“The Ontario Civil Liberties Association certainly supports their challenge to have that section of the act struck down as unconstitutional,” said executive director Joe Hickey. “Democracy is founded on the basis that individuals can participate in how society is organized, how society is run. For that to happen there has to be access to information about how public institutions are functioning. You have to have access to this kind of information to have an informed debate and to have a free and democratic society in the true sense.”
Henheffer understands why the government might shy away from releasing abortion statistics to a pro-life blogger.
“It certainly has in the past been an ugly debate,” Henheffer said.
But that doesn’t justify withholding information from citizens, he said.
And another irritant from the Ontario government:
Neither the Ontario Ministry of Health nor the Information and Privacy Commission of Ontario would tell The Catholic Register why all abortion-related information was exempted from FIPPA when the act was revised in 2010.
Translation: We passed a law, but we have no obligation to explain why.
Even more irritating:
“The exclusion, however, does not prohibit the disclosure of such records. The Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care has in fact released statistical information about the provision of abortion services in Ontario in recent years,” wrote a ministry spokesperson in an e-mail. “The FIPPA amendment was made to give institutions with abortion-related records the ability to make balanced decisions about what information to disclose based on multiple considerations including the safety and security of facilities, health care providers and patients.”Translation: we'll let abortion supporters and other insiders have the stats, but not pro-lifers.
No abuse of power there!
In 1999 the Ministry of Health told the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Commission that releases of even the most general statistical information could be linked to pro-life violence, including the 1992 firebombing of the Morgentaler clinic, the 1998 murder of Dr. Bernard Slepian in Buffalo, N.Y., and other incidents.And it took them eleven years to figure out that abortion stats are such a big threat they need to be hidden?
And they didn't seem to mind giving Pat Maloney the abortion stats she was asking for in order to end her lawsuit. If releasing abortion stats is such a threat to security, why did they agree to give them to her?