Thursday, September 27, 2012

Not to get political, but...

One of my unshakable beliefs got a bit of a rattle this week as MPs prepared to vote on a private members' bill that could have taken us back 24 years to when the abortion laws in this country were struck down.

I have a women's studies degree, so you might be able to discern my feelings on abortion.

Please don't make me explain that no one is for abortion. When my mother was writing cheques to the Canadian Abortion Rights Action League in the 1970s and 1980s, what she and fellow pro-choicers were trying ensure was my chance to make whatever hard decision I needed to make. The dream was that abortion should be legal, safe and accessible but also that it should be rare.

In writing newscasts this week about that bill, I came upon a fact that gave me pause.

According to CIHI, the group that keeps statistics about procedures in Canadian hospitals and clinics, just under 95,000 abortions were performed in this country in 2008. That's the last year for which numbers are available and the numbers apparently go down a bit each year.

Doesn't 95,000 seem like a lot? Doesn't it seem like a tremendous waste of heartache and guilt and resources?

Again, I'm not wavering on my support for women to make whatever tough choice they need to, but I'm curious. With the wide and varied and inexpensive methods of contraception available to us all, including the morning after pill, when it comes to abortion, how have we managed legal, safe and accessible, but failed to get to rare?

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