We are reprinting Donna Campbell’s letters, and our responses.
In response to your editorial, “Too much information,” on May 7, I suspect that if the orthopedic surgeons performing the legal procedures of hip replacement were to be targeted with harassment and even violence, the statistics regarding the number of hip surgeries would also be restricted.
The restrictions, I believe, came about following violence against abortion providers. This is the price you pay, Mr. Gerk, for the actions of the fanatics within your ranks.
Donna Campbell, West Kelowna
(Source: The Daily Courier (Kelowna) Thu May 20 2010)
I am on record as being pro-life, not just anti-abortion. Perhaps in her own pro-abortion zeal she cannot understand that just because someone opposes abortion, does not make them pro-life. So her potentially libellous “theory” that people who espouse violence are among “my” ranks…is just that…a theory….and borders on being delusional.
But let’s talk about her other point, and that somehow the banning of abortion-related information and statistics was somehow related to violence. At the time the legislation was introduced, the NDP Provincial government could provide no details on how information released through Freedom of Information had placed anyone’s safety in jeopardy. None. Interestingly , when the legislation was introduced into the BC Legislature, the NDP government thought nothing of parading a “supporter” of the legislation that had publicly vandalized a pro-life display at UBC. Perhaps someone could explain the term “irony” to them?
Additionally, the Information and Privacy Commissioner, David Loukedelis, wrote a scathing letter to the government, confirming that the system of releasing information was sound, and provided the checks and balances necessary to protect individual privacy.
He also warned the government of the dangerous precedent that would be imposed when a government makes ANY topic off-limits.
Let’s look at some of the things discovered through Freedom of Information or just asking the right questions in British Columbia:1. The NDP British Columbia Attorney General was almost forced to resign over signing a false affidavit relating to the abortion issue. It dealt with the first of a series of “secret” meetings political activists had with government.
2. Provincial media at the time got increasingly uncomfortable with the NDP Attorney General’s Ministry holding secret meetings with pro-choice activists, discussing ways to neutralize their political opposition. It gave the impression that the government was using the chief law enforcement arm of the government to go after their political opponents. Radio Host Rafe Mair said at the time: “The attorney general is taking an extraordinary interest in anti-abortionists annoying the pro-choice feminists, who are such firm supporters of the NDP. This is not hyperbole – any reading of the notes that gave rise to Mr. Gabelmann’s recent discomfiture, and more particularly the agenda of his meeting with parties involved in a particular legal dispute, clearly suggest that the attorney general’s personal interest is extraordinary.” -Rafe Mair, The Georgia Straight: April 29-May 6, 1994
One of Vancouver’s abortion clinics was allowed to operate for months without acquiring the necessary life-saving equipment required of all surgical facilities, or even being inspected. I guess we weren’t supposed to know that.
In 1985, a baby was born at one of the hospitals we asked for the statistics from. The baby had survived an abortion attempt from another facility, only to be born at this hospital. Hospital staff, because of the abortion knowledge, left the baby to die. She would not. The court case in British Columbia was one of the largest financial settlements in Canadian history. Close to 10 million dollars. Hospital and medical staff deliberately ignored the child in hopes it would die.
Between 1995 and 1998, 15 babies survived their abortion and were born alive in British Columbia Hospitals.. They were then allowed to die. There have been some additional cases of children surviving their abortion, and going on to live, also in British Columbia.
That is just a portion of abortion related information that has been discovered in BC. It becomes most obvious that the real reason, in the dying days of the NDP regime, that abortion related information was banned, was because of the constant embarrassment suffered by the government and pro-choice activists.
Indeed, one of the reasons cited by a Vancouver abortion clinic why they felt abortion-related information should not be released stated:
“We submit that such information provides anti-choice activists with knowledge they may find useful in planning how to cause our organization continued negative impart. We can also reasonably expect, given their vigilance in opposing our organization, that such information will be used to identify ways in which our organization is most vulnerable.
“More recent tactics appear to include presenting our associates and funders with repeated requests for information to which our staff must divert time and energy, and even releasing parts of our responses to the media.” -Everywoman’s Health Centre, Letter to BC College of Physicians and Surgeons, January 19, 1996
Sounds like more of a Public Relations problem more than anything else.
Professor Donald Rowat, once stated: “Parliament and the public cannot hope to call the Government to account without an adequate knowledge of what is going on nor can they hope to participate in the decision-making process and contribute their talents to the formation of policy and legislation if that process is hidden from view.”
While Donna Campbell might feel comfortable with censorship, I do not. In a free and democratic society, ALL topics should be discussed….and you can only do that with information. It creates a dangerous precedent when you make one topic off limits.
A scan of any newspaper archive will show there has been more violence associated with the labour union movement in British Columbia, than any on the topic of abortion. And I certainly would never support the censorship of information on union protests and activity….and nor would I suspect anyone else.
To have abortion related information means we can begin to discuss and debate such issues as:
-Babies being born alive after their abortion in British Columbia.
-Gender abortions, ie. Aborting girls rather than boys
-Eugenic abortions…aborting children for reasons such as down syndrome or slight disability, such as cleft palate.
Perhaps Donna would like to start off the debate on these issues? Or perhaps she could produce the evidence that the NDP BC Government could not?
In the meantime, the request for the amount of abortions in Kelowna is necessary for a variety of reasons. Even the one Donna disdains the most. That these “statistics” represent the lives of hundreds of children that, ultimately, have value. To at least someone. The purveyors of “choice” might view them as just medical tissue, to be merely discarded as waste, but many of us do not.