Saturday, July 11, 2009

Late-Term Abortion Statistics — Only The Tip Of The Iceberg

Not all late-term abortions are reported. Some of them are reported as "stillbirths", others are not reported at all.
The “less-than-one percent” statistic is cited with much authority. But in fact, the statistics on abortion are shadowy, and leave much to the imagination. According to data available at the Abortion Rights Coalition of Canada website, in 2003, approximately 46,000 abortion records collected by the Canadian Institute for Health Information (CIHI) contained the gestational ages of the pregnancy. Of these, 0.7% reported abortions performed later than 20 weeks. That comes to a total of 325 of which we are certain took place.

Over 57,000 records contained no information on gestation.
Besides the lack of reporting on gestational age, we must also contend with the phenomenon of late-term abortions being coded as stillbirths. As I mentioned in my first column in this series, many late-term abortions are coded as stillbirths in medical databases instead of abortions and, as a result, those numbers are not collected by CIHI. Even if those induced stillbirths are marked off in a separate category, they will not be added to abortion statistics, because StatsCan, which publishes abortion numbers, does not have the mandate to collect that data.

Another point to consider is that the abortion questionnaire that CIHI distributes to clinics across the country is voluntary. Clinics are not under any obligation to tell the government about their activities. According to Deby Copes, the medical director of the Choice in Health abortion clinic, an estimated 10,000 procedures are not being counted in the City of Toronto alone (Globe and Mail, Mar. 30, 2009). Although Canadian abortion clinics tend not to perform late-term procedures (elective cases are often sent to the States), the inadequate coverage of the numbers leads us to speculate that many late-term abortions are not identified.
The attempt to downplay late-term abortion numbers minimalizes the tragedy of the deaths of unborn children. It harkens back to Stalin’s famous quote of one death being a tragedy, and a million deaths being a statistic.

That these deaths were intentional makes it even more appalling.
And then let's not forget that every abortion (be that first trimester or a late-term abortion) - is a tragedy. It kills the baby, it injures and traumatizes the mother and the fathers too, often feel the pain:
Personally, knowing the sting of abortion in my life, I can speak from experience, indeed how painful it was and even still is. I can see in hind sight (not saying hind sight is 20/20) what lack of care on my part and selfish disinterest cost: lament, regret and the full knowing of a life taken can never be given back.

Before this event, I had no stance on abortion, cared very little about the subject, but of course thinking myself high minded and liberal about the matter. Post abortion, was a crash into reality about the matter, as I sought to make sense of the event, and events that had transpired in our lives. Looking full in the face of it all brought me to the conclusion, that I had aided, conspired and taken, premeditatedly the life of my daughter/son.
And yet there are pro-abort activists who believe that... we don't have enough late-term abortions in Canada...

No comments: