Friday, December 14, 2007
The right to abortion is meaningless if the procedure is unavailable. Anti-choice advocates know this, but the public, which generally favors the basic right to abortion but is more than willing to pile on the restrictions, often seems not to. At the recent conference on abortion at the University at Buffalo School of Law, attendees from the U.S. thought the situation in Canada seemed so much better. But Professor Sanda Rodgers (University of Ottawa Faculty of Law) pointed out that access is a problem in many places in Canada too, as the following article demonstrates. Via the Belleville Intelligencer:
Having an abortion in Quinte area hospitals isn't just difficult, it's impossible.
"There's nowhere," said Bill Sherlock, manager of the sexual health department at the local health unit.
No doctor here will perform an abortion, said one physician, and a Quinte Health Care official said none of its four hospitals perform the procedure.
The same policy applies to women whose lives are threatened if they do not terminate a pregnancy, those who have become pregnant after a sexual assault and want to terminate the pregnancy and those who want to have an abortion because they choose to not have a child. "They go to Kingston or Toronto," Sherlock said.
Because area residents have to go elsewhere for the procedure, it is impossible to get numbers on how many women in Hastings and Prince Edward counties have had abortions.
"It would be pretty hard to determine," Sherlock said Thursday.
It is equally difficult to learn much on the policies at area hospitals on abortions because even though the procedure is not illegal, it is shrouded in controversy.