Talk:Abortion in Canada/Archive 1

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This needs some POVing: it currently reads from the POV of "free access to abortion is good, and current issues and past laws that restricted it are bad." While one POV, that's obviously not a universal one. --Delirium 06:29, Oct 28, 2003 (UTC)

Sorry, I didn't mean to, although I am personally in favour of free access to abortion. Go ahead and change what you think needs to be changed, or point out those bits you think are lacking NPOV and I'll give them a second look. -- stewacide 06:53, 28 Oct 2003 (UTC)

Some things someone with time/interest may want to add to the article:

  • Information regarding political wrangling. AFAIK occasionally private member's bills regarding abortion are submitted to parliament (mostly to limit it in some way), all of which I'm assuming have been voted down.
  • Information regarding political party policies. I'm pretty sure the NDP is officially pro-abortion, and maybe the Liberals as well. The PC's have no official policy (Joe Clark was famously pro-abortion). Not sure about the Alliance ? it's possible they have no official position but most members are opposed.
  • Information regarding the controversy in the 2000 election and the Alliance's promise to allow citizen-sponsored referendums. While this was famously parodied by 22 Minutes with their Doris Day internet poll, if I remember correctly the two real fear/hope was that it would allow referendums on abortion and the death penalty (which the government would be obligated to uphold using the notwithstanding clause?).
It will be interesting to see if there will be private members bills this time around with the minority gov.My guess would be yes but that there will either be way more bills than usual or way less (depending on how the CPC decides to deal with things especially after their policy meeting occurs)--Marcie 02:30, 25 Nov 2004 (UTC)

"persistent and widespread opposition to this situation"

Huh? Maybe it's because I'm from Québec, but I've never seen persistent, and definitely not widespread, opposition to free access to abortion (or any 'real' organized opposition, for that matter). From what I can tell, 'persistent' opposition is limited to some parts of western Canada and the Maritimes. I'd suggest these adjectives (especially 'widespread') be removed. Tremblay 18:33, 27 Nov 2003 (UTC)

Agreed. I recognize the need to add more information about the anti-abortion movement past and present, but statements like the one above need to be backed up with facts.
I also haven't noticed any "persistent and widespread" opposition except from the religious right, which is a very marginal movement in all parts of Canada (slightly less so I guess in the West), although the fact remains that a large minority of Canadians personally oppose abortion. -- stewacide 21:48, 27 Nov 2003 (UTC)
I'd like to point out that there have been many actions (largely ignored by the media) against abortion in Canada. Remember that picketing, for example, is restricted in distance from the site (unlike most other organized protesting in the country). Also note that according at least to O'Toole (UofT), "Christianity still claims the allegiance of the overwhelming majority of Canadians and the major Christian churches still dominate the religious scene." This somewhat contradicts the oft-stated opinion by those not of rightist mentality that such views are in a minority. Although you are probably correct in asserting that canadians in general do not oppose access to abortion, this is most likely due to the 'all or nothing' question format.

--Marcie 22:42, 2 Oct 2004 (UTC)First off it would be good to have a discussion about the fact that some pro-life activists blocked access to abortion facilities in Ontario (likely across the country i wouldn't know).

In Ottawa there are protests every Friday in front of where the Morgantaler clinic is (the protest are on Fridays because abortions are performed on Fridays. Due to the current law the entrance can't be blocked now though.

On another note there is a higher likelyhood of death if you carry a feutus to term than if you have an abortion (assuming that you don't want to have a child of course)which might have been part of the argument. A new law would have to be carefully crafted so as to not require a women to continue a pregnancy when it would cause problems to her mental health. While the Court did make clear that some sort of law was permissible it was clear that it would not accept a law that made most abortions illegal.

It should also be noted that the decision was made under the Charter of Rights and Fredoms that was introduced in 1982, and that law previous to that on individual rights was quite different which allowed the other system of abortion law to exist. In fact Morgantaler if memory serves started challenging AGAIN after the Charter had come into effect and it was the rights of individuals as stated in the Charter that decided the case.

Chemical Abortions were not availabe in Canada the last time i looked at the topic...and as i said the data at my doctors office is usually very up to date

There is also difficult obtaining abortions in the Canadian Northern territories, although i think this is less for political reasons and more for size and small community reasons, although if the areas were more manageable i'm not sure what the result would be.

The women that need to have abortions out of province in the maritimes almost always have to pay for it themselves. PEI will not pay for an out of province abortion, nor will they pay for the travel (travel is usually considered for a medical procedure that has to be done outside a province because of the lack of facilities...or even if the facilities are far away...i'm not sure if cost of staying in a strange city is usually covered.

In fact this was the situation that applied in Canada for quite a while when Morgantaler had his clinic in Montreal. If you could afford to go to Montreal and pay for the abortion (he didn't do it for free and it wasn't covered) you could usually get an abortion fairly quickly. Additionally he did abortions that did not require a general anesthetic. Having an abortion under a general anethestic in most cases causes a much higher health risk then having it done under a local anethetic, however the hospitals insist on a general anesthetic.

However the question of whether a province has to cover one appears to be yes, but PEI is getting away without covering one at the moment regardless.

The Chantal Daigle Case 1989 Her ex boyfriend got a court injuction against her having an abortion. It made it to the Supreme Court and was fast tracked (for rather obvious reasons). It originated in Quebec. The court stated that the father had no legal right to veto a women's abortion...thus finding again that it was a women's choice. By the case was over Daigle had already had a late term abortion in the US (if memory serves it was still second trimester...but a lot of us were wondering about what she would do...and watching her clothes.)

Doctor who have been shot

Three Doctors had been shot on the web page i chose (around 1999) A BC doctor who performed abortions was shot while eating breakfast in 1994 cakked Dr. Garson Romalis..hmm didn't write down the other names but they were Ontario doctors and it was in 1995 and 1997 that they were shot. None died. They all occured around Nov. 11 a day that anti-abortion people view as a day for remembering the souls of those who have had an abortion. Its believed that a rabid american called James Kopp did the shootings although there is no proof. He did kill an american doctor (i've got the name saved if people think its worth adding in.

Views on Abortion 80% of Canadians think that abortion is a private matter between a women and her doctor (i haven't double checked the stats, but i doubt they will change much). Only 60% of Americans feel the same way.

History Abortion was banned in Canada in 1869 punishable with life imprisonment (kinda impressive before confederatin eh?. The law change in the late sixties brought in Theraputic Abortion Committes in the hospitals that often too 6-8 weeks to make a decision (and that was once you found a doctor that would go there, and access was very different depending on the area and who had control of the TAC's. Every TAC was allowed to interpret the law in the way that they wished. The TAC members were overwhelmingly male...thus giving the choice of an abortion for a women to men (basically). Also sometimes pro-choice groups took over the TAC's or the boards of hospitals to make it difficult or impossible to have an abortion...also a hosptial didn't have to have a TAC--for instance the hospital founded by the Catholics in my city never had one and it was an issue when all the hospitals were amalgamated---something mentioned in the article i read...i think in this case it was decided the non-catholic hospital would continue to be the one that performed abortions (you wouldn't even know it was Catholic except for a few things---or knowing the history of its founding--it was founded by nuns...and they still have a large say on the board although they no longer run it...on and aside though if i have to go to a hospital i prefer that one generally.

The TAC's resulted in educated middle to upper class women who were living in large city centers having the best access to abortion...part of what Morgantaler stated was that women had a basic right to abirtion and that it was not just a priviledge. He also spent a total of 10 months in jail, and the article suggested a fair amount of it was in solitary...

stats 90% of Canadian abortion are in the first trimester 2-3% are after 16 weeks nobody is currently doing abortions past 20-21 weeks unless there is a compelling helath reason to the mother or a genetic reason (and i have my own thoughts about that...might be worth trying to intergrate later...i think the ease of having abortions with no community decision on what type of genetic problem is "sufficient" is a problem...not that i've figured it out but its one that is held here and there in the disability community (of which i am part of) and the idea might be worth adding in---its more a thing about what it says of people with disablities then changing the profile [with the exception of Down's syndrome]. The vast majority of disabilities occur during or after birth.

80% of women in Canada use some form of birth control. Interstingly only 64% of american women do. While i don't have real recent stats it appears the rate of abortion did not grow in the 80's --so in effect there was a decrease because the baby-boomers were going through things then---or maybe not, what do you think...i know the number stayed stable at about 100,000 a year.

As of the stuff i was reading Newfoundland was the only province that covered abortions in all facilities.


There are a few points of POV here which I think could be cleared up. Thought I'd post my thoughts here before altering the article too much.

For example, in a poll conducted by the National Post in November 2002, 78% of respondents answered "yes" to the question "Should women have complete freedom on their decision to have an abortion?"

I have a problem with simplistic yes/no polls and I imagine this is a question where polling can be particularly biased (although I perhaps would have expected it be to biased in the other direction with a poll commissioned by the Post). In any case, I think it's worth noting that, while the vast majority (apparently about 80% of the population) of Canadian people would consider themselves "pro-choice" to some degree, many people within this group do not agree with the idea that abortion should be legal under any circumstance, which is what Canadian law currently states. [1]

As in other countries illegal abortions were still performed, leading to the deaths of many women every year.

I agree this is probably true, but I know people who vehemently dispute this as either factually errant or completely irrelevant. As such, I think this should be supported with some form of Canada-specific statistics.

Don't see any problem with this at all, despite what some cranks may claim it's obvious abortions occured. -- stewacide
While no mainstream political party in Canada explicitly opposes abortion availability, the Conservative Party of Canada has a number of pro-life members and is often supported by pro-life Canadians.

Despite Paul Martin's assurances, the Liberal Party of Canada has many pro-life members as well. I'm not sure of the actual percentage of Liberal MPs who are pro-life (it varies depending on one's interpretation of people in the grey area in between the two extremes, but I've heard as high as 35-40%, although I suspect it's more like 15-20%) but it is very POV to single out the Conservative Party of Canada when the movement is clearly not isolated to that party. -- Matty j 19:47, Jul 24, 2004 (UTC)

I agree as worded this is misleading, although it is probably still worth mentioning that there is some preceived affinity between the Conservative party and anti-abortion advocates. -- stewacide

--Marcie 00:42, 2 Oct 2004 (UTC)Hi again, been away for a died for a month or so then i got into the election.

I was hoping that more of the ideas i'd put up would be integrated, but if you want something done, do it yourself...i was more shy then about how a wikipedia works i i'm going to take a try at it. The idea that brought me back is that there was an article recently about the fact that in Quebec to get a third term abortion you currently have to go to the US (Quebec will pay for it, or at least most). Except in genetic cases or absolute huge harm to the mother nobody in Quebec will do it (including Morgantaler). The Quebec government is actually looking actively at the moment for a doctor that will provide third term abortions. My guess is that if its not being done in Quebec and they are sending folks to the US it isn't being done elsewhere either....anybody got an idea of where to look that up?

I am going to go in and try to do some doubt a good deal will be rewritten, but hey maybe we can get more out there M. --Marcie 00:50, 2 Oct 2004 (UTC)Uhm I've always written the name for the womens group with the acronym or R E A L (real equal active and life if memory serves) as R.E.A.L. women. I started as we were encouraged to university because otherwise it gives it a pov in accepting it in a devious kind of way. I'm going to make the change for now.

--Marcie 01:37, 2 Oct 2004 (UTC)I've done a major reedit on the page. Information was generally not changed but increase. I don't know how you are supposed to link the words that are already topics in the Wikkipedia on the page though. I'm aware that at least a few are elsewhere, having worked on the definition of Chemical abortion on the main page. Can someone help with this or tell me how to do it? M

      Others edits looks good (thanks) and i'll try to do some more of the links. Some clearer than i got (thanks). One problem...the Daigle case did NOT decisevely decide the rights of fetuses. It decided the right of the father to control whether a women could have an abortion and was an important precedent for later cases. The Pro-live movement brought several other cases to the Supreme cout before the whole thing was decided. I don't remember all the cases. I'll see if the internet has them because i don't have them anywhere. Anybody have a good idea in saying it was the most public case, the most understood probably provided the future precedent but was not the last case?

--Marcie 22:42, 2 Oct 2004 (UTC)I've edited some of the information i originally put on the talk page in order to make it smaller. Some of it has been integrated into the page, other stuff just got weeded.

I've gathered together more hisotrical data on the proccess towards accessing an abortion between 1969 and 1988. I put a small amount of it on this page and a large part on the page for Therapeutic Abortion Committes (which has been told to be redone officially). I think a larger historical review of access during this period within the main page would be interesting however i don't see how to fit it in the current section. Could there be a section of the history between those years? It gives the reader a better idea why the criminal law was later thrown out by the Supreme Court. --Marcie 17:00, 3 Oct 2004 (UTC)

The article states "Abortion funding for hospitals comes directly from the federal government". I believe this to be incorrect; while the federal government does make some transfer payments to provinces for a variety of purposes (including health care), medicine and the health care system are clearly entirely under provincial jurisdiction. Also, the name "Chantale Daigle" has a final 'e' (instead of the more common 'Chantal' spelling) and some key facts about her case are missing, most notably that she was the victim of a physically abusive partner, Jean-Guy Tremblay, who went on to batter at least one other woman after this case had ended. There is a book «le seul choix, le mien» which bears her name as author; this and more is explained there, but only en français as Chantale is originally from Chibougamau (a remote mining community) and only speaks French. Also, why is "therapeutic abortion committee" spelled "theraputic" in the title instead of using consistent wording? -- carlb 00:30 4 Oct 2004 (utc)

You are correct regarding the funding. I followed the link in the article and brought the issue up there partially, although i've tried to bring it in on this article and in some ways it has been (ie women from PEI having to pay for their abortions). I did a bit or research yesterday which turned up tremblay's name but i wanted to get it more together before i added it. Were you the person that helped on the page on TAC's? Sorry about spelling, i might start spell checking before i put stuff on the page, some of my spelling is a bit strange because i was in French immersion very young (but i can understand French a good benefit/cost in my view). The other details i didn't remember anymore and most of the pages i vistited only described the court case.--Marcie 20:01, 4 Oct 2004 (UTC)

I've fixed the "e" on the name.--Marcie 20:07, 4 Oct 2004 (UTC)

Added a few external links, including the Supreme Court decision on Tremblay v. Daigle; text on James Kopp (murderer of abortion doctors, arrested for killing Dr. Barnett Slepian in 1998) still needs some cleanup in "other" section - was unsure how much info to include as some of the crimes were in the US, some in Canada (Dr. Barnett Slepian was killed at his home near Buffalo NY). Tried a search on "jean-guy tremblay" and "daigle" and looks like this lad's worse that I thought: "Tremblay has 14 convictions for violent offences, mostly against women, including an 81-year-old woman he pushed down a set of stairs." - "Tremblay also had a penchant for abusing women. He assaulted two Calgary women and after his conviction, the Crown sought to have him declared a dangerous offender and locked up indefinitely for a string of similar crimes. That proposal was denied by the judge who found Tremblay guilty of six charges...Tremblay's punishment for his crimes was his nearly five-year jail term and a declaration he was a long-term offender in need of lengthy supervision." - Even his own mama says he's been stealing since he was four and was kicked out of school: --carlb 22:53, 7 Oct 2004 (UTC)

Format and content of the article

There are several aspects of this article that are troubling (from an encyclopedic standpoint.) I will disclose that my position on this issue is likely different from that of the author. I also live in the United States, not Canada. However, I think this is unimportant because the issues I am raising do not regard specifics.

Firstly, there are a few grammatical and punctuation errors, although none are catastrophic.

More importantly, the article's discussion of Dr. Henry Morgentaler is mostly biographical information that belongs on an article devoted to him. Biographical information and other facts (such as where abortions can be obtained through Morgentaler's services) should not be part of this article.

The author claims there is an abundance of children in Canada who can be adopted (this may or may not be true, I don't dispute that) however he makes no mention of legal complications and obstacles surrounding the adoption process. The "adoption as an alternative" issue is thus unduly simplified. Creation of or link to an article concerning "adoption in Canada," with proper treatment of that subject, is the best way of keeping this article to the point.

Mention of the "long term psychological consequences" of "(producing) babies for adoption" is present, and discussion of possible physical and psychological harm caused by abortion is absent. Neither of these issues, however, is relevant to the article, which is the legal and social status of abortion in Canada.

While this is universally known to be among the most difficult of subjects to approach objectively, I believe this article can be fixed with relatively minor alterations.

Format and content of the article-forgot to include my name

I am a bit new to the Wiki scene but my user name is PaulHanson, which should have been added to the last comment.

I presume this board is not the place to open up a can of worms regarding the larger question of Canada's healthcare system so I will refrain from doing so.

Thank you and good night.

Can't find a dictionary reference on spelling anesthetic

I use a British dictionary which had a similar reference which i drew upon, but it didn't have the actual spelling in this case. I tried typing in several versions into my Word spell checker and didn't have any luck...please fix it if its spelt wrong...i'm trying to remember to check such stuff. --Marcie 22:43, 19 Oct 2004 (UTC)

hey everyone...

Hey everyone...I wanted to let Marcie know that I appreciate her comments but i've been busy and haven't delved into wikipedia as much as I would like to (school and whatnot...) Anyway, I wanted to contact you but I'm not sure how to send an email or a wikimail or whatever. Anyways, I would love to correspond with wikipedians in general, wikichicks in particular.

I would very much like to write an article on Adoption in Canada, as was suggested, and actually do something about this article rather than just adding tags to it.

Thanks everyone and send me some comments!

If you want to contact me you just write you just click on the name at the end and then ask to go to the talk page (the page you will go to first has a bio. I can see that its you Paul that posted this, because the edit is need to sign at the end if you want a discusion, i couldn't tell what you were talking about. Also a comment left on your page is not going to be understood by everyone else (which is where i left it). I'm not interested in actually typing the link in if people want to see what i wrote. I can either copy it back here or could someone type in the link (i'm getting rusty at linking and i was never all that good anyway).
Going away for a while happens. I had a computer problem and was away for several months (i'd just started here and then it took a while for me to get back here). You pick up where things are at.
An adoption page is still going to go through a lot of writing and you aren't going to get exactly what i think you might want. I'm (at the very least) going to argue just as strongly that adoption can have mental impact on the birth mother that are not positive. However it is one worth persuing if it interests you...and let me know i want to be a part of it. Also a lot of people from Canada are adopting from outside the country. Everyone wants a baby without a disability and (preferably) white. (there are always exceptions but many of those children you see up for adoption are no longer cute babies or have disabilities of some type or are not white---there are statistics on it somewhere and i've gone through them)
i am however NOT a wikichick...others if you want to see the comment he is talking about i put it onto his page. I don't feel like linking it at the moment (i still find it hard) but i'll copy it out to here if anyone is interested in it (or you can go and see his talk page)--Marcie 23:12, 24 Nov 2004 (UTC)

in editing i accidentally erased the fact that there was a totally new entry by Paul (its still in here) can someone get it to show on the list again...or is it just not showing on mine?

--Marcie 23:19, 24 Nov 2004 (UTC)

I will remember two things...

1) Make only comments germane to topic in question; 2) add name/date to said comment.

Please excuse my somewhat irrelevant comments in my last post (and, for that matter, this one.)

RE: Abortion in Canada: the discussion of Morgentaler was not necessarily out of place in the article but it came across as a promotion for him and his clinics and/or views.

Marcie, I apoligize for implying that you are a "wikichick."

OMG I actually forgot to add the name/date. Unbelievable.

Paul 00:16, 25 Nov 2004 (UTC)

Apology accepted on the "wikichick" thing and any of the rest :-)
I was the one who put in where his clinics were...what do the rest of you thing? I guess the reason i put it in could be viewed as POV and is up for talk. I put it in because he generally opens clinics where there are not other clinics and there is difficulty with funding the clinics. Also they are the one's that you always here about in the news (when was the last time you heard about how a CLC in Quebec refers a women who wants an abortion) ). As a factual piece of data its NPOV although i can see the argument against it. Or would a better explanation of why they were listed do it?
But then i tend to view things inherently politically (i.e. basically i can obviously be moved to look at it different. So having said why i put the position of the clinics in what do folks think?.
Took me a while to get used to signing at the end like folks do...i think someone actually pointed it out to me on my talk page eventually (been a while since i've been there). Everything with a new style takes a bit of getting used to.--Marcie 02:49, 25 Nov 2004 (UTC)