BC Hospitals Refuse to Release Abortion Data
VANCOUVER, British Columbia, April 29, 2010 (LifeSiteNews.com) – Two BC hospitals have refused to divulge information about abortions conducted at their facilities, following a freedom of information request from a major pro-life group.
“If abortion statistics are going to be hidden in British Columbia, they will be hidden everywhere,” said John Hof, head of Campaign Life Coalition (CLC) BC, which requested abortion information from Vancouver General Hospital and Kelowna General Hospital over a year ago. “What better way to win an argument – 'Oh, how can you prove that? There's no counting of those numbers'.”
CLC has fought for years to gain access to abortion statistics in British Columbia, following the enactment of Bill 21 in 2001, which amended the province's Freedom of Information Act to specifically exclude access to information about abortion.
After the hospitals refused their request last year, citing Bill 21, Hof and his colleague Ted Gerk initiated applications for the information through the BC Office of Information and Privacy. They are using a 'public interest override' in the privacy legislation, arguing that the release of the information is in the public interest and should not be withheld.