Tuesday, June 30, 2020

502 Livebirth abortions in Canada from 2014 to 2018

Live birth abortions from Statistics Canada: Termination of pregnancy, affecting fetus and newborn [P96.4]

I've reported on these Stats Canada's livebirth abortions, and CIHI's livebirth abortions, many times before.

Stats Canada's and CIHI's livebirth abortion numbers are never the same. I've never been able to get an answer as to why their numbers are always different.

We still don't know why these late term abortions are born alive. We still don't know what happens to these little souls when it happens. We do know that they died because they are reported as a death by Stats Canada. Are these tiny humans held and comforted as they wait to die? Are they thrown into the garbage? How much do they suffer? Did anyone ask them what they wanted?

These livebirth abortions are shameful. They are a tragedy. And they continue to happen year after year.

Fetal pain during abortion is an ethical problem

Fetal pain during an abortion is a real thing. Recently I listened to an interview from Johnathon Van Maren with John C Bockmann, about his new research on fetal pain: Reconsidering fetal pain.

Three things of note about this research.

First, is that the two authors (Stuart WG Derbyshire and John C Bockmann) are on different sides of the abortion debate:
The two authors of this paper have very different views on the morality of abortion. One of us believes that abortion is necessary for women’s health and autonomy, while the other believes that abortion violates the ethical principle of non-maleficence and ought to be restricted and discouraged.
I'd say it's unusual to hear of a pro-choice person willing to collaborate with a pro-life person on abortion.

Second, is that most previous research on fetal pain believed that that the cortex was necessary for pain experience. There is new evidence to the contrary, and pain could be felt as early as 13 weeks gestation.
"Reports often suggest that the cortex and intact thalamocortical tracts are necessary for pain experience. Given that the cortex only becomes functional and the tracts only develop after 24 weeks, many reports rule out fetal pain until the final trimester. Here, more recent evidence calling into question the necessity of the cortex for pain and demonstrating functional thalamic connectivity into the subplate is used to argue that the neuroscience cannot definitively rule out fetal pain before 24 weeks."
"The most common surgical technique is dilatation and evacuation (D&E). In a D&E, the cervix is dilated, the amniotic fluid drained, and the fetus is removed in pieces via several surgical manoeuvres using grasping forceps. Again fetal death follows either direct feticide performed before the D&E or the trauma of the D&E results in the death of the fetus. We consider the possibility of fetal pain during these two procedures post-13 weeks’ gestation."
Canada performs D&E abortions. Thousands of them. Every year.

In 2018 Canadian doctors performed at least 2,076 D&E abortions according to CIHI. I say at least because CIHI only reports D&E abortions for those performed in hospitals. We do not know the numbers of these abortions performed in clinics. We also know that CIHI reported at least 3,002 hospital abortions done between 13 and 21+weeks gestation, with an additional 3,818 of unknown gestational ages. How many of those unknown gestational age abortions were done? We don't know.

(Once again the gestational ages of the clinic abortions are also not reported. Also the "gestational age" abortions are not in addition to the "type" of abortion; they are different ways of categorizing the same hospital abortions. But since D&E abortions are done from 13-24 weeks gestation, we must ask ourselves exactly what type of abortion this difference of 926 is made up of?

Third, regardless of the sheer number of how many D&E abortions are performed each year in Canada (and one is too many), shouldn't we also be concerned about the morality of the pain inflicted on the fetus? It is refreshing to see a pro-choice person care enough about fetal pain, as well as the morality of causing fetal pain, to undertake such research.
"We also agree that if fetal pain is likely then that has ethical and clinical significance independent of any views on the morality of abortion per se. That said, it is also clear to us that the issue of fetal pain has ethical significance because of abortion practices and not because of other surgical or therapeutic fetal procedures."
Thousands of Canadian children in the womb are pulled apart every year, limb by limb, without anesthesia, when it is very probable that they feel those limbs being crunched and ripped. Just imagine someone doing the same to you. That would be called barbaric.

More on fetal pain here.

Friday, June 26, 2020

Gaining insight into New Brunswick's abortion statistics

By Peter Ryan

(Peter Ryan was Executive Director of New Brunswick Right to Life from 1999 to 2016. He recently published his Memoir The God of Life Lives: A Memoir)

The following is an attempt to shed insight into New Brunswick abortion statistics for 2015-19, as compiled by Patricia Maloney.

Ever since the advent of legalized abortion in Canada in 1969, abortion has been anything but a settled issue in New Brunswick. In the early 2000’s, for instance, two of the main hospitals (in Moncton, Fredericton) stopped doing abortions. A third major hospital (Saint John) did few or no abortions for decades. On the other hand, two formerly Catholic hospitals (Bathurst and Francophone hospital in Moncton) began doing abortions.

These instances of institutional aversion to or acceptance of abortion reflected the drama of decisions by individual obstetrician-gynecologists at the different locations. They also reflected New Brunswick’s unusual and, in comparison to most provinces, more restrictive policy: Until 2015, Medicare only covered abortions if they were performed in a hospital by an obstetrician-gynecologist after being certified by two physicians as medically necessary.

That policy became a major issue in the 2014 provincial election. The victorious Liberal party under Brian Gallant campaigned on removing abortion barriers. In 2015 the rules requiring two doctor approval and an ob-gyn were annulled.

Interestingly, the in-a-hospital requirement remained. As a result, the private abortion clinic that has operated in Fredericton since 1994 (first by Henry Morgentaler, then since 2015 by a different owner) is the only one in Canada not publicly funded.

Statistically, the profile for many years – before 2015 - was that about 1,000 surgical abortions a year took place in the province: about 400 in hospitals, and about 600 in the private clinic. This meant an abortion rate of about 13-14 abortions per 100 live births, less than half the Canadian average.

In my judgment New Brunswick’s reduced abortion rate, more restrictive Medicare policy, and exclusion of funding for private clinics reflect a more pro-life social and political culture than elsewhere. That culture was likewise expressed for a number of years when one-third or more of the sitting Members of the Legislature, and coming from both of the main parties (Liberals and Conservatives) attended the annual March for Life in Fredericton.

The ground shifted in 2015, with newly elected premier Brian Gallant touting abortion as a “Charter right,” though it is not. Under government auspices, a new abortion “service” was soon opened at The Moncton Hospital. A provincial hotline was also set up to give women “access” at hospital sites.

Three hospitals were publicly identified as offering abortions: beside The Moncton Hospital, the Dumont Hospital in Moncton (serving Francophones), and the Chaleur in Bathurst. What was not publicly disclosed, and has just now come to light, was that, starting in 2015, the province's other five regional hospitals also began to perform a small number of abortions each year.

Predictably, hospital surgical abortions rose significantly in 2015, 2016 and 2017 according to provincial government figures: 560, 608 and 656, respectively. (1) An average increase of over 50% compared to the 400 per year previously.

The increase for 2015-17 is even greater according to Canadian Institute for Health Information stats: an average of 734 per year, an increase of over 84% from pre-2015 years.

I have no explanation for the discrepancy between NB’s health department stats and those of CIHI. One thing is clear: Public policy changes after the 2014 election had a dramatic impact on the loss of prenatal lives.

As one examines the stats for individual hospitals, one is struck by how The Moncton Hospital has become the dominant center for surgical abortions, with an average of 292 abortions a year from 2016-19.

In 2017 a new phenomenon emerged: “medical abortions,” referring to chemical or mifegymiso (containing RU-486) abortions. That year New Brunswick became the first province to offer free chemical abortions. The government reported 162 in 2017. (2)

Chemical abortion stats then surged hugely in 2018 and 2019: 520 and 704, respectively. At the same time, surgical abortions decreased to 522 and 405, respectively. (3)

What is so dismaying for pro-lifers is that the net total number of Medicare-funded abortions has, during the past two years, reached an annual average of 1,075, more than two and a half times the pre-2015 average.

To give an accurate provincial picture, we must also factor in surgical abortions at the private clinic in Fredericton. While no public stats are available, Clinic 554 says they performed about 1,000 from 2015-19, or about 200 a year. Assuming that information is correct, it would mean a total of about 1,275 NB abortions a year as of 2018 and 2019.

Consequently, comparing the 2018-19 average to the pre-2015 average of about 1,000 abortions, we find the annual provincial total has increased by about 28%. The provincial population increased by less than 4% between 2015 and 2019. This means the lives of preborn children in New Brunswick have become significantly more at risk.

The NB abortion stats compiled for 2015-19 reveal one more newsworthy fact. The provincial government data includes gestational ages of abortions at five of the 8 main hospitals. What is striking is that, from 2015-18, the hospitals in Saint John and Fredericton (Chalmers) seemed to take turns specializing in second trimester abortions, whereas the other three hosptials listed did first-trimester procedures.

In 2015 and 2018 Saint John did a total of 14 abortions at an average age of 16.8 weeks; in 2016 and 2017 Fredericton did a total of 20 at an average age of 16.3. Whereas at the other three hospitals the average age for 2015-18 was 9.3 weeks.

The significantly higher average fetal age of abortions at two previously undisclosed locations is startling in light of complaints repeatedly made in recent years by abortion rights activists that Medicare-funded abortions were not available in hospitals at 14 weeks or more gestation, whereas, they argued, Clinic 554 did them up to 16 weeks but women were forced to pay. The newly published data reveal that, in truth, the hospital system had, since 2015 and without general public knowledge, acquiesced to those complaints, performing abortions up to and past 16 weeks.

Elected in 2018, the government of Blaine Higgs has stood firm against funding the private abortion clinic in Fredericton, despite pressure from the federal government. That pressure has included the withholding of $140,000 in health transfer funds due to NB’s policy.

The abortion situation in New Brunswick continues to be unsettled. In late 2019 Clinic 554 announced that due to lack of public funding they will be forced to close down. The building was put up for sale, though its operations continue in the meantime. How a closure would affect the profile of future hospital abortions remains to be seen.

The safety of preborn babies in New Brunswick has much deteriorated since 2014, reflected in markedly higher abortion numbers. The fact that all eight main hospitals have become involved in abortion, as opposed to two previously, is alarming.

What is especially shocking is how the number of “medical” (chemical) abortions has spiked, even after a new government not known for friendliness to abortion rights took office. Pro-lifers have always tended to focus greatly on the problem of surgical abortions. In the future more attention deserves to be given to chemical abortions, while not ignoring the plight of any preborn child.

On a positive note, New Brunswick’s life-friendly social culture has not greatly eroded. A poll by Narrative Research in February, 2020 found that two-thirds of residents oppose tax-funded abortion on demand.

(1) These totals do no include cases where a hospital performed 5 or fewer abortions.

(2) The government says mifegymiso is for pregnancies up to 7 weeks.

(3) That figure refers to government data; CIHI stats are not yet available for both of those years.

Wednesday, June 17, 2020

Nunavut doesn't track abortion statistics based on doctor's billing records

My FOI from Department of Health, Government of Nunavut yielded this:
"The doctors in Nunavut are paid a daily wage based on the area they work in. Doctors are paid a daily rate and they see as many patients as they are booked for-regardless of the service that is requested."

Wednesday, June 10, 2020

Nova Scotia's abortion numbers higher than CIHI

Nova Scotia's abortion numbers for 2015-2019 from Nova Scotia Health and Wellness.

Along with higher numbers reported using doctor's billing records than CIH reports, it also looks like Nova Scotia's abortion numbers are going up with the use of medical abortions. See jump in 2019.

Monday, June 8, 2020

Peter MacKay's dumpster fire campaign

All Conservatives should listen to my friend Jonathon Van Maren's excellent analysis of the leadership campaign the Culture Wars Episode 15: Why I think Leslyn Lewis is the best choice for next leader of the Conservative Party

His conclusions are spot on. If Peter MacKay wins, social conservatives will have no place in the Conservative Party. We will be done. MacKay makes no bones at how much he disdains us with when he stupidly said he considers social conservatives are a stinking albatross around Andrew Scheer's neck.

The thing is, we stinking albatrosses, actually make up a good chunk of the Conservative party. Without us supporting the Conservatives, their chances of defeating the Liberals in the next election would be very difficult, if even possible.

Jonathon's entire podcast should be listened by everyone considering how to vote, as he explains his reasons for his ranked choices.

1) Leslyn Lewis
2) Derek Sloan
3) Erin O'toole
4) Peter Mackay

I will be voting the same way.

Wednesday, June 3, 2020

Huge difference between NPDB and CIHI abortion numbers

I continue to try and understand why the accuracy of abortion statistics in this country are so pathetic. I contacted CIHI to get more clarifications about their numbers.

As we already know CIHI's data sources are here:

1. Discharge Abstract Database, Canadian Institute for Health Information.
2. National Ambulatory Care Reporting System, Canadian Institute for Health Information.
3. National Physician Database NPDB (here), Canadian Institute for Health Information.
4. Ministère de la Santé et des Services sociaux du Québec.
5. Manitoba Health, Seniors and Active Living.
6. Induced abortion clinics in Newfoundland and Labrador, Saskatchewan and British Columbia.

When I compared the numbers in the National Physician Database (number 3 above) I learned that these numbers are very different from CIHI's quick stats (which is what everyone uses for yearly abortion numbers).

So I asked CIHI to explain the difference between the two sets of numbers, since the quick stats use a bunch of sources, and the NPDB uses only one source? 

Here is the response I received from CIHI:
"CIHI’s annual induced abortion tables report on abortion volumes in Canada. It includes data on hospital-based abortions submitted to national databases (e.g. DAD, NACRS), in addition to clinic data that is voluntarily provided to CIHI. These tables also include NPDB data as a source for Ontario to estimate the volume of non-hospital abortions.
The NPDB annual release includes NPDB data only, with the goal of national reporting on payments to physicians and services provided. The “utilization” data tables that report service volumes are based on fee-for-service data only. Services provided under alternative forms of reimbursement (e.g. salary and capitation) are not included.
In addition, different methodologies are used to identify abortion volumes between the two reports (Canadian Classification of Health Interventions, CCI, for hospitalization data, vs Fee for service billing codes in NPDB).
Given these differences, there will be expected differences in volumes."
In other words, the NPDB uses fee for services numbers only. And different (undefined) methodologies are used. I've asked what these methodologies are.

Shouldn't fee for service data be more accurate? Why isn't it? Why do they need to obtain the data from so many different places? Then have to use methodologies to get something resembling accurate stats? Why not just make the reporting for abortions performed mandatory and insist every province provide that info?

One can only imagine the gyrations CIHI goes through to come to numbers that they hope to, but never actually achieve, be accurate.

Tuesday, June 2, 2020

Pro-abortions use tax dollars to lobby against pro-life Charter rights

Should a charity that receives millions of dollars in taxpayer funded grants, be in the business of advocating for the repeal of Charter rights of pro-life organizations?

(Pro-life organizations receive $0 in taxpayer funded grants.)

This is what Sandeep Prasad of Action Canada for Sexual Health and Rights is trying to do. He wants to take away our Charter right to protest abortion.
"Every May, anti-choice protesters arrive in Ottawa for the "March for Life" -- the largest demonstration against the right to choose. 
This year, COVID-19 has cancelled this in-person event, like many others. But what will it take to cancel the "March for Life" for good?"
Since April when I last wrote about this pro-abortion organization, I learned that this goup received an additional $11 million dollars in new grant money. This brings their total grant money to date to over $14 million.

(It's not the first time this group has had a campaign against pro-life people. See also here and here).

(Notice the large discrepancy between what the government reports as grants to them, VS what they reported to CRA.)

Action Canada also has almost $2.5 Million in assets, including almost $1.5 million in the bank. Not bad.

Salaries for the people who advocate for abortion in this so-called "non-profit" are pretty lucrative as you can see.

Full statements for Action Canada for Sexual Health and Rights here:

These people eat a steady diet of going after pro-life groups. And they can do it because they receive millions of dollars in funding from Canadian taxpayers, including pro-life people.