Facts are available
Re: “Busting the abortion myths” (Opinion, June 1). Margaret Somerville’s article relies on anecdotal evidence that supports her personal ideology rather than speaking to the unbiased, statistical evidence concerning abortion.
The majority of abortions in Canada are provided in the first trimester and there is statistical data to support this fact. In 1995, the responsibility for collecting abortion data was transferred from Statistics Canada to the Canadian Institute for Health Information. Perhaps if Somerville had contacted the correct agency when writing this article, she would have learned that, according to the CIHT, in 2005, the percentage of abortions provided after 20 weeks was less than one percent (0.56 per cent).
Abortions after 20 weeks are provided in a hospital and data show they usually have a corresponding diagnostic code, which indicates a fetal or maternal complication. These are often heartbreaking cases of women who discovered late in very wanted pregnancies that their fetuses were diagnosed with fatal anomalies or that their health or life would be put at risk if they continued their pregnancies.
It is misleading and inaccurate to suggest that the facts on later abortion are somehow hidden from the Canadian people.
Vicki Saporta, President, National Abortion Federation Canada, Victoria, B.C.
Montreal Gazette; June 5, 2010