Graphic in National Post shows that a gestational law would save babies

11/12/2012 / blog posts 

NP graphicA common argument by Canadians who don’t want to see any restrictions on abortion is that “late-term abortions don’t happen anyway.”

Well, the National Post has smashed that myth to bits by providing an extremely useful info graphic (click on the above image for full view) so that Canadians can see first-hand the results of this country’s lack of any law restricting abortion. The info-graphic clearly shows how many pre-born children are dying at the hands of abortionists on a yearly basis in Canada–and even goes so far as to detail the ages at which these children are being killed.

The myth that a gestational law is unnecessary because late-term abortions are rare is sometimes even echoed by pro-lifers. In a recent interview with, Mary Ellen Douglas of Campaign Life Coalition was asked what she thought of the National Post coverage.  Her response: “This graphic shows that you won’t save any babies with the gestational approach.”

First, let’s remember that the goal of those advocating a gestational approach, including the  campaign is to restrict abortion to the greatest extent possible. There are multiple ways to do this.

Abortion restrictions vary throughout the world. For example, some European countries have a 0 week limit for abortion on demand and others have legal protection after 12, 16, or 18 weeks.

So does the data reported in the National Post actually show that we wouldn’t save any babies as Ms. Douglas claims? Keeping in mind that 17.8% of the 93,755 abortion performed at an “unknown age,” it can be observed from the data provided by the National Post that:

·        1.9% (1781) abortions occurred after 21 weeks

·        3.3% (3093) abortions occurred between 17 and 20 weeks

·        6.8% (6375) abortions occurred between 13 and 16 weeks

·        41.2% (38627) abortions occurred between 9 and 12 weeks

·        29% (27,188) abortions occurred between 0 and 8 weeks

A gestational law that is in line with most European countries would save more than 11,000 babies every year. It would provide protection for 11,000 human beings who have no protection today!

Even if we don’t look strictly at the numbers, a law would provide huge educational value. If Canadians know that it is criminal to abort a child at 16 weeks gestation (for example), we can be sure that pregnant mothers will give much more thought before aborting a child that is younger than 16 weeks. After all, just how different is a 12 week old child and a 16 week old child? Slopes can slide in positive directions as well.

We do this work because we believe all human beings have inherent worth and dignity and all of us should have our lives protected. To minimize the life of even one of the babies graphically portrayed in the National Post by suggesting they aren’t worth saving is to devalue human beings created in the image of God. Indeed, the suggestion that advocating for the protection of those human beings we are able to protect right now is “ludicrous” is not consistent with a pro-life perspective.  

We’ve been communicating to Canadians since the launch of that gestational laws will save lives. A majority of Canadians are morally repulsed by the fact that abortions occur throughout all 40 weeks of pregnancy. The response to the info-graphic by National Post letter writers bears this out. Sandra Brickell writes, “My thanks to the National Post for its courage in publishing the graphic on abortion. I expect there will be flak from prochoice voices about your pictures — each fetus looks so … babylike, so I commend you on your decision. It is so refreshing to see accuracy in reporting on this issue.”

Opportunities exist within the political arm of the pro-life movement to take steps right now to protect some of those babies. I’m reminded of the German industrialist, Oskar Schindler who sacrificed everything to save as many Jews as he possibly could from certain death. Just because he didn’t have the resources on hand to save all, he did not shy away from rescuing those he could with what he had been given. Although our ultimate goal is the legal protection of all pre-born children, we have opportunity now to enact protection for some.  If the pro-life community is not working towards this, who will?

Further reading:

A Law to Stop the Slide

Abortion law unlikely without change in tactics

CCBR speaks with Mike Schouten about gestational legislation

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