Sunday, April 08, 2007

Research on late-term abortion in Ontario

Here's a document of interest to pro-life activists from Ontario:Clinical Practice Parameters and Facility Standards for induced abortions at Independent Health Facilities (read in this case: abortion clinics) issued by the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Ontario.

Always good to know something about the modus operandi of the opposition.

Here are some exceprts that I found interesting.

Surgical services performed in an independent health facility are aspiration and dilatation and evacuation procedures performed under local anaesthesia with or without sedation by qualified physicians.

Aspiration abortions are done with vacuums.

D and E's normally involve chopping up the baby inside the womb before pulling him out bit by bit.

The thing that is confusing about understanding what kind of procedures are covered by "dilation and evacuation" is that it can refer to two kinds of operations. One involves dismembering the baby completely inside the womb and crushing his brain. That's normally referred to as "D and E" tout court. However, Dilation and Evacuation could also mean intact dilation and evacuation, which is one name for partial birth abortion.

The fact that *some* fetuses past 20 weeks are expected to be stillborn (see below) leads me to suspect there are PBA's, but we can't know for sure.

The thing about D and E (without PBA) is that it requires for there to be sufficient room in the uterus to manoeuvre. If that space is lacking because the fetus is too big, that is when PBA's are performed-- often after 20 weeks, but it can be done earlier or later. Just as born adults are bigger or smaller than average, fetuses can vary in size as well. A fetus at 24 weeks could possibly be small enough to perform a D and E (without PBA), whereas you can have a large 19-week fetus that does require a PBA to be killed. It's all very circumstantial.

That's another point to research.

The section also says:

Note: Instillation procedures for pregnancy termination are not currently appropriate for independent health facilities.

After googling the term "instillation procedure" and "pregnancy" and "termination", I found out that this consists of procedures such as salie, urea and prostaglandin abortions.

Recently, I've been wondering aloud whether late-term abortions are coded as stillbirths. More and more, the answer I am getting is "yes". For example, this guidelines state (p. 24):

All products of conception and biomedical waste are disposed of in accordance with the current Guidelines for the Handling and Disposal of Biomedical Wastes from Health Care Facilities and Laboratories, Ontario Ministry of Environment or, in the case of stillborns, in accordance with the Vital Statistics Act, Government of Ontario.

Stillborns would naturally be produced by abortions. As an aside, I've also learn that New Brunswick does not code late-term abortions as stillbirths:

In New Brunswick, if the stillborn fetus is the result of an induced abortion, it is not registered as a stillbirth; the abortion event, however, will be reported to the Therapeutic Abortion Survey.

I know that many abortion clinics do not provide the gestation ages of the abortions they perform. Do they do many abortions past 20 weeks in Ontario? Possibily not, but it could be, and these do not make the TAD (Therapeutic abortion database) stats.

If PBA's are performed in clinics in Ontario AND they are done on babies past 20 weeks, there is a strongly possibility that these abortions are not recorded in the general abortion stats.

It could very well be that the number of late-term abortions in this country is grossly underestimated.

We know that abortion clinics are supposed to keep track of the information regarding gestation age. But they don't always submit it. I can't believe it's not archived somewhere. The thing is, to have access to those archives, you have to be under a special category:

12 (1)No licensee shall allow any person to have acess to any information concerning a patient that is not subject to the
Personal Health Information Protection Act, 2004 except in accordance with subsection (3).

(2)The reference to “information concerning a patient” in subsection

(1) includes information or copies from a health record, even if anything that could identify the patient is removed.

(3)A licensee may provide information described in subsection (1) to the following persons if anything that could identify the patient is removed from the information:

1. Any person, if the information is be used for health administration or planning or health research or epidemiological studies and the use is in the public interest as determined by the Minister.

2. Cancer Care Ontario.

However, I will not be deterred.

Here's another interesting little tidbit:

The fee for a licence is $100.

One hundred lousy bucks to run an abortion clinic in Ontario. It should be a LOT higher than that.

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