By Jonathon Van Maren
On January 23, 2013, three Canadian Members of Parliament sent a letter to Royal Canadian Mounted Police commissioner Bob Paulson, asking for a criminal investigation into the deaths of 491 babies who were born alive after abortion attempts between 2000 and 2009 – but left to die by the attending medical staff.
In late 2012, pro-life blogger Pat Maloney had revealed these deaths using data from Stats Canada on her Run with Life blog, with additional information that according to the Canadian Institute for Health Information (CIHI), an additional 199 babies met the same fate between 2010 and 2011.
The “born-alive abortions” made headline news at the time, and Conservative Prime Minister Stephen Harper cemented his position as defender of the abortion industry’s worst abuses by responding to the news by insisting that abortion was legal and that he did not intend to reopen the debate.
Of course, these children died after Canadian law afforded them protection, but the leaders of all major parties seemed content to consider these children collateral damage. The story lasted several news cycles and, when all relevant authorities refused to do anything, petered out.
But born-alive abortions still happen in Canada, and year by year, Pat Maloney has been researching the stats, requesting information from government bodies, and publishing them on her blog.
With the release of her most recent report, I interviewed her on her findings.
When did you start researching the trend of live-birth and late-term abortions in Canada?
It was around 2012 I think, when I learned from a doctor that born-alive abortions were happening. She had been looking at the Statistics Canada vital statistics database on deaths, and came across a code that identified these live born abortions: code P96.4, defined as termination of pregnancy, affecting fetus and newborns.
These were late-term abortions, 20 weeks or greater gestation, where the child is born alive. Statistics Canada was reporting these deaths, albeit in a cryptic way if you didn’t know what you were looking for.
When did you first discover they were happening?
I started looking at this data myself and realized this was pretty important information. Here was solid evidence that children who were being aborted were actually being born-alive and just left to die.