Top Secret! That’s what abortion data is now in Ontario, Top Secret!
In January 2012, the government of Ontario brought in an amendment to its Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act (FIPPA).
This we know through a request made by Patricia Maloney of the Run with Life blog. She received in response to her request for more abortion statistics, the following:
” Please be advised that effective January 1, 2012, section 65 of the Act (Application of the Act) was amended to exclude records relating to the provision of abortion services. The effect of section 65 (5.7) of the Act is that individuals no longer have a right to make access requests under Part II of FIPPA to an institution for records in the custody or under the control of that institution relating to the provision of abortion services.”
Last year, through a previous request made by Patricia Maloney to the Ministry of Health and Long- Term Care, it was revealed that doctors in Ontario billed the province for 43,977 abortions in 2010. The official statistics published by the Canadian Institute for Health Information reported 30,268 abortions in 2009, 32,150 in 2008, and 32,331 in 2007 for Ontario. The much higher figure for 2010 based on the billing numbers seems to confirm other evidence that underreporting of abortion statistics is a problem.
Through her Freedom of Information request, the blogger found out that 18, 330 abortions were performed in doctor’s offices while 16,055 were done in private clinics and 9, 612 were done in hospitals.
The state of abortion statistics worsens every year. Nationally, the statistics are incomplete with some clinics not reporting their abortion numbers, never mind not reporting medical data concerning previous induced abortions, gestational age of the child, complications and methods of abortion used.
The statistical information obtained by Ms. Maloney will no longer be available now due to the amendment to FIPPA. Millions are paid for elective abortions every year but the province has seen fit to forbid the disclosure of data relating to abortion. Such information is essential to gain an accurate picture of abortion trends in the province. Exactly how many abortions are performed in Ontario every year? What is the cost of these abortion procedures? Where are the abortion procedures performed?
There is no need to suppress abortion statistics. This data should be readily available to the public.