Ask yourself what you actually know about abortion. Do you know any stats – would you know where to find reliable information about it? It’s not that the information doesn’t exist, it’s just hard to find. And I would argue that this information is intentionally obscured. For being the enormously controversial issue it is, I’m more likely to hear about the unfortunate fates of seals and trees. Sure you can find stats and information on plenty of pro-life blogs and sites. But what about government agencies responsible for maintaining and providing this type of information, especially since most provinces support abortion with the tax payer’s money.
Usually I rely on news or studies to give me these types of numbers but I decided to conduct my own little search for statistics. So I went straight to the source, the people who should have the correct numbers – Statistics Canada. But upon searching they alerted me that since 2010 the Canadian Institute for Health Information is responsible for analyzing and posting abortion data publicly. So I went to the CIHI’s website and searched for abortion data where, oddly enough, they are categorized under Therapeutic Abortions Data.
An annoying issue surfaced immediately in my search. Both Statistics Canada and the CIHI claim that the other is responsible for making this data available to the public. Statistics Canada states that “the responsibility for disseminating these data should reside with CIHI” whereas CIHI claims that Statistics Canada is responsible. Once I got past that little hiccup, I found only data available for 2007 and 2008 and a message stating that Statistics Canada is responsible for data up to 2006 which seems to conflict with this statement from their site: “The responsibility for analyzing and posting the data publicly remained with Statistics Canada until 2010, at which time it transferred to CIHI.” In other words, if you’re ready to run in circles, proceed.
So I grabbed the first thing I could find. I clicked 2007 from the CIHI and imagine my surprise when I discovered that the agency charged with providing data on this hugely critical and sensitive issue had amassed no less than 6 pages of data for one year. And within these sparse pages I found an alarming number of “unknown” and “not reported”. All of which I discovered to mean that hospitals are required to provide abortion statistics but clinics are not and only half of clinics voluntarily report and, to top it off, the CIHI admits that there is “undercoverage” in the clinical reports – meaning the numbers reported are lower than the actual number of abortions performed. So ultimately, it is impossible to have an accurate number of abortions performed in a year but you can be certain that it is much higher than estimated.
Then a pleasant surprise – in Prince Edward Island, hospitals do not perform abortions and neither do their clinics. Abortions are not tax-payer funded in PEI as they are in most provinces.
Based on the 2007 and 2008 reports, it is impossible to conclude a total – the data is simply incomplete. But based on what was reported, there were just under 100,000 abortions per year in Canada for 07 and 08. Shocking.
Which brings me to the next bit of information or lack of it – abortions recorded by gestational period. The Canadian Medical Association sets viability (some chance of the child living outside the womb) at 20 weeks gestation, which is also the point that the fetus can feel pain. Surprisingly, both 2007 and 2008 reports on abortions by gestational period end at 21 weeks! All abortions during gestational periods after 21 weeks were unknown but still amounted to 20,000 per year. Why is this? Why are the numbers unknown, especially numbers of babies aborted that could actually live?
Despite what appears to be a concerted effort to suppress data concerning abortion there is still plenty of information on the web about it – published by those who are fighting to uncover the shocking truths. But maybe the little we know is because we just are not interested in finding out.
If you don’t care to know anything else, know this: 100,000 babies a year – that’s a city annihilated every year!