Monday, November 30, 2015

A pro-abortion's many factual inaccuracies

Fundamentalist pro-abortion Joyce Arthur believes that Anna Nienhuis' article, Censoring abortion statistics contains "factual inaccurac[ies]".

So let's look at Arthur's own factual inaccuracies from her own comments.

Factual inaccuracy number 1: Arthur thinks that groups like We Need a Law think that:
"fetuses deserve more human rights than grown women." 
Not true. Pro-life people believe that fetuses deserve the same human rights as grown women. That's because human fetuses are human beings. Therefore they have human rights. Just like grown women.

Factual inaccuracy number 2: Arthur says:
"It's quite remarkable to hear anti-choice people complaining about the BC and Ontario FOI regulations when their own movement is ultimately responsible for those regulations in the first place - they were enacted to protect providers from being identified, targeted, harassed, and put at risk of anti-choice violence."
Since the Ontario government has never stated--even after repeatedly being asked--their reasons for hiding all abortion information, how can Arthur say it is to "protect providers from being identified, targeted, harassed, and put at risk of anti-choice violence"? She can't. But that doesn't stop her from saying it. In fact in 2000, the Information and Privacy Commissioner actually ruled in favour of a pro-life group who was looking for abortion statistics but were denied the statistics from the Ministry of Health: the IPC found no evidence of violence:
"The information at issue in this appeal consists of general statistical information on a province-wide basis. This information cannot be linked to any individual facility or person involved in the provision of abortion services. I do not accept that the sequence of events, from disclosure to the harms outlined in sections 14(1)(e) and (i), could reasonably be expected to occur. While I accept the Ministry's submission, supported by ample evidence, that individuals and groups on both sides of the abortion debate have been subjected to threats, intimidation, and acts of violence, in my view, any link between disclosure and the harms in these sections is exaggerated. The evidence before me does not establish a reasonable expectation of endangerment to the life or physical safety of any person, or to the security of a building, vehicle or system or procedure established for the protection of items within the meaning of sections 14(1)(e) and (i) of the Act.  
This finding is in keeping with a fundamental purpose of the Act, as recognized by the Supreme Court of Canada:
"The overarching purpose of access to information legislation, then, is to facilitate democracy. It does so in two related ways. It helps to ensure first, that citizens have the information required to participate meaningfully in the democratic process, and secondly, that politicians and bureaucrats remain accountable to the citizenry . . . Rights to state-held information are designed to improve the workings of government; to make it more effective, responsive and accountable . . . [Dagg v. Canada (Minister of Finance) (1997), 148 D.L.R. (4th) 385 at 403, per La Forest J. (dissenting on other grounds)]." 
In my view, to deny access to generalized, non-identifying statistics regarding an important public policy issue such as the provision of abortion services would have the effect of hindering citizens' ability to participate meaningfully in the democratic process and undermine the government's accountability to the public."
Factual inaccuracy number 3: Arthur says:
"Judging by statements in this article and the goals of the "We Weed a Law" group, we can also be sure that the information will be used to lobby for restrictive laws and the removal of pregnant women's rights, on the basis of attacking and shaming them for having abortions for the "wrong" reasons."
The original article talks about how the BC and Ontario governments hide abortion statistics. Maybe Arthur didn't read the article and that's why she doesn't know this? There is nothing in the article, or in weneedalaws' stated goals anywhere, that have ever stated or implied they wish to attack or shame women. Arthur has manufactured these claims all by herself.

Factual inaccuracy number 4: Arthur says:
"Women do not need to state a reason for abortion, it's nobody's business, and making that mandatory would be a violation of privacy (and would fuel anti-choice misogyny). Such information could be useful of course, but it can be gathered in a study where subjects volunteer to participate and ethical guidelines are in place."
Arthur is not the only pro-abortion who perpetuates the myth of "anti-choice misogyny". This myth falls under the category of, if you say something often enough, people will start to believe it is true.

Factual inaccuracy number 5: Arthur says:
"There's a major factual inaccuracy in this article that basically destroys its credibility...Some stats can also be obtained from provincial ministries of health, including abortions done in doctors' offices or in unfunded clinics in Ontario."
Ontario's Ministry of Health and Long Term Care does not provide any information about abortions done in doctors' offices in Ontario. In fact CIHI also doesn't report abortions done in doctor's offices.

Factual inaccuracy number 6: Arthur says:
"So the accusations of "censorship" are way overblown."
Considering that not only abortion statistics, but anything and everything relating to the word "abortion" in Ontario is completely excluded from freedom of information requests, Arthur's statement destroys her own credibility. In Ontario censorship on abortion information is very real indeed.

Factual inaccuracy number 7: Arthur says:
"Btw, you can be sure this data would NOT support anti-choice propaganda that abortion is dangerous or that women are having abortions right up to the moment of birth! Quite the opposite - so having this info would help our side, not theirs."
Arthur has nothing to back up any of her statement, again debunking any credibility she may have had. How do we know that abortion is not dangerous and how do we know that women aren't have abortions right up until birth, since none of this information is reported? The statistics we do have clearly show that in 2012 alone there were 62,178 abortions with no gestational ages at all. That means that all 62,178 of those abortions could very well be late term abortions. Since Arthur has no idea what these facts are how can she know it would help "her side"?

You can read more on Joyce Arthur's factual inaccuracies on abortion.


  1. Thanks for posting this! You've hit the nail on the head, many times.

  2. Does Joyce Arthur ever respond to you? She needs to be confronted directly with her "facts".