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NRL News
Page 10
September 2009
Volume 36
Issue 9

Survey Shows Fewer Canadian Ob/Gyns Performing Abortions
By Liz Townsend

According to a survey presented at an August meeting of the Society of Obstetrician and Gynaecologists of Canada (SOGC) in Halifax, Nova Scotia, 39.4% of Canadian ob/gyns said they perform abortions. This number is a sharp reduction from the results of the last survey in 1991, which found that 51% of ob/gyns were also abortionists, the Medical Post reported.

“This type of survey, and the way it’s portrayed, offers an interesting perspective at how the two polarized groups view the same news point,” Dr. Paul Ranalli, a neurologist at the University of Toronto and an advisor to the De Veber Institute for Bioethics and Social Research, told NRL News. “To us in the pro-life camp, the dwindling abortion doctor numbers are a good thing. For pro-aborts, it is alarming, and they’re not far from panic.”

Ranalli pointed to a sentence in the Medical Post article: “The survey also suggests physicians’ personal beliefs, and the opinions of fellow doctors and the local community, have a lot to do with a doctor’s decision to provide those services.”

“To pro-aborts, the implication here is clearly pejorative,” said Ranalli. “Our ‘personal beliefs’ get in the way of submitting to their ideal of valueless technical medical delivery. This is why our various provincial medical colleges are trying to regulate us out of our right of conscientious objection. For us, it is gratifying to know there are still many physicians who simply do not want to kill the innocent.”

Of the 60.6% who said they did not do abortions, 33.7% said that other local doctors did, 23.8% reported that their community had negative feelings about abortion, and 50.5% cited personal beliefs. The doctors’ local area had an impact on whether abortion is part of their ob/gyn practice: “Quebec has the most widely available abortion services,” said survey author Dr. Caroline Laroche of Saint-Luc Hospital in Montreal, according to the Medical Post. “Doctors working in the Prairies are less likely to provide abortions.”

“As I’ve often said, support for abortion among Canadian physicians is a mile wide and an inch deep,” explained Ranalli. “While many Canadian MDs would routinely sign off a survey as being ‘pro-choice’ on abortion, not many want to do them.”