We Seem to Have Caught their Attention

From today’s press release:

The group has a formal debate planned for Wednesday, June 6 at 7:30 PM at the Edmonton Clinic Health Academy (2nd Floor, Room 490 at 87th Ave and 114th St.) with Dr. Howard Nye, a philosophy professor from the University of Alberta. Abortion advocates have already press released their plan to protest this event with what they call “The New Abortion Caravan Caravan.”

“These acts of cowardice mean to terrify women, rather than work towards a well informed and safe decision that preserves the quality of life for potential mothers,” said counter-protest organizer Kelly Fischer. “Despite the games they play in an attempt to make a one sided argument, we are pulling together to respond.”

Stephanie Gray responded by pointing out that the event Ms. Fischer’s group is planning to protest is a formal debate with both sides represented: “It’s ironic that Ms. Fischer would call our argument ‘one sided’ when the very nature of a debate is that both sides are represented and make their case. We are confident that embryology, biology, and a philosophically consistent view of human rights lie on the pro-life side, and look forward to making that case both on the streets and in the debate.”

Aww, they think they have good arguments. That‘s cute.

More seriously, it means we’ll be watched like a hawk. The CCBR is hoping for extreme or stupid behaviour, because it validates their need to protest. Their worst nightmare is a bunch of boring protesters holding signs.

That sounds like a plan.


Radio Interview is now Online

For those who missed it, you can now hear that radio interview online thanks to Archive.org. We’d like to thank The Third Wave of Chuo 89.1 FM for giving us some airtime, and we hope you’ll give them an ear.*

* Only metaphorical ears are accepted. Sorry.

More Transportation Options

EDIT: Due to logistical problems, we’ve had to move the 9:00AM caravan to 3:30PM. All those effected have been notified, and the rest of the caravan is going as planned. Sorry for any confusion!

I’m proud to announce that we now have two options for transportation!

If you need to work that day or the next, you’ll want to hop on the caravan which leaves from Dalhousie Station at 3:30PM on the 6th, and heads to the Edmonton Jubilee Auditorium’s parking lot at 7:00PM. It returns to Calgary immediately after the event. To book a seat on that one, contact HJ Hornbeck.

If time isn’t an issue, then you can take the caravan which leaves the downtown Mac’s store parking lot at 9:00AM on the 6th. As befitting its more leisurely pace, that caravan will be able to do the tourist thing around Edmonton, and plans on staying overnight, with a leisurely departure back home on the 7th. To book a seat there, contact Kelly Fischer. If you are staying the night, you’d better book a room stat! Kelly recommends the Hi-Edmonton Hostel.

In both cases, you’ll be expected to chip in some funds for gas, as the cost of a round trip is roughly $50 per car.

Radio Interview Details

One of us is going to be on “The Third Wave” on CHUO 89.1 FM, which broadcasts from 4 to 5 EDT (that’s 2 to 3 PM in Alberta), talking about the history of the original Abortion Caravan! You can tune in via the live stream on their website, or watch archive.org for a recorded version of the show.

Let the facts speak!

Let the facts speak about how pro life are those people who are trying to make abortion less accessible and available to women.
It is always a question of where the facts are. Is the data pointing towards a better preservation of life, quality and quantity wise if abortions became less available and accessible, or is the data pointing to a better preservation
of life, quality and quantity wise if abortions where safe, available and accessible?

And one can’t just wing this. Fortunately, we have some very good data collected for multiple years and readily available that shows us ware the truth is.

The United Nations Statistics Division-Demographic and social Statistics


Let’s take a careful look:

I will look at the “Table 17” Maternal deaths and maternal death rates: 1992 – 2002

Links to the table to check for yourselves.


Let’s pick 3 countries where abortions are readily available and accessible
and 3 countries where abortions are restricted or illegal…
And let’s have a look at the direct effect upon women.

                                           1995 1996 1997 1998 1999 2000 2001 2002

Canada(1)                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Number – Nombre…..   17   18   19   13   8    11   …  …

         Rate — Taux………     4.5  4.9  5.5  3.8  2.4  3.4  …  …                   

United States – -États-Unis                                                                                                                                               
         Number – Nombre…..     277  294  327  281  406  404  …  …                      
         Rate — Taux………     7.1  7.6  8.4  7.1  10.3 10.0 …  …
Hungary – Hongrie                                                                                                                                                    
         Number – Nombre..        17   12   21   6    4    10   5    8                     
         Rate — Taux……        15.2 11.4 20.9 6.2  4.2  10.2 5.2  8.3

       Mexico – Mexique                    
         Number – Nombre.     1454 1291 1266 1430 1411 1325 1268 
         Rate — Taux…..        52.9 47.7 46.9 53.6 51.0 47.3 45.8 …

         Number – Nombre.       1485 1549 1513 1579  …  …   …  …                   
         *No rates provided … and stopped reporting the massacre after 1998 for some reason.
       Chile – Chili                                                                                                                                                         
         Number – Nombre…     86   63   61   55   60   49   45         …                       
         Rate — Taux…….     30.7 23.8 23.5 21.4 23.9 19.7 18.3       …                       

The countries on the upper part of the table largely allow
abortions with no or very little restrictions. While the numbers of the us may be a bit high
you have to take into account that the us lacks a universal health care system and there
are some restrictions on abortion itself. The numbers and rates / 100000 live births
are comparable and low in both Canada and Hungary, both have universal health care,
and both allow abortions with very little to no restrictions.

Now let’s take a look at the lower part of the table.
These are countries that have universal health care, and have a reasonably advanced
health care system,but mostly forbid abortions.
The numbers are staggering, and the rates tell a very sad story. The mortality rates
for women within their reproductive age is between 2 to 5 times that of countries
that allow abortions. Forbidding or making abortion difficult to get increases
the likelihood of women dying between 2 to 5 fold.

I also referenced this site to check on abortion status in different countries:

So the simple conclusion, where the data is pointing is, abortions do save lives,
lots and lots of women lives that are going to live, prosper, have a useful
productive lives, and may even have children later, when the conditions
are more favorable. Lack of proper abortion however puts an abrupt, painful and
miserable end to their lives.
So, my conclusion is pro choice is indeed pro life. Making abortions available
and accessible does save significantly more lives than not doing so. Let’s
keep abortions safe, legal and available for women.

A most Excellent Comic

I managed to pick up a hard copy of this comic during a GAP counter-protest.A sample page from said comic It’s locally made, slickly produced, and does an excellent job of defending Pro-Choice while smacking down the CCBR’s nasty signs. Best of all, you can download and print off a copy of the comic to share with anyone! Go on, give it a look.


[If you’re interested in attending our Edmonton protest, please click through to this post!]

Contact: H. J. Hornbeck


On Wednesday, June 6th, the Canadian Centre for Bio-Ethical Reform (CCBR) will be part of a debate in Edmonton, Alberta, on their “New Abortion Caravan” tour. Since they have no plans to stop in Calgary, a local group of Pro-Choice activists are forming their own caravan in response.

The inspiration for both groups is a historic Pro-Choice caravan which helped bring attention to reproductive rights 42 years ago. While abortion was made legal in 1969, the Trudeau Government placed so many restrictions that as few as one in thirty abortions were approved. The Vancouver Women’s Caucus travelled 3,000 miles to protest this, and with a spectacular protest that shut down Parliament, started the modern Canadian Pro-Choice movement.1

The CCBR is hoping to do the same for Pro-Life activism. “Last year, we announced our new EndtheKilling plan to eliminate abortion from our country in our lifetime,” stated their Executive Director, Stephanie Gray, via press release. “We have given ourselves an 18-year deadline to achieve justice for the pre-born.”2

”Availability of abortion is essential for women’s health and lives,” said Joyce Arthur, Executive Director of the Abortion Rights Coalition of Canada.” Abortion cannot be eliminated because we will never live in a perfect world where unintended pregnancies don’t happen. And if women can’t access a safe and legal abortion, they will resort to dangerous methods.” Arthur predicted the anti-choice tour will fall flat and soon be forgotten. “There’s no comparison between a group of brave and revolutionary women who succeeded in bringing serious national attention to women’s rights in 1970, and a group of fanatics trying to leach off their accomplishments in an attempt to turn back the clock on women’s rights.”

Kelly Fischer, one of the protest organizers, is frustrated by the CCBR’s methods. “The fear, guilt, and shock tactics behind their surprise demonstrations works only to alienate the general public. These acts of cowardice mean to terrify women, rather than work towards a well informed and safe decision that preserves the quality of life for potential mothers. Despite the games they play in an attempt to make a one sided argument, we are pulling together to respond.”

The CCBR enjoys creating controversy, and are notorious for using images of bloodied foetuses and genocide in their advertisements. Stephanie Gray, via their press release, defends the practice: “The pictures of abortion are shocking because abortion is shocking. The images are disturbing because killing a child is a disturbing thing.”

“More than 95% of all aborted foetuses don’t even have a functional nervous system. I haven’t met many children like that,” said H.J. Hornbeck, another of the protest organizers. “Look, we find those images shocking because we evolved to find blood and guts shocking. I get queasy looking at operation photos; should I spend the next eighteen years trying to stop all open-heart surgery in Canada? That’s ridiculous, and most Canadians agree; only five percent side with the CCBR in their crusade to completely outlaw abortion3. In comparison, twice as many Canadians think Little Green Men have visited Earth. It is no surprise the CCBR have turned to such extreme tactics, that’s the only way they can get a little attention.”

The CCBR’s only event in Alberta is “The Great Abortion Debate” at the Edmonton Clinic Health Academy, from 7:30PM to 9:15PM. The activists from Calgary, who have dubbed themselves the “New Abortion Caravan Caravan,” plan to peacefully protest the event, and invite all who care about women to join them. They will also collect donations for the Canadian Patient Assistance Fund, which assists women who cannot afford contraception, or do not have abortion covered by their insurance.

“Woman’s Health Options believes and supports Women in their right for Choice: when and/or if to have a child,” said Kim Cholewa, a spokeswoman for the Women’s Health Options Clinic in Edmonton, which offers counselling and contraception to women, as well as performing abortions.

If you’d like more information about this topic, or to schedule an interview, please contact H. J. Hornbeck at hhornbec@ucalgary.ca .