Thursday, 15 September 2011

This is why we call them lying liars

In early September, there was a flurry of SHRIIIEEEEKY articles from fetus fetishists about evil sluts who abort their pre-born baybees being eligible for 'full maternity benefits'.

This seemed like pure horseshit to me, so I tracked the stories down and they all referenced one entry from LifeShite.
Canada’s employment insurance guidelines reveal that a woman who aborts her child after 19 weeks gestation is eligible to receive 17 weeks of maternity leave, the same as a mother who gives birth. For an abortion occurring before 19 weeks gestation, the woman can collect sick leave for the same length of time.

“The whole situation is pretty ludicrous,” said Mary Ellen Douglas, national organizer for Campaign Life Coalition. “Why should you pay for somebody killing their child, and then expect to pay for benefits if the child is no longer there?”

Unusually for LifeShite, the piece included a link which takes you here.

Amidst much archaic language like 'confinement' and 'accouchement', there's a bunch of bureaucratese defining various terms and setting out various limits. The words 'abortion' or 'termination' do not appear. Here's the only bit that seems at all relevant to LifeShite's claim.
One must, therefore, define "confinement" (and "accouchement" in the French text). The usual medical meaning of "accouchement" is any termination of the pregnancy during the third trimester, regardless of whether it is a live birth or stillbirth. The term "confinement" is less precise, but generally encompasses the concepts of delivery or childbirth.

So I looked further and found this.

Scroll down to nearly the bottom of page for 'Interrupted Pregnancies/Stillbirth'.
Although rather rare, some clauses in collective agreements deal with the issue of interrupted pregnancies, both voluntary and involuntary. Two types of provisions have been identified: those pertaining to miscarriages (sometimes including abortions) and those regarding stillbirths.

A period of leave may be necessary for an employee, both to recuperate physically and to deal with the emotional stress suffered in these circumstances.

'Some clauses in collective agreements'. So not universally applicable.

And what is the grand recompense for such circumstances?

The women are entitled to 'maternity leave without pay not exceeding three (3) weeks'.

A far, far cry from 'full maternity benefits', eh?

It turns out, for once, the comments at LifeShite were worth checking out. After I'd done that, I discovered that commenter RobnBob got there already, citing the same section.

He prefaces his remarks with:
I must say that I am disappointed in the research skills for this article and in all the individuals that take this “news” story at face value without looking into it.

Indeed. Deliberate lying plus total credulousness = PROFIT!

1 comment:

prowomanprochoice.org said...

Fern, you're saying that when I use abortion as birth control, I don't qualify for those sweet maternity benefits? Oh, what a let down!

Just joking. Thank you for following up on this - I knew that this didn't seem right.

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