Ontario’s Ministry of Health has begun making it harder to obtain figures related to the number of abortions performed in the province. Asked why, an official told the National Post: “Records relating to abortion services are highly sensitive, and that is why a decision was made to exempt these records.”
If that logic is accepted, the government should be preparing a lengthy list of other statistics that are too dangerous to be shared with the public.
Abortion is, indeed, a sensitive topic. As are figures on gun crime, spousal abuse, child abuse, rape and infanticide. You could include in that list any information related to racial, cultural or ethnic issues, immigration, and even data related to education and health care, given the heated arguments that often break out over policies and practices related to those topics.
However, none of those testy issues is excluded from Ontario’s Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act (FIPPA) . . . . It is only abortion figures that cannot be shared.
Abortion is a deeply personal decision, and, as with other medical matters, people have a right to make it in privacy. But the data at issue here doesn’t threaten anyone’s privacy – since, obviously, it doesn’t involve the release of anyone’s name or identifying details. . . . .
It is difficult not to conclude that the government’s real motive is to hide figures that may make many Ontarians uncomfortable. Which is odd: If the abortion issue is “settled,” as politicians constantly assure us, then surely there would be no harm in telling Canadians how many abortions get performed every day – right? . . . .
[Read the whole National Post article online]