Late this summer, newly-elected B.C. Premier William Zander Zalm stirred up a hornets’ nest when he announced that he would launch an investigation into the way the federal abortion law is being interpreted in the province.  He said he believed that abortion is being used as a method of birth control.  Pro-abortion supporters immediately attacked Vander Zalm, who had not hidden his long-time membership in the Surrey-Delta Pro-Life Society.

The Vernon Daily News however, checked into the abortion statistics at Vernon’s Jubilee Hospital and found that Premier Vander Zalm knew what he was talking about.

From July to December 1985 (the latest available statistics), 58 abortions were performed in Vernon. Only one was performed because of “maternal fetal health at risk” [sic]. The other 57 abortions were performed for reasons outside those specified in the Criminal Code.  They are as follows:

Failed contraception…………………………………23

No contraception…………………………………….10

Stopped birth control pills……………………………6

Missed birth control pills…………………………….5

Financially emotionally unable to cope………………4

Rape…………………………………………………..1

Partner presumed sterile………………………………1

Pregnant before starting the pill………………………1

Affair and patient’s husband had a vasectomy……….1

Maternal fetal health at risk…………………………..1

Failed vasectomy of partner…………………………1

A group calling itself Concerned Citizens for Choice on Abortion has announced plans to open a freestanding abortion clinic in Vancouver within the next 12 months.  The group, said to have the support of Henry Morgentaler, wants its services to be fully insured (that is, paid for by Medicare) rather than fee-paying.

Betty Green, president of Vancouver’s Right to Life Society, called these plans a “criminal conspiracy.”  She said that it was a publicity ploy during the provincial election.