I, too, dislike the idea of making doctors withhold information to patients as a way of trying to limit the number of abortions based on gender alone.
One critic, however, questions the measure’s effectiveness, given that parents can mail order DNA tests that accurately predict fetal sex, and abortion clinics generally do not ask the reason for the procedure. The way to tackle sex selection is by combating the social mores that lead people to want sons and not daughters, rather than by limiting abortion, said Joyce Arthur, co-ordinator of the Abortion Rights Coalition of Canada.
“To restrict people’s freedoms, withholding information in that way, I think is unethical and unnecessary and is not going to prevent anything,” Ms. Arthur said. “It’s a little bit paternalistic and authoritarian.”
I agree that not telling patients won’t really help all that much (while annoying all the other parents out there who simply wish to know the gender of their baby as early as possible just because they’d rather know than not know). And yes, probably the best way to fight sex selection abortion is cultural, not legal. But hey, I wouldn’t mind if abortion clinics asked a few questions before going ahead with the procedure – why do you wish to abort; have you thought about other options; that sort of thing – at the very least make those parents who abort girls for no other reason than they prefer boys fess up semi-publicly. And really, it wouldn’t bother me if we could somehow have rules limiting access to abortion for entirely frivolous reasons – like because the baby is of the “wrong” gender. I am far from convinced this is possible and/or realistic, but if it were I wouldn’t be against it.
Andrea adds: Well gosh, I didn’t know Joyce Arthur was all about freedom of information. I look forward to her advocacy in favour of doctors telling patients about the development of their children in detail then, at every stage. Information about what happens in an abortion (stirrups, suction, piece body parts back together after the fact to ensure that all have been removed)… You know, freedom of information.
When Joyce Arthur advocates for freedom of information for women it will be a sunny day in Canada indeed. It’s just that she really doesn’t want that, so it’s a bit rich to claim it here.
A blanket law restricting what doctors tell is unnecessary, as doctors are very aware when someone is wondering about the gender because they want to kill off their baby girl. It would require not a law, but a doctor telling parents I won’t support your nefarious intentions here, and here’s why. That would require doctors who don’t enforce an abortion culture in other areas. (They shouldn’t be the arbiters of what constitutes “a good abortion.” Here we have an attempt for the pot to call the kettle black. “We don’t like your cultural reasons for killing. We do, however, like our cultural reasons for killing.”)
All abortions are bad news.by