Canada Hospital Abortions Dropped in 2008, Figures Unreliable

International   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Dec 16, 2010   |   2:57PM   |   Washington, DC

New figures produced by the Canadian government show a supposed reduction in the number of abortions in Canada from 2007-2008 but a pro-life organization notes they are very unreliable.

The Canadian Institute for Health Information released the new numbers for 2007 and 2008 but the data set is so incomplete the agency would not publish a final total.

Of the abortions that take place in hospitals, CIHI indicated 47,318 were done in 2007 and 44,416 in 2008. But it provided no abortion totals for the abortions done in private facilities since so few report their abortion totals to the government despite LifeCanada saying they likely do more than half of all abortions annually in Canada.

LifeCanada president Monica Roddis complained to that “Canadians have no idea how many abortions they pay for each year in Canada even though taxpayers pay for almost all that are performed in hospitals or in private, for-profit clinics.”

“It’s appalling that our governments divert scarce health care dollars for abortions and they don’t even tell us how many there are or what they cost us,” she said. “Why do we hide these numbers from Canadians?  If taxpayers knew how many millions they pay for abortions they would be outraged.”

She said Canadian taxpayers pay for abortions at private abortion centers in every province except New Brunswick just as they pay for abortions at public hospitals.

Looking more closely at the 44,416 abortions at private hospitals, CIHI says fewer than half, 21,981, were first trimester abortions even though abortion advocates say most abortions are done early in pregnancy. There were 556 hospital abortions done after 20 weeks, the point of viability according to the Canadian Medical Association. The agency had no information on the age of the unborn baby at the time of the abortion for 18,745 of the abortions occurring at hospitals.

“Show us the numbers,” said Roddis. “Why the secrecy? We’re paying for these abortions and yet we are denied the most basic information about these expenditures.”

Roddis said provincial governments should require hospitals and private abortion businesses to report fully on abortion procedures.

“We need to know complete numbers, the age of the mothers, the gestational age of the babies, the repeat abortions and the total cost to our health care system,” she said.

“Canadians need this information to decide whether they want to continue spending millions of dollars each year on this personal choice instead of investing in life-saving and life-affirming health services,” she added.

Yesterday, the Canadian Parliament defeated a bill that would have helped women by prosecuting those who coerce or pressure them into having abortions.