Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Three clinics in Ottawa perform medical abortions

Planned Parenthood Ottawa will "advise" women on medical abortions.

An intern working for PPO tells us that you can pay $1500-$2000 for a medical abortion if you don't have OHIP. Pretty steep price for dismembering, decapitating and disemboweling your pre-born child.

She also tells us that there are three clinics in Ottawa who do medical abortions. I wonder where they are?
This post was written by Katie, our Programming Intern for the 2013-14 school year. She took some time to research the availability of medical abortion in the Ottawa area and wanted to share the info with our readers.
Many people in Ottawa don’t know what types of abortion services our city offers. The main assumption is that the only way a person can have an abortion is if it is done surgically. It may surprise you to know that abortions can also be done medically, which is to say with medication. That said, a medical abortion can only be performed if you are eight weeks pregnant or less.
Medical abortion may be a better option for people who worry about surgical abortion being too invasive. The procedure is a lot more private. In fact, you can insert the pills (they’re suppositories) in the comfort of your own home. At most medical abortion clinics, there is no referral from a doctor required – the ultrasound and blood work can be done right there in the clinic. But medical abortions are not entirely free. If you’re an Ontario resident, OHIP will cover the cost of the visit (ultrasound, blood work), but you have to pay for the prescription, which costs about $50-60. If you do not have a valid OHIP card, a medical abortion can cost $1500-2000.
You are given the prescription from the nurse or doctor at the clinic and need to drop by a pharmacy to fill the prescription.Once you’re ready, insert the five tablets vaginally and lie down for an hour. You have to repeat the process 12 hours later. During the following few days, it will feel as though you are having a heavy period. Bleeding is often heavier than a normal menstruation, and there are sometimes blood clots in the discharge. The longer the pregnancy has developed, the more cramps and bleeding there will be. When the abortion is complete, the bleeding and the cramps will begin to diminish. Follow up visits at the clinic are usually between 1.5-2 weeks after the abortion to determine whether the termination is complete.
There are 3 clinics in Ottawa that offer medical abortions, and you can get their contact info by calling Planned Parenthood Ottawa at 613-226-3234. You can also contact Canadians for Choice at 1-888-642-2725 or if you’re interested in info on financial assistance for abortion procedures (for the procedure itself or for travel or accommodation related to the procedure). The National Abortion Federation of Canada has info on who provides medical and surgical abortions across Canada, and they can be reached at 1-877-257-0012.
Don’t hesitate to contact any of these organizations if you have any questions.

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Abortion issue is a long way from settled

I was surprised to read this letter from the Guelph Mercury. I was surprised that it was even published. Don't they have editors over there to screen such hateful letters? And the irony is, that the letter writer uses the word hate five times, yet not one use is warranted, or even makes any sense.
"The abortion issue was decided in the 1970s."
Well no, it wasn't. In a democracy issues aren't "decided". If they were decided, it wouldn't be a democracy.
"...these right-to-life ads on city buses are...offensive". 
How are these ads offensive? The writer doesn't tell us, we must simply take his word for it. Here they are again in case you haven't seen them. You can decide for yourself.

"It's hate literature, saying basically we hate you because you are killing people."
So what part of: "Simply human. I'm not a potential person I'm a person with potential." And, "This is a child. Not a choice." says "we hate you"? I can't read hate into the signs and neither can the letter writer. He's making that up.
"You are terrorizing a vulnerable minority of our population with your ads because of your religious belief."
Terrorizing? Hamas terrorizes people. Al Qaeda terrorizes people. Pro-life people do not terrorize people. And there is no religion raised in the ad at all. Some pro-life people are religious, some have no religion and some are atheists. Remember Christopher Hitchens? He was a rabid atheist and pro-life. And I can never understand it, when people conclude that pro-life people are religious, and use that specious "argument" to try and justify their point of view.
"Stop it. You don't have that right."
Yes we do. It's called free speech. In Canada this is a constitutional right.
"Abortion was decided a long time ago by the majority." 
Abortion is not decided as long as people say it's not decided. Full stop.
"When abortion is legal, the crime rate drops quite noticeably."
Wrong. Read this: Did Steven Levitt, author of “Freakonomics”, get his most notorious paper wrong from the Economist.
"Every child should be a wanted child." 
What about "unwanted" toddlers. Or "unwanted" teenagers. Should we get rid of them too?
"You aren't alive until you can breathe on your own." 
You are alive at conception. You are growing. You are not dead.
"I bet you hate me".
I don't hate you. I feel sorry for you. I really, really do.

Human beings have human rights

By Jonathon Van Maren
That was a comment left on The Abortion Rights Coalition of Canada’s Facebook page by a woman who presumably opposes men speaking out against misogyny, domestic abuse, rape culture, and female genital mutilation as well. Apparently, you see, male genitals disqualify people from speaking out on various human rights issues deemed by women who define themselves by their uteruses while protesting angrily against being defined by their uteruses as “women’s issues.”
Which abortion isn’t, by the way. It’s a human rights issue.
File 2739
To break it down really simply for our confused “feminist” friends: Human beings have human rights. Human rights begin when the human being begins, or we are simply choosing some random and arbitrary point at which human beings get their human rights. If we do not grant human rights to all human beings, inevitably some sub-set of human beings gets denied protection by another group with conflicting interests. In this case, of course, it is the abortion crowd, who want to be able to kill pre-born children in the womb whenever they want, for any reason they want.
Science tells us when human life begins. Pro-abortion dogma is at worst a cynical manoeuvre to sacrifice the lives of pre-born human beings for self-interest, and at best an outdated view that collapsed feebly under the weight of new discoveries in science and embryology. But the abortion cabal wants to preserve their bloody status quo at all costs, and so they make ludicrous claims about needing a uterus to qualify for a discussion on science and human rights.
In fact, feminists love it when men speak up on abortion, as long as we’re reading from their script, which is why the carnivorous feminists have such a support system among the Deadbeat Dads for Dead Babies set and the No Strings Attached Club.
Male abortion activists have even begun to complain about “forced fatherhood,” a new cultural injustice in which they are expected to bear some responsibility for fathering children with women they didn’t love enough to want to father children with, but did appreciate enough to use for sex. Casual fluid swaps, they whine, should not result in custody hearings.
This is not to mention a genuine social tragedy that has men forcing or pressuring women to have abortions or abandoning them when they discover that the woman is, indeed, pregnant.
Or the fact that abortion has assisted pimps, rapists, and misogynists in continuing the crimes of sex trafficking, sexual abuse, and sex-selection abortion.
And coming against these disgusting trends are thousands of men in the pro-life movement who believe that shared humanity means shared responsibility, and that when the weak and vulnerable are robbed of their rights, we have to stand up and speak out.
We are not at all convinced by the feminist argument that people should think with their reproductive organs or genitals. We think that the number of people currently doing that has perhaps contributed to the problems we face. And we refuse to be told that protecting the human rights of all human beings is “none of our business” and “outside of our interests.”
Arguments don’t have genitals, feminists. It’s a stupid argument trying to protect a bloody ideology.
Reprinted with permission

Sunday, July 27, 2014

To do - write to CPSO

Send your comments in to the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Ontario (CPSO) on their Human Rights Code Policy review, by August 5, 2014.

It is very important that every right thinking Ontario person do this. Our conscience rights and freedom of religion rights are supremely important to defend.

When we tell doctors to leave their conscience at the door, we are in effect saying, that we condone their acting unethically and immorally. That is what is meant, by not allowing our conscience to guide our actions. It is a very dangerous road to travel.

Our Church provides an excellent sample letter for people to use.

Abortion gets priority over all other health problems

"The New Brunswick Medical Society is calling on the provincial government to develop a plan to make sure there are no barriers to access abortion in the province, but says the contentious two-doctor rule isn’t the problem." 
The recent closure of the private Morgentaler Clinic in Fredericton has led activists to call for the repeal of regulation 84-20 of the New Brunswick Medical Services Payment Act. It stipulates that abortions are paid for only if they are performed in one of two approved hospitals after being deemed medically necessary by two physicians. 
"It's the same as any other health issue,” said Dr. Camille Haddad, the society’s president-elect. 
Haddad says any procedure requires a referral from a family doctor and a consultation with a specialist.
"It's a decision between those two people, a family doctor and the woman, and the specialist and that's it,” he said. (all emphasis mine)
I currently have a pre-cancerous skin problem on my face. I've seen my GP multiple times about it. She has now referred me to see a dermatologist and I have to wait five weeks for an appointment. Do you think I can just waltz into the dermatologist's office without a referral? Of course not. Do you think I can just waltz into his office without waiting those five weeks that I have to wait? Of course not. What about my access to a dermatologist?

Why do women expect to have access to an abortion--a completely discretionary procedure--without having to see any doctors at all? Why do they expect (I should say demand) this and I have to follow the defined process just like everyone else?

There are access problems and wait times for all medical procedures in Canada. Our health care system is sick. I just can't figure out why the abortion procedure always gets such special treatment over every other health issue.

Saturday, July 26, 2014

Offensive and despicable bus ads--not

This person doesn't like the ads on Guelph's buses. She thinks they are "offensive and despicable".

So I went looking for the offending ads. This is what I found.

I thought I was looking for something offensive and despicable?

The woman goes on quite the rant about these ads, most of which doesn't make a lot of sense.
"First, there's no such thing as "unborn children." A fetus becomes a child only at birth and beyond. A fetus becomes a child only at birth and beyond."
What's she talking about? A member of the human species is an unborn child. It's certainly not an "unborn cat" or an "unborn gorilla". This is basic science.
"...for me, it's hard to fathom the gall of any man holding a strong anti-abortion view and expressing it publicly. He is not pregnant, and will not become pregnant, nor will he suffer the pain of childbirth."
All of this has absolutely nothing to do with allowing a man to join the abortion discussion, nor should it. To exclude a group (men) in participating in this discussion, or any discussion, is called discrimination based on gender.
"Thankfully, in 2014 in this democracy, accidentally pregnant women are offered early abortion...accidental pregnancies in this province are treated quickly in hospitals or clinics, as are other accidents."
The ads don't change this "thankful" solution to "accidental pregnancies" so what's her problem?
"Accidentally pregnant women/girls will not be cowed or controlled by uninformed busybodies who call themselves pro-life. There are more serious social problems to deal with, such as the tragedy of unwanted children — five-year-old Jeffrey Baldwin, who was starved to death by his grandparents in 2002, being one. Give him some thought."
Doesn't she comprehend the irony of her statement? These ads are trying to educate us on the tragedy of unwanted children. Apparently its message is lost on the letter writer. Too bad. She could use some educating on pre-born children.
"women/girls who chose abortion will feel no shame or guilt — the feeling will be relief."
I can't imagine how she knows the feelings of the literally millions of women who have had abortions.
"As well as personal reasons, many young people know we live in a greatly overpopulated world — one that cannot or does not sustain us adequately in food, health, and harmony." 
This sentiment always scares me to death--when people think that abortion is a solution to a supposedly overpopulated world. We can just kill them off. So disposable. So unwanted. So pathetic.

Friday, July 25, 2014

Conscientious objection and pro-choice doctors

When I last wrote about Joyce Arthur and her belief that doctors shouldn't be allowed to practice conscientious objection, I was (delightfully) surprised to learn that those of the "pro-choice" persuasion don't all necessarily agree with her. Like the British Pregnancy Advisory Service (bpas) and Global Doctors for Choice.

In this shorter pieceArthur laments that International Journal of Gynecology and Obstetrics also does not agree with her:
"Unfortunately, a global consensus seems to have emerged among (pro-choice) medical professionals that clinicians do indeed have a right to deny reproductive health care that they personally disagree with. A recent example of this consensus was a special supplement called “Conscientious Objection to the Provision of Reproductive Healthcare,” published by the International Journal of Gynecology and Obstetrics (IJGO) in December. The supplement contains five pieces on the topic: an editorial, three short articles, and a long white paper by three physicians from Global Doctors for Choice." 
Now the white paper also puts forward the notion that although they agree with conscientious objection, they still want doctors to refer. Which of course is a non-starter. If you think that something is immoral, you don't go ahead and refer to someone else. That would mean you're still complicit in the immoral act.

The document is 34 pages and includes footnotes.

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Our responsibility to act in our circle of influence

Fr. Yves talks today about God's mercy and justice.

In this life God's mercy is there for the taking. In the next life justice will be satisfied. God allows us to choose sin over his love. He gives us time to repent of our sin here on earth. Mercy is outward focus. Mercy counteracts evil. To do nothing about evil is a grave injustice against God. And we bring justice on ourselves. God offers us mercy to give us the opportunity to repent.

Fr. Yves goes on to say that we must, within our circle of influence, remind those that God's mercy and patience and will one day change to irrevocable judgement for sin.

He spoke about something that's happening within our circle of influence in Ontario: is that the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Ontario are reviewing their policy of human rights. There is pressure on the College that would require physicians to provide non-emergency services (abortion and emergency contraception) that go against their conscience. We can add our comments to CPSO's website on conscientious objection go here.

Thanks Premier David Alward

Protests and crowd-funding can’t prevent N.B. Morgentaler clinic from performing final abortions

I think what the government is doing in New Brunswick is very courageous. The Morgentaler abortion clinic is closing, and the government won't budge.
"...By law, a woman in New Brunswick who wants an abortion covered by medicare must have two doctors certify in writing that it is medically necessary and the procedure must be carried out by a specialist in one of two approved hospitals. Once the clinic closes, those two hospitals will be the only facilities in the province where abortions will be provided...
...The government has consistently held by its position that there is no need for change because women will still have access to abortions that are medically necessary and approved by two physicians."
New Brunswick, like all provinces, has jurisdiction over their own health care. They deem what is medically necessary and what isn't. They have put in place the criteria regarding medical necessity for abortions, and are sticking by it.

Other provinces could do the same. If they weren't so gutless. Which they are. They'd prefer to run with the pro-abortion herd, instead of asking themselves what is better for our society and our children.

Thank you Premier Mr. David Alward for having a mind of your own and not blindly joining the pack.

Maybe you'd like to thank the premier. I will.

General Information
(506) 453-2144
Reception : (506) 453-2144
Fax : (506) 453-7407
Email :

Looking for doctors who support conscientious objection

I understand that some doctors have been writing to newspapers regarding their freedom of conscience rights. And that maybe those letters haven't been published in those newspapers.

If you or someone you know has written such a letter, if you want to send it to me I would be happy to publish them on my blog.

Send to me at

Saturday, July 19, 2014

Pro-abortions can't be bothered with the truth

I love it when the pro-abortions prove our point.

The last time I wrote about Joyce Arthur's pathetic "Exposing Crisis Pregnancy Centres in BC" I said:
"For all those people who reference Arthur's report, it really doesn't do their pro-abortion cause any good. It just makes them look like they don't know what they're talking about. Or maybe they just can't get out of the way of their own ideology."
Today I read this from Lianne McTavish:
"Yesterday I received an e-mail from some antiabortion guy, asking me to have an expose of so-called “crisis pregnancy centres” removed from the internet. How flattering that he identified me as an all-powerful pro-choice goddess. He also flattered himself, however, by imagining that I would a) recognize either him or his organization; b) give a flying fuck about his views on women’s bodies; c) take the time to read his 65-page-long attachment. Sorry misogynist dude, but I have better things to do than listen to right wing religious men who are hell bent on controlling women."
If McTavish bothered to read the report she couldn't be bothered reading--she might actually embarrass herself when she finds out just how much of Arthur's report is really just a pro-abortion's flight into fancy.

No no no. Can't let a good fairy tale get in the way of a pro-abortion's ideology.

Zoom. Zoom.

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Joyce Arthur: Conscientious objection should be punished

As we know, the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Ontario is reviewing their policy on conscientious objection (CO), and is looking for input from physicians and the public on their website. CPSO are also posting comments from anyone who would like to contribute to the policy.

Interesting comments on both sides of the debate.

And then there's Joyce Arthur's view on the topic. Arthur co-wrote a paper with Christian Fiala called “Dishonourable disobedience”Why refusal to treat in reproductive healthcare is not conscientious objection

See below for some of Arthur's extreme opinions on conscientious objection. An extreme view by an extreme person. No surprise there.

But it's what happened next that was surprising. After Arthur's article was published, her paper was actually criticized by a pro-choice group: the British Pregnancy Advisory Service (bpas).

Jennie Bristow, editor of Reproductive Review, (the educational arm of BPAS) states:
"It is true that campaigns against abortion have often appropriated the language of ‘conscience’ to push across a more political agenda. However, there are good reasons why prochoice advocates have supported the ability of medical professionals to opt out of performing a procedure that goes against their conscience. The idea of forcing a doctor to perform an abortion when he or she thinks that this is murder sits very uncomfortably with the principles at the heart of a liberal society. So too, of course, does the idea of forcing a women to continue with a pregnancy that she does not want. 
In this regard, choice goes both ways; no woman or doctor should be forced to have or perform an abortion, but women and doctors should be free to choose for themselves whether to have or perform an abortion. That is ultimately why having laws that ban or restrict abortion are such a problem...
...compelling doctors to perform abortions against their wishes would, conversely, lead to unpleasant care for women and set a worrying precedent about how much the law can dictate the beliefs and practice of those working in reproductive healthcare. This includes those doctors and nurses who are motivated by their consciences to perform abortions, and care for the women who need them. 
The problem of abortion is one of too much legal regulation and restriction already. It is hard to see how laws designed to compel professionals to act against their conscience can be of benefit to anybody." (emphasis mine)
Arthur's position was also criticized by by Wendy Chavkin, Global Doctors for Choice.
We are all concerned that conscience-based refusal to provide contested components of reproductive health care exacerbates limited access to such care and thus threatens women’s health and rights. Where we differ with Arthur and Fiala is in our analysis of the issues at stake. We believe that there are competing rights here, and that resolution of such tension is primarily a societal, not individual, responsibility. We also differ in our pragmatic assessment of how best to proceed. 
From the human rights perspective, we see the ability to exercise conscience as fundamental to individual integrity. In fact, allegiance to this principle undergirds our collective defense of the individual woman’s right to autonomy in reproductive decision-making. The international and human rights covenants cited all concur that the individual’s right to hold and manifest beliefs and religion are essential, and subject only to limitations necessary to protect the fundamental rights of others. International and national professional associations have similarly defended the individual clinician’s right of conscience while also asserting that it should be circumscribed by the primary duty to the patient, including requirements to disclose, refer, and impart accurate information, and provide care in cases of emergency. 
The obvious tension here is when the rights of individuals collide: the objecting clinician’s right to refuse, another clinician’s conscience-based commitment to providing that care, the woman’s right to follow through on her conscientiously chosen course of action. (emphasis mine)
Then Arthur apparently felt defensive of her radical views in this rebuttal to their criticism:
"We received several critiques, one published in bpas Reproductive Review, another in RH Reality Check by Global Doctors for Choice, and a few informal criticisms relayed on listservs or online comments, and at a recent conference in Lisbon, Portugal, where we presented our ideas. We paraphrase these criticisms below – most of which we feel ignored or misunderstood our position – and follow with our response."
That's got to be a first. Pro-choicers not agreeing with every confused word that comes out of Joyce Arthur's extremist pro-abortion mouth.

No wonder pro-choicers felt compelled to comment on Arthur's views. Even they realize the importance of conscientious objection for doctors.

Below are excerpts from Arthur's and Fiala's original paper. Arthur's extremist nonsensical views pretty much speak for themselves.

(all emphasis are mine)
"Healthcare professionals who exercise CO are using their position of trust and authority to impose their personal beliefs on patients, who are completely dependent on them for essential healthcare. Health systems and institutions that prohibit staff from providing abortion or contraception services are being discriminatory by systematically denying healthcare services to a vulnerable population and disregarding conscience rights for abortion providers." 
"Some argue that abortion is a type of killing (of the foetus or embryo) and therefore CO is just as relevant in medicine as in the military. However, killing a living person in war cannot be equated with stopping the development of a gestational sac or foetus
Abortion and contraception preserve the health and lives of women, while those practicing CO put women's lives at risk and sometimes even sacrifice them (Attie & Goldwater Productions, 2005)."
"Because reproductive healthcare is largely delivered to women, CO in this field has implications for women's human rights and constitutes discrimination. Women are often expected to fulfil a motherhood role, so they frequently face ignorance, disapproval, or even hostility when requesting abortion. In these circumstances, the exercise of CO becomes a paternalistic initiative to compel women to give birth."
"Abortion is a necessary health intervention, as well as highly ethical."
"Termination of unwanted pregnancy is ethical because women do so only if they don’t see any responsible way to care for that potential child."
"Canada already struck down its law entirely in 1988 and never replaced it, proving that criminal abortion laws are unnecessary and counter-productive."
"Anti-choice objections to providing abortions are based on a denial of this evidence and historical experience. The provision of safe, legal abortion is a vital public interest that negates any grounds for CO."
"Doctors who invoke CO to not perform abortions can benefit professionally by spending more of their time delivering more “reputable” or higher status treatments compared to their abortion-providing colleagues. As a result, they can escape stigma and boost their careers, reputations, and salaries."
"When access to abortion care is reduced, restricted, and stigmatized in so many ways, allowing any degree of CO adds further to the already serious abrogation of patients’ rights and medical ethics."
"CO in reproductive healthcare is largely unworkable and inappropriate, and arguably unethical and unprofessional as well."
"The reliance on a doctor to protect one's life and health makes any right to CO in medicine unethicaland downright dangerous in light of the fact that women often resort to unsafe do-it-yourself abortions when they are unable to access medical care. If peoples’ right to life means anything, they must be able to access necessary healthcare, which should supersede the conscience rights of others."
"CO gives a person a pretext not to do their job, even though they were specifically hired to do that job and are being paid for it."
"The principle of public accommodation requires the discounting of individual conscience within a profession. Everyone's conscience is different and cannot be coerced, which is why a free democratic society places a high value on tolerance and equal respect for all citizens. However, if individuals are permitted to exercise their conscience when serving the public, it gives social sanction to the practice of intolerance. CO invites discrimination against people needing the services being refused, and infringes their freedom of conscience."
"The exercise of CO becomes an excuse for the doctor to exert personal power over the patient by imposing their own views."
"Even doctors who exercise CO within the law are arguably unsuited for their position because they are demonstrating an inability to perform their job – that is, they are allowing religious beliefs or some other personal issue to interfere with their job performance to the extent of negating their professional duty to patients."
 "we propose that healthcare providers be prohibited from a blanket right to refuse to perform or refer for abortion or dispense contraception for personal or religious reasons."
"we propose the following specific remedies to reduce and eventually eliminate CO in reproductive healthcare. Everyone aspiring to enter health professions that involve reproductive healthcare should be required to declare that they will not allow their personal beliefs to interfere with their management of patients to the point of discrimination. Medical students entering the Ob/Gyn specialty should be informed about the full scope of the specialty, including treating women with unwanted pregnancies. Students should be rejected if they do not wish to learn and prescribe contraception or perform abortions for CO reasons. All Ob/Gyns should be required to dispense birth control and perform abortions as part of their practice (unless there is a legitimate medical or professional reason not to). General practitioners should be expected to dispense contraception if requested, and perform abortions if they have the skills and capacity, or else refer appropriately. Pharmacists should be compelled to dispense all lawfully prescribed drugs without exceptions. Institutional CO should be completely prohibited for health systems and businesses that serve the general public."
"Monitoring and enforcement measures should be put into place to ensure that prohibitions on CO are followed. After all, CO is a form of resistance to rules or laws, so those who exercise CO must be prepared to accept punishment for their disobedience, just as in any other profession. Doctors should be sanctioned when they violate laws or codes of ethics that prohibit CO. Disciplinary measures could include a review process, an official reprimand and order to correct, and could escalate to loss of medical license, dismissal, or even criminal charges. In addition, any costs involved in the exercise of CO should be borne by the health professional or institution, who must be held liable for any health risks and negative consequences of their refusal. Patients should be legally entitled to sue and to claim compensation for any physical or mental harm, and for additional costs resulting from the refusal to treat."
"Other needed measures include compulsory training in contraception provision and abortion techniques at medical schools, security measures to protect doctors and patients such as clinic buffer zones, full funding of contraception and abortion through government health insurance, public education to reduce abortion stigma, and other initiatives." 
"Healthcare workers’ refusal to participate in reproductive care such as contraception and abortion is not a “conscientious objection;” rather, it is a refusal to treat that should be seen as unprofessional. A just society and an evidence-based medical system should deem it asdishonourable disobedience,” an ethical breach that should be handled in the same way as any other professional negligence or malpractice, or a mental incapacity to perform one's duties."
"By manipulating women into continuing an unwanted pregnancy against their best interests, the exercise of CO undermines women's self-determination and liberty and risks their health and lives. As such, it has no place in a democratic society."

Monday, July 14, 2014

Freedom of Information case - on Lighthouse news

ARPA's Al Siebring, interviewed me Friday for their Lighthouse news program, on my case against the Ontario Government. My interview starts just before the half way point.

Our case (in case you've forgotten):

It's that the government, and the Information and Privacy Commissioner of Ontario (IPC), have misinterpreted FIPPA.

Our position is that section 65(5.7) of FIPPA cannot mean a ban on all materials related to the provision of abortion services, but must mean a ban on materials related to the provision of abortion services which contain personal information.

Remember that FIPPA has two goals: to make government documents public, and to protect personal privacy.

The amount of abortions and the cost of those abortions, is not personal information, and so keeping those private, do not match up with the goals of FIPPA.

Section 65(5.7) must then mean, and must have been intended, to cover only materials related to the provision of abortion services which contain personal information. This position supports a constitutional interpretation of FIPPA. Section 2(b) of the Charter protects my right to freedom of expression and freedom of the press.

As a blogger, I benefit from freedom of the press.

In order for me to use my freedom of expression, and comment on issues of public importance, such as abortion and the use of taxpayer dollars, I need access to these documents.

The government and the IPC’s interpretation of section 65(5.7) results in a violation of my freedom of expression. It cannot therefore be a proper interpretation.

Globe and Mail - your bias is showing

I just read this by ELIZABETH RENZETTI about the closing of the Morgentaler clinc in New Brunswick

Abortion in New Brunswick: The vise tightens, and activists push back
"With a provincial election looming in September, New Brunswick Liberal Leader Brian Gallant has promised a “review” of the province’s abortion policy if his party wins, but that is hardly a ringing call to equal access for all, or a promise to get rid of Regulation 84-20, which prevents women in the province having the same rights as women across the country. 
The fight for reproductive freedom in New Brunswick has been long and bitter, even before then-premier Frank McKenna laid down his challenge: “If Mr. Morgentaler tries to open a clinic in the province of New Brunswick, he’s going to get the fight of his life.” Now, 25 years later, Dr. Morgentaler is gone and the clinic that bears his name is on the verge of disappearing, too. That is, unless some generous people across the country decide that this is a fight worth digging deep for, in the understanding that when some of us lose our rights, we all do."
"reproductive freedom" , "lose our rights", "equal access for all", "prevents women in the province having the same rights as women across the country."

It's all there. The "pro-choice" manifesto key-words for beginners.

So then I went to the three links on the same page under the title:


More "pro-choice" dogma, all of them.

So I went searching on the Globe's site for maybe, you know, a pro-life viewpoint? Nope. There is none. Two more "pro-choice" pieces:

Outside big cities, abortion services still hard to find

Canada must do more to prevent unsafe abortions (by Niki Ashton and HÉLÈNE LAVERDIÈRE)
"Access to safe abortion doesn’t just save lives. The evidence is irrefutable – women and girls who have access to the full range of family planning services are healthier, better educated and contribute more to their national economies and societies. Canada needs to lead with a comprehensive approach to gender equality that is evidence-based and centered on empowering women and girls. 
For New Democrats, access to safe abortion is a human right. We know that family planning and reproductive choice play a crucial role in the well-being of women. Women who have access to the full range of family planning options are empowered to make better decisions about caring for their family. It also gives women an opportunity to realize their full potential by allowing them to fully participate in their economies and communities."
Now I did find this by Margaret Wente, which was at least somewhat balanced:
Spare me the abortion absolutism

Then I found this video:
Is ‘Emily’s Abortion Video’ an accurate depiction of what it’s like to have an abortion?

It broke my heart. Emily says:
"I don't feel like a bad person. I don't feel guilty. I feel in awe that I can make a baby, That I can make a life. I knew that what I was going to was right. It was right for me and no-one else."
All I could think about when watching the video, was that a very young child just lost her life. While the cameras were rolling. All in the name of a women's rights. They don't talk about that at the Globe and Mail.

Sunday, July 13, 2014

Violation of freedom of expression rights

Our case in a nutshell

It's that the government, and the Information and Privacy Commissioner of Ontario (IPC), have misinterpreted FIPPA.

Our position is that section 65(5.7) of FIPPA cannot mean a ban on all materials related to the provision of abortion services, but must mean a ban on materials related to the provision of abortion services which contain personal information.

Remember that FIPPA has two goals: to make government documents public, and to protect personal privacy.

The amount of abortions and the cost of those abortions, is not personal information, and so keeping those private, do not match up with the goals of FIPPA.

Section 65(5.7) must then mean, and must have been intended, to cover only materials related to the provision of abortion services which contain personal information. This position supports a constitutional interpretation of FIPPA. Section 2(b) of the Charter protects your right to freedom of expression and freedom of the press.

As a blogger, I benefit from freedom of the press.

In order for me to use my freedom of expression, and comment on issues of public importance, such as abortion and the use of taxpayer dollars, I need access to these documents.

The government and the IPC’s interpretation of section 65(5.7) results in a violation of my freedom of expression. It cannot therefore be a proper interpretation.

Friday, July 11, 2014

Educating conservatives

Listen to John Robson's excellent rant on how Conservatives in Ontario, and Federally, aren't really conservative at all. It was aired on June 30, 2014 on CFRA.

Starts around 17 minutes into the segment.

On the Ontario Conservatives and Tim Hudak:
"[The Conservatives] are not hard right--if you go any further left, you'll bump your head on Kathleen Wynne."
"Hard right [for the Conservatives] is to imitate Dalton Mcguinty."
On Tim Hudak:
"what did he say about abortion? Nothing. What did he say about religion? Nothing...what did he say about anything other than money. That's not right wing. That's demented neo-liberalism progressivism. What did he say about law and order? Nothing?..."
On Stephen Harper:
"Here's a guy who won't touch the moral issues with a 39 and a half foot pole...has dramatically increased government spending, talks a good game on the military but has actually gutted it--that's not conservatism. Conservatism would take a stand on things other than 'money buying you happiness'...they're all progressive and no conservative already..."
This audio should be mandatory listening for all of our Conservative MPPs, and MPs. Not that they would. But they should.

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Human rights belong to everyone

Graphic abortion flyers anger neighbourhood

People in Ottawa don't like graphic abortion flyers at their door. That's because graphic abortion pictures show us a truth that people would prefer not to know.
"Parents can't shield their kids from everything, said Ruth Shaw, a stay-at-home mom who founded the local group and as a Carleton University student was arrested for trespassing for demonstrating on campus with graphic images of aborted fetuses. 
"In that moment, there's a great teaching opportunity to teach our children that we shouldn't hurt children, that everyone deserves rights and we should do what we can to stop other people from being hurt," she said."
This teaching opportunity is also really needed for the children's parents. Because many parents don't get that human rights belong to all of us. Even the preborn child.

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Doctors and the right of freedom of conscience

John Carpay and a doctor's right to follow his or her conscience in treating or not treating patients:
"...If a doctor, based on her experience and research, believes that liberation therapy (dilating and opening blocked neck veins) is not a good option for patients suffering from multiple sclerosis, must she provide that therapy simply because the patient demands it? 
What about a doctor who is convinced that anti-cholesterol pills do more harm than good? What if a doctor refuses to prescribe birth control pills because she believes, apart from any religious teaching, that they compromise women’s health? Should this physician disregard her own research, analysis and conclusions and prescribe what she considers to be a dangerous product? 
Does it really matter whether the doctor’s belief is characterized as scientific, religious, metaphysical, conscientious, or something else? 
Certainly a doctor’s beliefs about what is, or is not, good medicine will sometimes inconvenience a patient. But what would be the consequences of forcing doctors to abandon their professional judgment and violate their conscience in order to pander to patients’ wishes? If the government compels doctors to supply whatever patients demand, this presupposes that a patient’s knowledge, training and judgment is at least equal to that of the doctor’s. And if so, why bother with a medical profession in the first place? If individual doctors don’t have the right to reach their own conclusions as to what is good or bad, why bother to distinguish doctors from those who are not doctors? 
These same questions apply to other professions and occupations. Would Jim Prentice (who is a lawyer) impose this same standard on lawyers who refuse to act for a client, or who decline to take a particular case, because the lawyer’s conscience says that doing so would be wrong? Our legal system is as public as the medical system. Why not remove from lawyers their current right to refuse to advance a cause that the lawyer believes to be unjust? Should lawyers be permitted to inconvenience prospective clients by telling them to find another lawyer? Shouldn’t clients be entitled to receive from a particular lawyer whatever services they demand?...
...If Jim Prentice respects the freedom of lawyers to decline cases and clients, he should support the right of doctors — and everyone else — to do likewise. That would be consistent with the free society of which Albertans are rightfully proud."

Monday, July 7, 2014

The importance of an examined conscience

Freedom of conscience is a fundamental right for everyone--including doctors. It must remain that way. We never want to see our doctors denied this right. Freedom of conscience must be maintained, nurtured, and honoured.

Listen to Margaret Somerville and Arthur Schafer discuss freedom of conscience rights for doctors. 

Vote in the poll as well.

What a frightening world it would be to live in a world dictated by the likes of Arthur Schafer.

Ottawa against abortion events

Friday, July 4, 2014

No consciences allowed

The College of Physicians and Surgeons of Ontario are looking for input on and their Physicians and the Ontario Human Rights Code policy.

I could ever only respect a doctor who practices medicine in a way that is in complete harmony with his conscience. This is crucially important and I would not want to see a doctor who did anything against what his conscience was saying to him.

Here is a real life example of conscience rights gone awry. When Justin Trudeau announced his can't-be-a-pro-life-candidate-for-the-Liberal-party policy, MP Lawrence MacAulay thought he would be permitted to vote with his own personal beliefs, which are anti-abortion:
"MacAuley, who has been an MP since 1988, said last week he expected to be permitted to vote on side with his own personal beliefs which are anti-abortion. 
A spokesperson for the Liberal Party quickly contradicted this statement, stating any Liberal MP will be expected to vote in favour of abortion. 
MacAulay later backtracked on Twitter, stating: “I accept and understand the party position regarding a woman’s right to choose. Despite my personal beliefs, I understand that I will have to vote the party position should this issue ever come up in the House of Commons.”"
This is very troubling. MacAuley says he is pro-life. But then at a flick of a can't-be-a-pro-life-candidate-for-the-Liberal-party switch, MacAulay says he would now support the party position on abortion--against his own conscience.

And freedom of conscience is a right guaranteed by our Charter of Rights and Freedoms. And for very good reason. It is how we want all good people to respond to issues of ethics and morality. They pay attention to their conscience.

In purely practical terms, doing away with freedom of conscience rights for doctors will have the following negative outcome.

Good doctors, after years and years of training will leave the profession. This would be a lose-lose situation. The doctor and his family suffer from the loss of his/her livelihood. The public would suffer since we already have a doctor shortage, and this would only make it worse.

We do not want good doctors to leave the profession. For what? So that a woman can be guaranteed to be able to obtain the birth control pill or an abortion from every single doctor in the country, when there are already (some might say too many) doctors filling the need? Is this really what we want of our doctors? I hope not.

And make no mistake. The only reason the issue has come up at all, is because of contraception and abortion.

It will also mean we will now have institutionalized discrimination against pro-life doctors. Just like we have institutionalized discrimination against pro-life politicians in two of our three political parties in Canada. Let's not go there.

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Why Joyce Arthur's "report" is harmful to BC CPCs

Don't believe everything you read on the Internet. Because there are a lot of falsehoods out there.

For instance, Joyce Arthur's signature "report", Exposing Crisis Pregnancy centres in BC, is a good example of inaccuracies, deceptions and misinformation.

Yet surprisingly, there are actually people writing, who refer to this "research" as if it is a credible source of information.

Now Brian Norton from Canadian Association of Pregnancy Support Services (CAPSS) has written a rebuttal to Arthur's "report".

Norton begins his rebuttal:
The report makes numerous claims that are not based in fact or reality. The following are some blatant examples (before we discuss the most serious allegations).  
The report alleges the Birthright drop-in centre in Vernon, British Columbia, shows graphic videos to clients. “When women have gone to the local Birthright office, some have had to wait an hour and a half before being given a pregnancy test, during which time they were put into a room to watch anti-abortion videos like the ‘Silent Scream’” (p. 11).13 On doing a fact check with Birthright headquarters, I learned there is no Birthright in Vernon and there never has been.14  
The report continues: “[In Powell River the Prolife Society] … houses one of the fundamentalist Christian CPCs that uses high pressure techniques and is connected to the larger network of North American CPCs” (p. 11). There is in fact no CPC in Powell River and there never has been.15  
The report makes statements about other non-existent centres in BC (pp. 45-46).
16 One so-called CPC is a secular parenting support group. Another CPC is actually a Christian adoption agency.  
Another purported CPC is somebody’s home. For two other listed CPCs the premises do not exist.17

The report not only refers to non-existent pregnancy centres in our province, but everywhere. 
There are 117 CPCs in Canada.18 The report nearly doubles this to “about 200 CPCs” (p. 3). 

In the United States there are some 2,500 CPCs. 
19 According to an American CPC association, “Usually our opponents will use 3,000 locations which seems a purposeful overstatement.”20 The report rounds this up to “4,000” (p. 3).  
Regarding abortion clinics, The New York Times estimates there are some 1,800 US clinics.21

The report rounds this down to 800 (p. 3) sourcing the National Abortion Federation (p. 19).  
The NAF reference – footnoted in the report as “800 clinics” – actually says “2,000 clinics”.22  
Furthermore, the report is riddled with inaccurate ‘throwaway’ remarks.
23 (See footnote.)

Read Brian Norton's entire rebuttal to Arthur's damaging "report".

Norton identifies eight serious allegations in Arthur's report, along with 12 silly allegations. Norton did actual research in writing his rebuttal. And unlike Arthur, he didn't get $27,400 from the Status of Women to do it.

If Arthur wants to make things up, that's one thing. But when other people start referencing her "research" well that's another thing entirely. And that's the real problem with her harmful "report". Other people refer to it.

Here are a list of professional people and organizations who reference Arthur's work.

1) Dr. Sam Rowlands MB BS, MD, LLM, FRCGP, FFSRH, DRCOG (UK abortion rights advocate).

"Dr Sam Rowlands, Honorary Associate Professor at the Institute of Clinical Medicine, Warwick Medical School and organiser of this conference at the RSM, discussed the key sources of ‘misinformation’ that are popularised in relation to abortion. He outlined five claims: that abortion poses a risk to a woman’s life, to her mental health, or to her future fertility, that it carries an increased risk of breast cancer, and the preoccupation with ‘fetal pain’, and briefly debunked these claims by using solid research. 
The sources of such misinformation vary from websites to non-peer-reviewed journals, and are particularly troubling in relation to the biased or false information given directly to women by so-called ‘Crisis Pregnancy Centres’. Rowlands referred to a 2009 study by Joyce Arthur of such centres in a province of Canada as an example of how this misinformation process works through."

"A new study by the Pro-Choice Action Network finds that most agencies that counsel pregnant women are actually anti-abortion Christian ministries whose main goal is to stop women from having abortions. These centres are generally not medical facilities, and most of their "counsellors" are volunteers who are not medical professionals and have no recognized training in counselling. Some of these centres are called Crisis Pregnancy Centres or "CPCs", although many of them have different names. This research project on anti-abortion counseling centres in British Columbia, or "fake clinics," has been published, and is available."

3) Feminist Women's Health Center (from Wastington state). 

"Exposing CPCs in British Columbia, Canada - CPCs far outnumber abortion clinics. There are 4,000 CPCs in the United States, compared to about 800 abortion clinics. In Canada, there are about 200 CPCs and roughly 25 abortion clinics. In BC, there are about 30 CPCs and 6 abortion clinics."

4) On the University of Windsor website is a paper written by Jessica Shaw from the University of Calgary, called "Abortion as a Social Justice Issue in Contemporary Canada".

Shaw relies heavily on Arthur's other "research" for references, as well as Arthur's inaccurate "report" discussed here.
(And this is scary. The policy for submissions to this Critical Social Work Journal is supposedly peer reviewed: "The peer review process is double blind, in that the identity of authors and reviewers is not known to either party").

4) The UK (Education Financial Council). They refer to Arthur's misleading "report", saying:
"Widespread anecdotal evidence in the UK, and full-scale research reports from the United States, ireland and Canada, indicate that some CPCs do not provide impartial poignancy decision-making support and that many are formed with a specific anti-abortion agenda".

5) West Coast LEAF is an organization in BC "that uses the law to further women’s equality". They refer to Arthur's inaccurate "report":
"According to research conducted by the Pro-Choice Action Network, “crisis pregnancy
centres” (CPCs) “are actually anti-choice Christian ministries, often pretending to be
non-biased medical clinics or counselling centres. Their main goal is to stop women
from having abortions and to convert women to Christianity."

6) The CTV devoted a whole three part investigation, based on Arthur's faulty "report": Jan 7Jan18Jan 20You'd think at least CTV would check their facts before going undercover.

7) Finally, is the Status of Woman Canada, who funded Arthur's to write this defective report in the first place. With your tax dollars. Does anybody at the Status of Women actually check to see what they're funding  to see if it's accurate, before they dole out our money? It doesn't look like it.

For all those people who reference Arthur's report, it really doesn't do their pro-abortion cause any good. It just makes them look like they don't know what they're talking about. Or maybe they just can't get out of the way of their own ideology.

So what does Norton want? He would like Arthur to remove her sorry excuse for a "report" from the Internet. Let's hope she has the decency to do so.

Margaret Somerville: how to address Canada's lack of legal protection for unborn children

Some common sense from Margaret Somerville on Canada's abortion laws.
"An email made me ponder what the labels “pro-choice” and “pro-life” really mean, in particular regarding people’s stance on using law to govern abortion...
"...My [email] correspondent, [an articulate, politically engaged, professional woman] wrote: “I spoke to a very successful and intelligent entrepreneur at an event on Saturday, who described himself as pro-choice, who explained, ‘I just have come to the conclusion that abortion is a woman’s choice.’ So I asked two questions: “How would you feel if she was six months along in her pregnancy and the physician would make sure the baby was not born alive?” And, ‘What if the mother wanted an abortion because the baby was a girl and not a boy?’ To both questions, he answered quite adamantly, ‘No, I would never agree.’ And he concluded, ‘I just have never thought about it in those terms.’”
Is he pro-choice? He clearly doesn’t agree with the 28 percent of pro-choice Canadians, who, one survey showed, reject any legal protection for human life prior to birth.
The same survey found only 6 percent of Canadians would legally prohibit all abortions, while 60 percent believe there should be some law protecting unborn children, at the latest at viability (20 weeks gestation). Are only the 6 percent pro-life? 
The 28 percent and 6 percent are the two poles in our abortion debate, but their disputes dominate in the public square. Two-thirds of Canadians fall somewhere on a spectrum between them – they are not absolutists, in either direction, about using law to govern abortion. For them, abortion law (in comparison with abortion, itself, for pro-life people) is not a black and white issue, many are uncertain where to stand, and their voices are rarely heard. 
Adding two new positions to the survey, “modified pro-choice” and “modified pro-life”, to test public opinion more accurately, could remedy that. These terms would indicate basic presumptions, rather than absolutist positions. 
People who accepted a “modified pro-choice” position would allow women to choose abortion, although legal restrictions would apply in certain situations. People who accepted a “modified pro-life” stance would favour legally restricting abortion, but with some exceptions to comply with the Charter and to avoid unenforceable law. 
This modified approach might also allow us, although we start from different bases, to identify where in fact we agree, or are closer to agreement than we’ve recognized, about what the law on abortion should be.
Sixty percent of Canadians agree abortion-on-demand should be legally limited after 20 weeks gestation. Their moral intuitions warn them unborn children capable of living outside the womb should have some legal protection. They also find it horrendous to think of inflicting excruciating pain on the fetus in dismembering it, in utero, to ensure it’s born dead to avoid legal liability for killing it. 
So should abortion-on-demand be legally limited before 20 weeks? I propose applying law at 13 weeks gestation. 
This is not to approve first trimester abortion. Abortion is always a very serious ethical issue, but from a practical and even an ethical point of view in reducing abortions to the minimum number achievable, I believe that in Canada, where, presently, we have no law, it should not be a legal issue until after 13 weeks gestation...
...We need some law on abortion in Canada in order to recognize publicly and as a society that abortion is always a very serious ethical decision and that, as all the judges of the Supreme Court of Canada ruled in the Morgentaler case, the lives of unborn children, at least at a certain point in pregnancy, merit legal protection. The court also explained that it’s the role of Parliament to decide and legally establish what that point of the protection of unborn children is. 
To the contrary, Justin Trudeau, the leader of the federal Liberal Party, recently took a very public and highly controversial position that all politicians in his party must vote “pro-choice” on abortion or they were not welcome in the party, that is, they would have to vote against enacting any law on abortion. 
Here’s Trudeau’s edict: “The policy going forward is that every single Liberal MP will be expected to stand up for a woman’s right to choose”. Let’s complete it: “The policy going forward is that every single Liberal MP will be expected to stand up for a woman’s right to choose to kill her unborn child, even if, were it delivered, it would have a chance of surviving or she seeks an abortion only because of the sex of the fetus”. 
Choice, itself, is neither moral nor immoral; rather, as these examples show, it’s what we choose that determines that. Moreover, Trudeau and his MPs should note that facilitating immoral choices is complicity in the immorality involved. 
And I haven’t yet even mentioned the contravention of rights to freedom of conscience, freedom of religion, politicians’ obligations in a democracy to those they represent and so on, this edict represents. The vast majority of religious people are excluded from running for elected office in the Liberal Party – for instance, all Catholics and Muslims (or at least those who follow their conscience), most other Christians and many Jews - and even as members of the Liberal Party, as Trudeau initially extended his edict not just to MPs, but also to members. 
As a woman, whose prestigious Catholic family had been active Liberal supporters for generations, expressed it in her signature on an email to me the day after the edict: “Card-carrying Liberal until yesterday”. 
Canada continues to be a living laboratory on social values issues, with some consequences which, I predict, it will probably one day seriously regret. To close, however, on a more optimistic note: there are signs that more and more young Canadians are realizing that possibility, especially in relation to abortion, and working very effectively to help change the current situation."