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Why we absolutely do not “need a law”

Posted on July 16, 2014 by Taber Times

There’s currently a full-page colour ad running weekly in The Times by the anti-choice crowd vilifying Canada over our lack of a late term abortion law.

The ad in question calls on Canadians to push for a law limiting late term abortions.

There’s a chart showing the limits on abortions in other countries, beginning with places where abortions are generally banned, i.e., Poland (where women sometimes die from pregnancy complications due to lack of access) and Ireland (where women can have an abortion if they admit to being suicidal; they also head to the U.K. by the thousands every year to have the procedure) all the way down to North Korea, China, and Canada, with no set limits.

Interestingly enough, the chart also lists Finland at the top of the list with no abortion allowed (except under specific circumstances), but the United Kingdom is near the bottom of the chart by allowing abortions up to 25 weeks.

This information is apparently based on numbers garnered by the BBC, but according to the site in question, in Finland “The International Planned Parenthood Federation (IPPF) says that in practice a woman can get an abortion on demand, but illegal abortion is rare.” The BBC chart colour-codes Finland and the U.K. as having similar access to abortion, but the chart in this newspaper ad does not. It should also be pointed out that the IPPF link leads to a page which no longer exists, so I was unable to verify anything that way.

In the newspaper ad, Canada is seen as the worst offender of all, as we allow post-birth abortions. Our little red bar smashes through the 40 week barrier on the chart and bleeds out onto the rest of the ad. Pretty dramatic stuff.

Looking at that chart, the anti-choice crowd would love it if you thought back to your own children as babies, cooing and soft and beautiful, and wondered what kind of evil devil-woman would ever dare harm a child like that. They’re such a precious little gift, these angel babies, and anyone who would support late term abortions surely has no heart and no soul.

The problem is, late term abortions are almost never performed on little angel babies.

They are most often performed on fetuses with catastrophic deformities; babies who would be born missing skulls or their brains; babies with their organs growing outside their bodies; babies with parts of other babies fused into them; or babies who are nothing more than a mass of pulsing meat and misplaced organs. Want to see something that will haunt you forever? Google the term “fetal deformities” with your safe search off and try to imagine what those images would look like as full-term births.

The Canadian Institute for Health Information has stats from 2010 showing about 1.9 per cent of abortions performed in hospitals were done past 21 weeks (about 537 out of 27,576).

Logically, the numbers would fall as pregnancies moved along. Why are the numbers so low?

Because contrary to what some would have you believe, women aren’t having abortions because they can’t fit into their clothes anymore. By third trimester, you can believe the vast majority of women having abortions had already decided they were going to have a baby, and were planning for that new addition to their lives.

Imagine then, how heartbreaking the decision to end a much-wanted late term pregnancy must be. Imagine every mother’s hopes and dreams for a beautiful new child crushed by the knowledge the poor wretch they are carrying around inside them is human in name and by DNA only.

Now imagine being forced to carry that tragedy to full term, and to do so knowing what kind of scene is awaiting for these mothers in the delivery room.

A law limiting late term abortions is not only not needed, it would set a dangerous precedent and a stepping stone for the pro-life lobby to push for earlier and earlier abortion limits. And with each step, it would push women’s rights and the sovereignty of their bodies further out of their own hands. It would create a terrible amount of unnecessary suffering for all involved, and for what?

So some strangers handing out lollipops with fetuses on them can sleep better at night?

Well, sorry, but that’s just not good enough.

The lack of a law limiting late term abortions in Canada is not something we should be ashamed of. It is something we should be proud of, because it shows the rest of the world we respect a woman’s right to her own body, and we respect her right to make extremely difficult, heart-wrenching decisions without God or politics clouding the issue. It tells women in this country they are free to decide for themselves what must be one of the toughest of all decisions without forcing religious beliefs on them like some all-powerful theocracy, and in the event things don’t work out, we will do everything we can to protect their lives and prevent undue suffering.

In short, we trust women to do what they think is best.

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