By Jonathon Van Maren
A quick update on the international abortion wars, with some good news and some bad news.
In Canada, abortion is being maintained as an essential service—although in good news, Maclean’s is reporting that Clinic 554 in Fredericton, New Brunswick will be shutting down. Those of you following abortion politics in Canada will remember that the abortion clinic, set up by Dr. Adrian Edgar and Valerie Edelman, has been a source of constant controversy. The owners requested that the province fund abortions at their facility, and the government refused. Trudeau demanded that New Brunswick begin funding abortions in clinics as well as hospitals, claiming that the province was violating the Canada Health Act, and actually clawed back $140,216 in health transfer payments in retribution for their refusal. As they packed up to leave, Edelman told the press that “It’s emotionally hard to do all this work and get ridiculous answers from the government that make it very clear they just don’t care. It’s hard on the soul.”
Actually, it is killing babies that is hard on the soul.
The Polish government’s new pro-life laws, which would ban abortion in the case of fetal abnormalities (which is one of the few exceptions in the existing law protecting pre-born life in the womb), have been delayed. President Andrezej Duda had noted earlier this month that “killing disabled children is simply murder,” and had promised to sign the bill. Legislators plan to revisit the issue at a later date.
Around the world, the COVID-19 pandemic is forcing many abortion clinics to close, and abortion activists are, predictably, calling on governments to step in and ensure that feticides are still carried out in a timely manner. According to the Guttmacher Institute (Planned Parenthood’s research arm), the International Planned Parenthood Federation has had to shut down 5,600 of its clinics worldwide—14% of its total facilities—across 64 countries. IPPF clinics have shut down in Pakistan, Sudan, El Salvador, Zambia, Colombia, Malaysia, Ghana, Uganda, Germany, Zimbabwe, and Sri Lanka. Marie Stopes International, another international abortion provider, has stated that 9.5 million women would “lose access to its services” in 2020.
In Nepal, where Marie Stopes is responsible for nearly 75% of abortions, the abortion provider has been forced to shut down all of its clinics as of March 24, with 12 of 36 being subsequently re-opened. Marie Stopes was also forced to shut down clinics in India.
I did a livestream for the Canadian Centre for Bio-Ethical Reform on the pro-life movement during the pandemic earlier this week. The sound got a bit choppy at the end, but here it is for anyone who wants to give it a watch.