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LETTER: No, actually we don’t need a law

Anti-abortion letter was a ‘collection of distortions that failed to accurately mirror reality’
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In the Feb. 11 Chilliwack Progress, I read the letter with the headline: “We need a law to protect the unborn.”

I was disappointed to find a collection of distortions that failed to accurately mirror reality. This dog whistle approach is consistent with a favoured tactic of religious organizations to create emotionally charged issues. This practice serves to shift the flock from logical thought into an emotional state that helps to empty their wallets, and arouse that divisive us and them loyalty.

In this letter, the writer attempts to emotionally charge the reader to engage them, with statements like “Canada has no abortion law.” In fact, this archaic law technically remained in the Criminal Code for 31 additional years following the landmark Supreme Court ruling in favour of Dr. Henry Morgentaler in 1988. So contrary to the Chicken Little cries that “the sky is falling” we did not and therefore do not need a law. The issue with the law was that it was considered unconstitutional and therefore it was unenforceable. Thank God!

Obviously this is a thinly veiled attempt to suggest abortion care is in some sort of unbridled state, completely absent of oversight. It leaves the reader with the impression that most or many abortions may be occurring at something along the lines of 8.5 months. This is not the case. In fact, we have a tapestry of professional policies, case law, and regulations in play. The Canadian Medical Association’s abortion policy defines the active termination of a pregnancy up to 20 weeks of gestation. Available data indicates that the late term abortions that occur after 20 weeks appear to be less than six per cent of abortions. This exceptionally low number of late term abortions take place primarily because the fetus is gravely or fatally impaired, or the woman’s life or physical health is at risk, or both are. The professional and regulatory regime has served Canadians now for the last 34 years.

The writer also claims that Canada is the only democratic country with “no restriction.” This is not true. Countries such as Netherlands, Luxembourg, Norway, Sweden, Australia, Denmark, and Switzerland are some of the democratic countries that share Canada’s legal stance with respect to abortion. One hundred-and-sixty-five countries of the world have some provisions for abortions. The 13.2 per cent of countries that prohibit abortion are the exception. The countries that prohibit abortion are primarily authoritarian regimes, such as Angola, DR Congo, Egypt, Gabon, Iraq, Laos, Nicaragua, and Republic of Congo.

This is a private matter involving the mental and physical health of women or other gender pregnancy-able persons. This like all such health matters of the person is best addressed, by a doctor and their patient. A ploy to criminalize women and their doctors is barbaric and wholly unacceptable. People should not allow themselves to be so easily led into picking up an old bone and running around with it.

Brian Mielke

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