Saturday, August 15, 2009

Bizarre twist in the Bill 34 controversy in Quebec: late-term abortionist AUTHOR of restrictive guidelines

Recently, the Quebec National Assembly passed Bill C-34 which puts greater restrictions on private clinics in Quebec. This has had an effect on private abortion clinics, because they would have to each have an operating room for abortions (among other restrictions.)

This led to a huge outcry, because in the face of this new measure, one abortion clinic has decided not to renew its contract with the government to do abortions, and others say they may not be able to meet with the September 30th deadline (with the implication that they might have to stop doing abortion themselves).

Health Minister Yves Bolduc insisted that these measures were necessary and that he got these guidelines from the College of Physicians. No, insisted the College: you don't need an operating room for an abortion.

The feminists and medical groups were up in arms. Gaetan Barrette, the head of the Federation of Specialists, demanded the resignation of Health Minister. The Health Minister decided to meet with the parties involved and find some solution. Politically, this looked like a big loss for the Liberals, and that the Health Minister had lost face, even after he insisted the guidelines would remain.

In a bizarre twist, Jean Guimond, the man who runs the only clinic in Quebec that does late-term abortions, revealed to Radio-Canada that he drew up the Health Minister's guidelines, and that he got those guidelines from the College of Physicians' own documents. He even phoned up the College to get confirmation. He understood that the College wanted abortions to be done in operating rooms.

Dr. Yves Lamontagne, the head of the College of Physicians said that the documents specify that abortions can be performed in a special room OR an operating room. But the report from Radio-Canada explains that the description of the "special room" in effect would make it into an operating room. The cost of renovating a "special room" into an operating room is what may force the Morgentaler Clinic and the Clinique Femina to stop doing abortions (personally, I don't think so, but that's the narrative that is given.)

Jean Guimond himself thinks that these measures are not necessary, but he says it's as if the College just discovered that their policies are too strict.

This is just crazy. So a well-known abortionist draws up the restrictive policy guidelines that could impede access to abortion, using documents from a College of Physicians (which he disagrees with), and when they are applied by the government, the College of Physicians goes ballistic.

I am sure there is more to this story than meets the eye. I just wish I had time to research it. I suspect that the reason the operating room is necessary has to do with 2nd trimester abortions. They are more complicated to perform.