Last Updated:Friday - 09/24/2010
July 14, 2008
Women's health takes a backseat
Henry Morgentaler is being installed in the Order of Canada for, among other things, helping to provide "increased health care options for women."
No one would seriously question that improving women's health care is a good thing. And so what is Morgentaler's contribution? Has he helped to prevent cervical cancer or found a foolproof way of detecting breast cancer? Has he helped women to regulate pregnancies in a way that respects the natural rhythms of the body without the use of chemicals?
Of course, everyone knows that Morgentaler's only "contribution" is to openly, brazenly and deliberately provide abortions in violation of the law of the land.
"Abortion" is a word that, oddly, the Order of Canada selection committee refrains from using. One can only assume the committee is ashamed to say that word out loud - that it somehow wishes to wash its hands of the sordid business of abortion while still holding Morgentaler up as a role model for Canadians.
Nevertheless, the appointment invites us to reflect on how more than 100,000 abortions a year in Canada have improved women's health.
It is odd that after almost 40 years of open or nearly open abortion in Canada there are so few studies that directly examine how abortion affects women's health. If women's health were improved by abortion, one would think that its proponents would be anxious to fund sound studies that make that improvement evident. Such has not been the case.
What we do have, however, are more than 500 articles in respected medical and other journals that document the medical and psychological effects of abortion. Their findings brought together in Women's Health After Abortion, a 2003 book by Elizabeth Ring-Cassidy and Ian Gentles.
"It is widely thought that induced abortion is safe and almost risk free. Yet recent research indicates that the procedure carries with it clear hazards to women's physical and psychological health," the authors conclude.
About the only Canadian study was done by the Ontario College of Physicians and Surgeons. It studied 41,039 women who had had abortions and a similar number who did not. It only looked at short-term (three-month) consequences.
Even there, it found that women who had had abortions were four times more likely than the others to be hospitalized for infections, five times more likely to be the subject of "surgical events" and five times more likely to be hospitalized for psychiatric problems.
Other studies showed that women who have had abortions are more likely to be infertile, to have premature deliveries in future pregnancies, to experience placenta previa, to have damage to their uterus and cervix, to have sexually-transmitted diseases and pelvic inflammatory disease, and to have future ectopic pregnancies.
Women who have had abortions are subject to much higher risks of breast, cervical, ovarian and colorectal cancer. Women who have had abortions are much more likely to commit suicide than women who carry their babies to term.
These are some of the "improvements" to women's health for which Henry Morgentaler is receiving the Order of Canada.
There is a curtain of silence over these findings. When some of this research does come to public attention - as with research on higher rates of breast cancer - the abortion lobby makes a concerted effort to discredit this research.
The abortion establishment is as vigorous and defensive about defending its turf as the tobacco industry has been in defending its interests. Unlike the tobacco industry, the abortion industry has been aided by an unquestioning media that views abortion as a solemn right.
Progress in women's health is being stymied, not aided, by Morgentaler and his fellow travellers. Awarding him the Order of Canada is simply more evidence that powerful forces in this country care less about women's health than they would have us believe.
- Glen Argan
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