Exposing Myths

25/02/2014 / Abortion 


“I don’t think a late-term abortion law would prevent any abortions because abortionists would simply lie about the age of the pre-born child. And, aren’t late-term abortion so rare anyway?”

Such a statement is not uncommon to be heard from the mouths of those opposed to saving some when saving all is not achievable. 

Granted, abortionists may employ deceptive techniques to find ways around such a law, but we can’t be so presumptuous as to use this as a reason not to enact legislation. We do not abolish laws just because we can’t guarantee they will always be successful in preventing certain actions from taking place.

A late-term abortion law would in fact be a major deterrent, as abortionists who lied about the age of the pre-born child and committed illegal abortions would risk fines and/or a prison sentence that would most likely be associated with such a piece of legislation.

We have to be careful in dismissing laws just because they are more difficult to prosecute or the crimes they address are rarely committed.

If it becomes problematic to prosecute certain crimes we don’t decriminalize them. We work doubly hard to find ways to ensure they are prosecuted!

As for rarely committed crimes, think of child labour laws. Imagine the outcry if there were a move to de-criminalize the practice of child labour simply because it rarely occurred? Regarding late-term abortions, the fact is they are common in Canada.

The Canadian Institute for Health Information statistics indicate that of all the abortions reported in Canada in 2010, only 22% of them included the gestational age of the fetus at the time of abortion. Even with such a small percentage reported, there were 537 abortions in Canada after 20 weeks gestation. Assuming we can project that ratio onto the 78% of abortions which did not record gestational ages, there may have been over 1,900 abortions after 20 weeks!

A law that would introduce a new injustice is certainly not one that should receive support. On the contrary, everyone ought to be working towards the implementation of laws that limit an already occurring injustice. A law we should support then, is one that would limit abortion to a certain gestational age, thereby restricting the existing injustice and saving hundreds if not thousands of babies per year.

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