coalition has recklessly placed their own political ambitions ahead of Canadians’ financial security. Their self-interest ahead of Canada’s stability.

This campaign is a clear choice between principled leadership and a political opportunist; between a stable government and a reckless coalition. And between a low tax plan for jobs and growth and a high tax agenda that will stall our recovery, kill jobs and set families back.

The next five weeks will be a challenge as we face the Ignatieff-led Coalition. We need to fight back and train volunteers in every one of Canada’s 308 ridings. We also need to reach out to Canadians across our country through advertising. We will also need help in getting out our vote on Election Day.

All these campaign priorities cost money, which is why I am sending you this email today.

With your support, we are looking to elect a stable national government so we can complete the economic recovery and keep taxes low. A re-elected Harper Government will work to assure a strong economy, a secure country and the safety of Canadians through steady, responsible, and practical government.

We are asking all of our loyal supporters if they can contribute $200 or $100 so we can give this campaign a running start. Please, make a contribution of $200 or $100 right now by following this link and using our secure, online donation page .

Dan Hilton
Executive Director, Conservative Party of Canada"

Sunday, March 27, 2011

An important lesson

Jim Armaly learned yesterday that many who like to call themselves "pro-choice" are really pro-abortion. He also learned about how some of them behave really badly: Pro-lifers met with rudeness, venom.

I know of one "pro-choice" person who talked about how pro-lifers behave badly. They also said that pro-lifers get nasty with "shouting" and "interfering" at some unidentified clinic. Of course when repeatedly asked where this supposed clinic was, that "pro-choicer" wouldn't give the name and location of said abortion clinic where this allegedly occurred, so there was no way of verifying this apparent bad behaviour by pro-lifers.

In Armaly's letter in the Windsor Star, he says:
"An eye-opener because I had not realized the venom and rudeness of the pro-abortion faction. Yes, I know that they prefer "pro-choice" but that is a euphemism as I discovered from their response to our standing there.

There were obscenities shouted and yelled at us; the finger; the driver who came as close to the curb as possible to scare me. I had heard that they had even destroyed the crib display previously.

From all of this, therefore, I can only conclude that they are not really pro-choice at all. How can they be if they don't respect our choice to silently pray and ask others to pray."

Jim, you've answered your own question. Many "pro-choicers" are really pro-abortions.

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Government must listen to calls for improved abortion statistics

It seems everyone is calling for better information on abortion statistics. Yet we continue to have numbers that are contradictory, unreported, or unknown.

Anastasia Bowles of LifeCanada recently reported a discrepancy between CIHI's figures, and a recent study done by an Ontario group, Project for an Ontario Women’s Health Evidence-Based Report (POWER).

Bowles states:

"By comparison, the new POWER study uses OHIP billing records and several different databases, making it more reliable than other recent data. This may account for a large discrepancy between the study’s and CIHI’s figures. The study does not give absolute numbers for abortions but it does provide the abortion to live birth ratio. Since Statistics Canada reports the number of Ontario live births as 138,000, this would suggest the number of Ontario abortions in 2007 may actually be around 51,000, much higher than CIHI’s figure of about 32,000."

If we extrapolate the discrepancy for these numbers from Ontario, and assume that this discrepancy is the same for all provinces, we may not be looking at 94,010 abortions per year in Canada (as per CIHI), but rather a staggering 150,000 abortions in Canada each year.

Of course all of this is simply best-guess numbers because our Government refuses to make the collection of abortion statistics mandatory. And it isn't just pro-life groups that want accurate statistics.

In an Access to Information request I made to Statistics Canada (to learn how Statistics Canada decided to change participation in the Therapeutic Abortion Survey from mandatory to voluntary), I learned many others also want accurate statistics including pro-choice groups.

In a document entitled A note on Slipping Timelines and Declining Data Quality of Therapeutic Abortion Statistics Program Canada, written in 1998 by Surinder Wadhera, the Program Manager of the Therapeutic Abortion statistics, Wadhera stated:

"Phase I - Sept. 1964 - July 1986...Abortion reports for the 16 year period (1970-1986) were timely, comprehensive and met the increasing data needs of the users. The satisfaction element of users is reflected in positive feed back: (a) in the form of a letter from Justice Minister to the Chief Statistician at that time; (b) appreciation from Canadian Medical Association, Media, Pro-life and Pro-choice abortions groups and international agencies like World Health Organisation, Population Council.

Phase 11- August 1986- July 1998 Statistics Canada cancelled the therapeutic abortion program in August 1986 and the reason assigned was budgetary constraints. The activity of data collection and analysis was suspended for the next 15 months till November 1987. At that time the Minister in charge of Statistics Canada announced the re-instatement of the program, which was as a result of pressure from users across Canada, comprising of members of provincial legislatures, Members of Parliament and other interested parties like Pro-life and Pro-choice groups."

(I need to digress here for a moment. It is tragic that the preceding information is only available to me because Statistics Canada is ATIPPable. Now that CIHI produces and collects the abortion statistics, other abortion related information like the information above, will no longer be available to Canadians. It will remain permanently hidden from our purview.)

Here is an example of abortion analysis Statistics Canada used to produce in this document called Pregnancy Outcomes. The author states is his introduction:
"Data on pregnancy rates and outcomes are important for planning, implementing, and evaluating maternal and child health and family planning programs. Such information also has implications for the provision of facilities and treatment now and in the future."

This is just as true today as it was in 1996 when this was written. But we don't get this kind of analysis anymore from Statistics Canada since the responsibility for abortion collection and publication was transferred to CIHI.

In a counterpoint article to Ms. Bowles article, Ruth Croxford, Sheila Dunn, and Lorraine E. Ferris of the POWER project, also advocated for improved data collection. (Ms. Dunn conducts clinical trials of hormonal contraceptives and means of medical abortion.):

"We were pleased to see Ms. Bowles make the point for improved data collection. Health services researchers have long advocated for better data about all health care services. The provision of effective and efficient evidence-based health care can only thrive in an environment rich in data."

Abortion reporting is not mandatory for clinics, so numbers will only get worse, especially as more and more abortions are performed at clinics. The few statistics we do have are poor. Pro-life, pro-choice, and many other groups want better statistics.

So what's to be done?

The Conservatives need to honour their promise that:

"Government will become more transparent and more open. It will provide Canadians with access to more information from Crown corporations, Agents of Parliament, and government-funded foundations".

This can be accomplished by the government mandating reporting of abortions performed by all abortion clinics, along with a law to disclose the statistics to the public.

Friday, March 11, 2011

Socially conservative feminism: our time has come

Barbara Kay says it like it is in the Post on Wednesday: The day Sarah Palin kneecapped feminism.

Kay says:
If there is one issue that illustrates the bright line between revolutionary feminism and Palinite feminism, it is abortion. The unfettered right to abortion is an irreducible feminist dogma. It wasn’t always the case. The Suffragettes were political pioneers, but social conservatives. Thanks to Sarah Palin, the long political hibernation of socially conservative feminism is over.

In response, I wrote this letter to the Post:


National Post · Friday, Mar. 11, 2011

Re: Love Her Or Hate Her, Palin Changed Feminism, Barbara Kay, March 9.

I think we should start a new movement and regain our rightful place in the world, retaking it from the feminists who have co-opted the philosophy of feminism to make it something that it was never meant to be: Women's rights first, and always to the exclusion of men's rights and the rights of the unborn. I never liked the "feminist" moniker, but "socially conservative feminism"?

I like it.

Patricia Maloney, Ottawa.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

If abortion is not wrong, nothing is wrong

Peter Kreeft from his book Catholic Christianity:
The basic arguments for and against abortion

There are three steps, or premises, to the argument for outlawing abortion:

The first is that one of the most fundamental purposes of law is to protect human rights, especially the first and foundational right, the right to life.

The second is that all human beings have the right to life.

The third is that the already-conceived but not-yet-born children of man beings are human beings.

From these three premises it necessarily follows that the law must protect the right to life of unborn children.

There are only three possible reasons for disagreeing with this conclusion and being "pro-choice" instead of pro-life. One may deny the first, second, or third premise. For if all three are admitted, the pro-life conclusion follows.

Thus there are three different kinds of "pro-choicers":

First, there are those who admit that all persons have a right to life and that unborn children are persons but deny that this right should be protected by law (the first premise). This is a serious legal error.

"The inalienable right to life of every innocent human individual is a constitutive element of a civil society and its legislation.

"'The inalienable rights of the person must be recognized and respected by civil society and the political authority. These human rights depend neither on single individuals nor on parents; nor do they represent a concession made by society and the state; they belong to human nature and are inherent in the person by virtue of the creative act from which the person took his origin...3

"'The moment a positive' " [human] "'law deprives a category of human beings of the protection which civil legislation ought to accord them, the state is denying the equality of all before the law. When the state does not place its power at the service of the rights of each citizen, and in particular of the more vulnerable, the very foundations of a state based on law are undermined' 4" (CCC 2273).

Second, there are those who admit that the law should protect the right to life and that unborn children are human beings but deny that all human beings have the right to life (the second premise). This is a very serious moral error.

It is essentially the philosophy of power, of "might makes right." Those in power—doctors, parents, legislators, adults—decree the right to kill those who lack the power to defend themselves: the smallest, most vulnerable, and most innocent of' all human beings. No good reason can justify this decree; a good end does not justify an intrinsically evil means. If the babies shared the powers of the abortionists and could fight back with scalpels, there would be few abortions.

Third, there are those who admit that the law should protect the right to life and that all humans have that right, but deny that unborn children are humans (the third premise).This is a serious factual and scientific error.

Before Roe v. Wade legalized abortion, all science texts taught the biological truism that the life of any individual of any species begins at conception, when sperm and ovum unite to create a new being with its own complete and unique genetic code, distinct from both father and mother. All growth and development from then on are a matter of degree, a gradual unfolding of what is already there. There is no specific or distinct point in our development when we become human. (What were we before that? Birds?) Only when abortion became legal did the science textbooks change their language and cease teaching this truism—not because of any new science but because of a new politics.

Abortion is not a complex issue. Few moral issues could be clearer. As Mother Teresa said, "If abortion is not wrong, nothing is wrong."