Ottawa, ON – The recent Liberal budget addressed a problem the pro-life movement has been highlighting for years: the lack of information regarding abortion.
“In Canada, most abortions are funded by the government, and yet the manner in which we maintain statistics is in complete disarray,” explained Tabitha Ewert, legal counsel for We Need a Law, a national campaign that seeks to influence policy to protect pre-born children. “We don’t even know how many abortions are being performed, let alone who is having abortions and why. I’m hopeful that some of the $7.6 million that Budget 2021 earmarks for capturing data related to sexual and reproductive health will go towards making sure we have complete and accurate information regarding abortion here in Canada.”
Currently, the Canadian Institute of Health Information reports abortion statistics annually, but they note the incomplete nature of their data specifically because abortion clinics are not required to submit information. “Canadians pay for abortions and therefore Canadians deserve to know where that money is going,” Ewert notes. “In order to better address some of the difficult circumstances women face it is necessary to understand the demographics around abortion in Canada. Some Canadian studies have shown that women seeking abortions are more likely to have experience intimate partner violence than women giving birth. A problem like that should be understood and addressed so that we can ensure women are protected from violence.”
The budget also included $45 million over three years to “fund community-based organizations that make sexual and reproductive health care information and services more accessible for vulnerable populations.” We Need a Law hopes that this will include assisting the many pregnancy resource centres across Canada that support women facing unplanned pregnancy and provide much needed resources during early childhood.
“There are many pregnancy care centres across the country that seek to provide a safe environment for women. Women can come and receive information about pregnancy and sexual health and talk through their options free of charge,” explained Ewert. “They also provide real help to women during pregnancy or early parenting with free supplies like diapers, clothes, and other essential items. These centres are fueled by volunteers and donations. We would love to see their value recognized by our government. We need to ensure that women are empowered to choose parenting.”