Monday, 25 April 2016

C225, or Exploiting Grief to Attack Abortion Rights Bill

Double-plus good fetus freak MP Cathay Wagantall's private member's bill C225, or The Exploiting Grief to Attack Abortion Rights Bill has its first hour of debate on May 2.

Abortion Rights Coalition of Canada (ARCC), which opposes the bill, is calling on similar right-minded people to send letters to our MPs asking them to oppose it too. Here's a sample letter to cut and paste from.

There are many reasons to oppose it, but the main one is that is a "personhood" bill.

From the sample letter:
Bill C-225 is almost identical to Bill C-484 (“Unborn Victims of Crime Act”), a 2008 bill that passed second reading but got no further, and was widely criticized as a sneak attack on abortion rights. Like C-484, the new bill ascribes an implicit form of legal personhood to a fetus. Although it defines the fetus as not a human being, I think that’s disingenuous because C-225 would modify the “Offences Against the Person” section of the Criminal Code, and give the fetus the human right not to be injured or killed. But legal precedent in Canada has already established that a pregnant woman and her fetus are considered “physically one,” and that separating them would risk infringing women’s Charter rights (Supreme Court in Dobson v. Dobson). Also, I find it telling that support for the bill comes largely from the anti-choice movement. I fear that the anti-choice movement would use this law as a stepping stone to restrict abortion.

Its proponents say: no, no, no, this bill has nothing nada zip zero to do with abortion. Just as they said about C484, unless they're talking amongst themselves, and then of course it's about abortion, wink wink. Here's a link to an old blog-post by JJ, the unrepenant old hippie, with screen-caps of their "is it or isn't it?" flip-flops.

I do believe Jeff Durham, ex-partner of the murdered woman, Cassandra Kaake, and most vocal and sympathetic supporter of the law, when he says he's pro-choice and this bill is not intended (by him at least) to affect abortion rights.

But look what I found the fetus freaks saying about him amongst themselves.

After noting that Durham describes himself as "pro-choice," the piece in the Catholic rag, Interim, goes on:
Wagantall says that Durham’s public support of the bill is part of the strategy to counter so-called pro-choice objections that unborn victims laws are pro-life laws in sheep’s clothing.
Thus, my name for the bill: The Exploiting Grief to Attack Abortion Rights Bill.

They are absolutely shameless about using a man's grief and pain and thirst for justice/revenge to advance their misogynist agenda.

And the freaks know they have an emotional wedge here. Hearing of a vicious crime in which a woman is killed along with her wanted fetus, most people react with horror and condemnation. When slyly informed that the perpetrator cannot be charged with an additional crime for the death of the fetus, these people are shocked.

When further slyly informed that there is a remedy for that in this proposed law, a remedy that will NOT impinge on abortion rights or the rights of pregnant people in general, these people will nod and be reassured.

It is precisely this knee-jerk sympathy and shock that the fetus freaks intend to exploit.

I doubt C225 will pass, but who knows? C484 got further than sane people expected.

Please take a few minutes to contact your MP. (The handy MP finder by postal code thingy is here.)

Because C225 is a wolf in sheep's clothing.




Wednesday, 20 April 2016

MOAR Silent No More

Found on the Saskatchewan Pro Life website (bold mine):

Canada Silent No More needs Testimonies.

URGENT: We are collecting testimony declarations from women who have been hurt or damaged physically, emotionally or who got breast cancer, cervical damage, had a subsequent pre-term birth, infertility, suffered depression, turned to alcohol and drugs, had suicidal thoughts or attempts etc? We want to hear from you. We are looking for brave and courageous women to testify to the Supreme Court of Canada on how legal abortion has hurt them. You are not alone. If you know any former abortion patients, please have them message me, k. Also we need pro life groups to distribute our declaration forms...the US has over 5,000, we would like to get at least 500. We have over 100 declarations so far. Thank you so much for your prayers and support!! God bless you!
Plus a link to Denise Mountenay's Facebook page, where she says she is the "Founder/President" of Canada Silent No More.

And a link to a pdf form to fill out. The form is titled "Testimony Declaration" and stipulates that it is to be filled out by women who have had an abortion.

(Click to embiggen)



It asks for age, dates(s) and location(s) of abortion(s), whether the testifier (is that a word?) was adequately informed of the risks of abortion, whether she was coerced into it/them.

Then there's this: "Were you ever informed of any link between abortion and Breast Cancer (BC)?" (yes, capitalized) with yes/no boxes to tick.

Follow-up question: "Have you had Breast Cancer, or any lumps or cysts removed, or cervical cancer since your abortion(s)?" Yes/no boxes, with request to give details.

Then three more questions on Physical Complications (yes, capitalized again), "depression, suicidal thoughts, substance abuse, etc." Some space to give details.

Signature/date lines, some boxes to tick about whether the person is willing to let her name be used etc., then an identification section asking for full name, email and mailing address, phone number.

If this were a poll, which it is in a way, it would be called a "push poll."

I don't think I need to remind DJ! readers that THERE IS NO LINK BETWEEN ABORTION AND BREAST CANCER.

But I had never seen abortion connected with cervical cancer before and googling "abortion cervical cancer" returns only fetus freak sites.

Further inspection of the Canada Silent No More site reveals a "testimonies" section, which is three pages of snippets of stories with links to their continuation, oddly, all posted on January 26, 2016.

There is no mention anywhere on the site that I could find of the Supreme Court of Canada and I feel pretty confident in saying that if there were an abortion case coming up before the SCC, I'd know about it.

So WTF is this about? Who is Denise Mountebank, er, Mountenay, and why is she collecting this information? Why is she leading people to believe they will have a chance to "testify" about their abortions to the Supreme Court?

And while we're asking questions: What *is* Canada Silent No More?

There already is a Silent No More organization with a Canadian chapter. Angelina Steenstra is National Coordinator for Canada.

On the Canadian page, there's this repressive little note at the end:
Canada Silent No More is a separate organization and is not affiliated with Silent No More Awareness Campaign Canada.

Oooh, dissent in FetusFreakLand?

After all, there is room for just so many *inspirational* "I had an abortion boohooooo" speakers in the market.

Will both organizations make an appearance at the upcoming Futility Fest on the Hill? Will unpleasantness ensue?

Angelina: I'm Silent No More!

Denise: No! I'm Silent No More!

Angelina: I'm More Silenter No More than you are!

Denise: I'm the Most Silent No More!

Etc.

Fun.

Tuesday, 19 April 2016

The Death Throes of Pro-Life



Desperate fetus freaks are changing tactics for this year's Futility Fest on the HIll, aka March For Lies.
Campaign Life Coalition has paved the way for every organization fighting for the unborn to take part in this year’s National March for Life May 12.

“We’ve done something very deliberate this year,” said Campaign Life Ottawa lobbyist Johanne Brownrigg. “We have decided to present a unified voice from the entire pro-life movement as far and wide as we could reach.”

Even though Campaign Life, the national political arm of the pro-life movement, remains the sole organizer of the march, the promo video released March 14 includes groups such as WeNeedaLaw.ca*, the Association for Reformed Political Action (ARPA), educational pro-life groups such as LifeCanada, the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops, Priests for Life and 4MYCanada. The promo can be viewed at Marchforlife.ca.
(*NOTE: We Need a Law Like a Hole in the Head is a project of the Dominionist ARPA. For the click-averse, Dominionists want to impose Xian biblical law on all levels of government.)

This is news because the abolitionists (largely Vatican Talibaners) and incrementalists (largely evangelical fundies) do not play well together. I call this the Wingnut Wedgie.

Here's the description of their differences from the top link, a Catlick rag.
Pro-life groups have often been at odds over tactics. For instance, WeNeedaLaw.ca supports incremental legislation that would use a gestational approach to restricting abortion, a tactic Campaign Life has opposed because of its emphasis on protecting life from conception.

“It has been our experience for some time now that if we are going to be successful in advancing legal protections for pre-born children it is necessary for respective pro-life organizations to focus on those things we have in common, rather than on our differences,” said Schouten. “The annual March for Life needs to become more than a stand-alone event. The March for Life affords us a great opportunity to work together to build as much momentum as possible for the following weeks and months.”
Cute, Mike. "Our experience" and "successful" do not belong in the same sentence by a fetus freak about abortion in Canada. You have had ZERO success. And a couple of HUGE losses lately. See PEI and RU486, or Mifegymiso.

And now with the election of the "most pro-abortion prime minister ever" AND the introduction of assisted dying legislation, however patronizing and risk-averse it is, fetus freaks know their movement is dying.

I called it after last year's March for Lies. Anti-choice inflation, the annual outright lying about turn-out, is stalled.

But the movement has ever been marked by delusion and (self-)deception.

Last word to another Dominionist (fixed by me):
ARPA legal counsel Andre Schutten thinks the [frantic] inclusion of his and other organizations in the promotional video is a “sign of healthy growth stagnation and the maturing imminent death of the movement.”

Saturday, 16 April 2016

Zika and Abortion

I've been a student of the fetus freaks for years now. On their sites, stories are limited to a few categories. Some sites specialize in particular types of stories. The Amateur Statistician does what you'd expect from my nickname for her. Another fetishizes "botched" abortions.

The SHRIEEEEEKY categories boil down to:
• Number of abortions! YUGE! (China figures prominently here.)
• Gruesome abortions! YUCK! (Fake photos here.)
• "Botched" abortions! ANOTHER AMBULANCE CALLED TO XYZ ABORTUARY! (They seem to have people stationed permanently at clinics to watch for such events.)
• Terrible abortion laws! (Any law that expands access, even a smidge.)
• Wonderful abortion laws! (I don't need to spell this one out.)
• Terrible/wonderful politicians! (Ditto.)

Then there are the "human interest" pieces. These fall into types too.
• Celebrity anti-choicers, B-, C-, or D-list celebs you've never heard of, who ardently support misogyny and patriarchy.
• "Heroic moms" reject abortion, suffer awful disease to give birth. (Usually die leaving grieving but grateful family.)
• "Miracle babies (type 1)" born very, very early and yet survive. Usually with understated health or development issues.
• "Miracle babies (type 2)" born, despite medical advice to terminate, with what sane people would call tragic handicaps but touted as "blessings."

In the last couple of days, there are been a spate of the last sort. For example, here's one about a woman who adopts a baby with "parts of brain missing." (Warning: very sad pictures of fucked-up baby.) And here's one about a baby born without eyes, despite advice to abort. But a beautiful blessing, nonetheless.

Then the reason for these stories struck me. The US Centers for Disease Control just confirmed a causal link between prenatal Zika virus infection and microcephaly. (Full New England Journal of Medicine study here.)

A couple of months ago, we speculated that such a link might be a game-changer, much like rubella was, and foster sympathy and support for women with wanted -- but suddenly tragic -- pregnancies.

Zika too might change the conversation around abortion.

Aaand here it is. ‘In no way does this justify abortion’: Pro-life leaders react to study linking Zika, microcephaly.

The piece rightly assumes that this confirmation will cause women, families, and governments to reassess their stands on abortion.

So, what's the counter-argument?

Not much. They revert to "miracle baby -- type 2."
Gwen Hartley, who has two daughters with microcephaly, recently told the Washington Post, “I know the joy that can come from having these kids. I wouldn’t purposely want another child to be affected, but I’m happy that they’ll know what I know [about having a child with microcephaly]. I would not have chosen it prior to my girls, but I didn’t know what I was missing out on.”
Many countries where abortion and even contraception are pretty much illegal are being hit hard by the Zika virus and, as we now know, the attendant massive public health and social crises of a generation of brain-damaged children.

Who will care for them? Who will pay for them?

Who will tell frantic pregnant women that they MUST bear these blighted babies?

Will new -- inevitably understaffed and underfunded -- orphanages for unwanted children be built as in Ceausescu's Romania when abortion was outlawed?

Or, to fend off the enormous social and actual cost, will governments, in addition to increasing mosquito-control efforts and supporting research into a possible vaccine, allow women access to contraception and abortion?

Interesting times. . .

Thursday, 14 April 2016

Fetus Freaks React to Sex-Selective Abortion Study

Fetus freaks reacted predictably to the news of a large study confirming that sex-selective abortion probably accounts for a significant male/female birth ratio imbalance in Ontario's Indo-Canadian community. (Note that freaks call it "gendercide.")

There are three categories of reactions.
1. Generalized hand-wringing, tut-tutting, and slamming of abortion.
2. "Where are the feminists?"
3. Calls to action.

1. Generalized hand-wringing. Two in this category: Focus on the Family's astroturf site and LieShite, which manages to pack in a bunch of buzzwords, including "cultural profiling" (whatever that is, but sounds bad, doesn't it?), "political incorrectness" (I think they mean "political correctness" but hey, they're just buzzwords, right?) and of course "gendercide." This one goes on for quite a bit but this is its only point:
Gendercide, or sex-selective abortion, shows everything that is wrong with abortion – all abortion.
2. Where are the feminists? The freaks clearly think they have a gotcha here that runs something like this: "If feminists really cared about women, they'd be up in arms about female fetuses being aborted."

Why they think this is a gotcha is a mystery to me. Duh, the reason we are feminists is because we are excruciatingly well aware of the bias against girls and women in society. And we're working to do something -- a bunch of things, actually, ranging from pay equity to universal day care to expanded reproductive care, etc etc etc -- about it. That's what makes us feminists.

Two in this category: Amateur Statistician and Robyn Urback in the NatPo, a truly loathsome, hypocritical piece (q.v.).

Aside: I left comments at both the Focus on the Family and Amateur Statistician blogs, asking politely what they would suggest be done about this. Focus on the Family declined to publish my question (though now there's an odd fragment of a tweet of mine in the comments) and AS said she wouldn't answer because I'm rude. OK then.

3. Calls to action. Here we have the Dominionist who is rather vague about what's to be done, because he doesn't actually have to say that his goal -- banning all abortion -- would fix the problem. But government should do something!!!!!!!

The other call to action is a media release from CampaignLie under the title "Campaign Life Coalition calls for legislation to ban sex-selective abortions."

The media release starts:
The barbaric practice of sex-selective abortions has resurfaced in Canada after further evidence has been published proving that gendercide does indeed occur in Canadian hospitals and abortion facilities.
("Barbaric," we all know, means "done by non-white people.")

But unlike the Dominionist, Campaign Lie has a plan. There's a quote from president Jim Hughes, referring to Ontario Health Minister Eric Hoskins' bone-headed knee-jerk, which I will address in another post.

“If he's truly disturbed by the killing of baby girls - just because they’re girls – then Hoskins shouldn’t hesitate to delist this type of abortion from provincial health insurance plans. Furthermore, every province’s Minister of Health should do the same.”

The title calls for a ban -- without of course getting into any of the messy details of how discriminatory, unethical, and futile such a ban would be, but the text calls for defunding the procedure.

Because that will help.

We know anecdotally that coercion -- general cultural pressure and/or specific pressure, threats, and worse -- is involved in at least some of these abortions. Here's an example from Jen Gunter, a practising OB/GYN (whose blogpost is essential reading on this topic).
"He beat me very badly after I had my last girl, I can’t go through that again,” a woman once told me. What exactly were this woman’s options who spoke limited English, had no job and depended on her husband for money. She took a bus to her abortion because she didn’t drive and would have to explain the money for a cab. Do I judge her? Do I with my upper middle class upbringing and the earning potential of a physician say, “Sorry honey, not tragic enough?” And what if she doesn’t get that abortion and is then beaten to death in her third trimester or after she delivers? I’ve seen that, but no one writing about the “evils” or “moral ambiguity” of sex selective abortion mentions maternal abuse or murder.

So, these kindly Christians ignore the circumstances of women in these situations and instead seek to punish them further and drive the practice underground.

Because, if they were "good" (even if non-white) women, they would instead undergo multiple pregnancies in the quest for a boy.

Jen Gunter again:
What about eight pregnancies in search of a boy, is that not harmful? Why does no one ever mention that when they discuss harm? I have delivered many women who sobbed and looked away in disgust when they saw they had delivered their fifth or sixth or eighth girl, because they knew they would be back year after year until they delivered that coveted boy or died trying. How is that not violence against women?

If women have to justify their abortion why shouldn’t they have to justify their eighth pregnancy? The latter is far more dangerous than the former.

And yes, six additional deliveries is a lot more harmful than six abortions.

How many pregnancies must a woman endure in search of a boy before the patriarchy decides she is allowed to have an abortion? Three? Five? Eight? Fifteen?
Whatever you call it, we need to look hard at this practice. To rewrite LieShite's line:

Gendercide, or sex-selective abortion, shows everything that is wrong with society in all its loathsome sexism, misogyny, classism, and racism.

All of which the fetus freaks are delighted to enable.

Tuesday, 12 April 2016

Any Fix for Sex-Selective Abortion Would Be Discriminatory, Unethical, and Futile

Well, now at least we seem to have some decent research on sex selective abortion in Canada.

Previous studies indicated that it might be happening in "some communities," but there were quibbles about methodology.

This seems solid.

It’s the clearest evidence yet that abortion is being used to help parents have a son. A study has found that some Indian-born immigrants to Canada are selectively aborting female fetuses if they have already had two daughters. The researchers say, however, that action may not be necessary as the incidence is low, and the practice is likely to go away on its own as immigrants become settled.

Link to full study.

Yes, it's happening in Canada, but as we've said many times before: So what?

There is still zero evidence that the practice is skewing the sex ratio in general.

And if it is skewing the ratio in "some communities," we say again: So what? Parents who prefer boys may get a comeuppance when their precious sons bring home girlfriends (or boyfriends [!]) from other ethnic backgrounds.

But look at the hand-wringing going on. The normally sane Toronto Star has an unusually sensational piece about it.

Even my fave Matt Galloway of CBC's MetroMorning got into the "abortion is terrible" meme, trying really hard to get one of the study's authors to call the results "troubling."







And while We Need a Law Like a Hole in the Head was ready with his SHRIEK!!!! (Title: Government needs to end pre-natal discrimination against women) and because somebody had to do it, Amateur Statistician asks WHERE ARE THE FEMINISTS????, it is very disappointing that mainstream media would prefer to point fingers and tsk-tsk.

(Other fetus freak sites are no doubt still working up their dudgeon.)

Also, this issue conjures up a disgusting stew of misogyny and racism. DO NOT read comments.

As an antidote, read this piece from the eminently sensible André Picard (from 2012) about the complexities of the issue.

Here's the thing: any attempted "fix" will be discriminatory, unethical, and futile.

Refuse to reveal sex of fetus until it's too late to abort? How exactly? Refuse to disclose all pregnant patients' own information? Or just "some" patients?

What about sex-related genetic disorders? Will we force people to carry blighted pregnancies to term because we're up in arms over possible sex-selection?

And it will all be futile because there are home sex-test kits, highways and airplanes, and unethical ultrasound technicians.

The only way to "fix" this is to value girls and women as we do boys and men.

That's a helluva long-term project, but it's the only way.

From New Scientist again:
In India, male preference has led to a shortfall of millions of female children, so strict legislation was necessary. But in North America, the problem is small and likely to resolve itself as immigrant communities become more integrated. “My suspicion is that in the second generation you would not notice this phenomenon at all,” [Anil Deolalikar, economist at the University of California] says.

Past DJ! posts on sex selection.


ADDED: Dr Brian Goldman weighs in and comes to the attention of Dr Jen Gunter, newly dubbed "Twitter's OB/GYN."



This won't be pretty. :)


UPDATE April 13/16: Here is Dr Jen Gunter's response to Dr Goldman. Ouch!

Something Dr Gunter mentions that I -- and most other commenters on this subject -- have not is: multiple pregnancies in the quest for a male child. Since we know that pregnancy is 14 times more dangerous than abortion, why does no one consider the risk of multiple pregnancies for the "good" women who do not seek abortion?


UPDATE April 14/16: Yesterday, CBC's The Current ran an informative and hopeful segment on this issue, demonstrating how complex it is.

Sunday, 10 April 2016

Vengeance -- and More -- Drives "Unborn Victims" Law

I said I had no more to say about the new “unborn victims” law proposed as a private member’s bill by double-plus good fetus freak Cathay Wagantall.

But there have been developments. The bill (C225) has been deemed votable, which mean we will be subjected to a glurge-filled debate in Parliament on it.

Like Ken Epp’s ill-fated C484, this “unborn victims law" is intended to and will, if passed, impact Canadian women’s right to autonomy by giving rights and status to fetuses.

DAMMIT JANET! opposes C225 as does Abortion Rights Coalition of Canada (ARCC) (pdf).

This bill, like other attempts, was spurred by a horrible crime and is being pushed by, not to put too fine a point on it, vengeance-minded people.

Principally by the ex-partner of the murdered woman who now seems to have come completely unhinged.

In a 2500 word rant, he is now attacking Joyce Arthur of ARCC, claiming that she is “anti-choice.”

A sample:

You are NOT an advocate for a woman’s choice if you are only willing to protect one of her options. In fact, you have been a cancer to the rights of these women, and it has come at a cost to their physical protection at the very time they should have it most. Please for the sake of women – get right or step down.

LifeShite reported on his latest under the title
“‘Pro-choice’ dad rips top abortion activist: the only ‘choice’ she pushes is abortion.”

Jeff Durham is the man’s name and he lists the “unborn victims laws” that ARCC — and all pro-choice people — have opposed. His blogpost includes photos and names of pregnant women killed.

He is in effect blaming pro-choice, and Joyce Arthur in particular, for the deaths of these women.

I don’t know if Joyce is a litigious person, but in her shoes I sure as hell would be inclined to speak to a lawyer about this situation.

Oddly missing in all this is the accused, Matthew Brush. At his last court appearance in March, the judge decreed that he would be tried for first-degree murder and the next court date was set for April 8, but I can’t find any mention of it.

Media coverage of the crime has been extremely tight-lipped. Cassandra Kaake was determined to have died from blood loss caused by extreme trauma. Her body was discovered in the ruins of a deliberately set house-fire.

I have seen nothing about possible motive or the relationship (if any) between Kaake and Brush. Nothing.

There is clearly much more to this story. Is that “more” what’s driving Durham’s rage?

I guess we’ll find out.

Previous posts on C255 here and here.


UPDATE: Dig this.

After noting that Durham describes himself as "pro-choice," the piece goes on:
Wagantall says that Durham’s public support of the bill is part of the strategy to counter so-called pro-choice objections that unborn victims laws are pro-life laws in sheep’s clothing.
So, is Durham being manipulated by fetus freaks? Sure looks like it.

And they have the gall to call us out for noting that is *IS* an anti-abortion law in sheep's clothing.

Friday, 1 April 2016

Heal the RCMP or replace it.

Necrotic festering is bubbling up within the RCMP.  Its foul stench wafts from every part of the force. The infection is spreading: surgery and excision will be required.

The affliction known as flesh-eating disease "..is a misnomer, as in truth, the bacteria do not 'eat' the tissue. They destroy the tissue that makes up the skin and muscle by releasing toxins.."

RCMP Commissioner Paulson has to be removed, as soon as possible. The man is worse than gangrene; he spouts insincere platitudes and clichés in lieu of genuine commitment to change the toxic culture and behaviours that contaminate every aspect of the organization.

Recently Paulson attended an event where he was invited 
"to discuss national security in the wake of the Brussels bombing, and also what progress he was making on curtailing harassment and weeding out members who have sullied the force's reputation. [..] he was asked by a member of the audience, when was the last time he had written a traffic ticket to anyone. Instead of answering the question, the commissioner went on a "bon mot" diversion. He talked about speeding down B.C.'s Coquihalla Highway with some family members last year and being pulled over by an RCMP officer. Paulson got some laughs when he mimicked the horrified reaction of the member who suddenly realized he had just pulled over the big boss; an officer who faced the unenviable decision of whether or not to lay a fine on him. The tell though, came when the moderator said he wouldn't ask about the dollar value of the ticket. Paulson's expression went from a broad grin to 'oh-oh' in a flash as he seemed to realize he had stepped in it. [..] Later, talking to reporters, he was clearly not pleased when the speeding incident came up. At first, he said, "Aw, it was just a story I made up." Pressed further he changed course, saying, "No, I don't want to talk about that. I do not want to talk about that."
Paulson's casual Catskills routine is offensive, in light of the most recent developments and disclosures in the matter of interminable sexual harassment within RCMP ranks.
The harassment, [Linda Davidson] alleges in court papers, took many forms: unwanted grabbing and kissing; crude jokes, including the placement of ketchup-stained tampons in her locker; and constant questioning about her sexual orientation and abilities. “I experienced this treatment irrespective of my detachment, posting, rank or seniority,” she wrote in an affidavit. “I never felt that I could rely on senior officers to protect me.“ The Bracebridge, Ont., mother, who now runs a security firm, is the lead plaintiff in a proposed class-action lawsuit alleging systemic gender-based harassment and discrimination in the RCMP — the second such lawsuit to hit the force in recent years.
Last, but not least, is the ongoing RCMP mindset of collusion with rape culture and racism, which enables abusive practices such as this one.
Last month, Cody Durocher was convicted of sexually assaulting a 13-year-old girl in Hay River, N.W.T. It was his third sexual assault conviction. RELATED | RCMP botched N.W.T. sex assault investigation, documents say At that trial N.W.T. Supreme Court Justice Louise Charbonneau had some harsh words for the way that girl was treated after disclosing the incident to police, noting that instead of being taken to hospital, she was put in a jail cell for violating her probation, where she remained until the following evening. Durocher, 31, was convicted of raping two women in different towns in northern Alberta in 2010. He pleaded guilty to the first after DNA evidence linked him to the attack. He was sentenced to two and a half years in prison. Durocher was sentenced to three years for the second attack. In court, the 13-year-old Hay River victim said Durocher sexually assaulted her on January 11, 2014.
Here's an idea: appoint a royal commission to investigate the institutional roots of whatever pathology it is that maintains a "..nature of policing makes it ripe for behaviour that is _less than professional_

Name Marie Henein to chair that commission. She doesn't suffer fools gladly. Here's how she handled Peter Mansbridge's ham-handed attempt at interviewing her.

Buy popcorn.  Lots and lots of popcorn.

Thursday, 31 March 2016

HUGE win for pro-choice in PEI

Well, that didn't take much.

Just three-plus decades.

A horrifying story of a woman needing medical care turned away from a Prince Edward Island hospital.

A clever guerrilla poster campaign featuring a likeness (maybe) of the Island's most famous fictional character.

Bunch of rallies and demonstrations.

A scathing video on abortion access in the Maritimes.

Oh, yeah, and a constitutional challenge.

Today, the government of PEI threw in the towel on abortion.

The Prince Edward Island government announced today that it will not oppose a constitutional challenge to provincial policies regarding access to in-province abortion services.

“Based on legal advice that current policies regarding access to in-province abortion services would likely be in violation of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, government determined that the most responsible approach is to revise the policy rather than embark on a long and costly court case,” said Premier and Minister of Justice Wade MacLauchlan.
Not only that, Health PEI will open a new women's reproductive health centre that will offer medical and surgical abortions, along with other needed reproductive care.

Abortion had been available in PEI until 1982 when two hospitals merged, on the condition from the Catlick one that abortion be banned.

Aaaaand cue the lying liars.



Nobody is being forced to do anything, Mike, least of all "kill babies."

Access to abortion in Canada is not uniformly good. A government's acknowledgement that denying abortion is a constitutional no-no is a HUGE step forward.

Brava! and Bravo! to all the hard-working, committed, and smart activists who made this happen.

But, of course, there's still much to do.



DAMMIT JANET! has been on PEI's case for ages. Some previous blogposts.


ADDED: Why have I not heard of this blog before? Screaming in All Caps on PEI win.