In 1971, the Canadian Medical Association in a close vote (78 to 74) stated that “there is justification on non-medical social grounds for the deliberate termination of pregnancy as long as the abortion is performed by a qualified medical practitioner with the approval of therapeutic abortion committees.”
The Canadian Medical Association has been in deep trouble ever since, not only because it lost tremendous credibility as a result of its position on abortion, but also because it has been under constant criticism from within its own ranks by pro-life physicians.
The medical profession is notorious for its desire to remain unimpeded by any government controls. We have only to witness the constant entanglements over Medicare between the provincial medical associations and the Provincial Ministers of health. It is not unfair to state that the profession’s desire to be independent has something to do (although not all) with its desire to earn its income as it sees fit. Nowhere is this more clear than with regard to the abortion procedure. Physicians have a clear conflict of interest in this regard as many are making a lot of money under the present law by providing abortion for other than medical reasons, contrary to/the intent of present legislation (see Badgely Report, page 22).
Apparently, in order to exert greater pressure to “legalize” what many physicians are already doing i.e. providing abortion-on-demand, and in order to attempt to manipulate public opinion into believing that the “medical profession” wants unrestricted abortion, the CMA has recently secretly polled 2,000 physicians across the country on the abortion issue. Although the CMA alleges that the physicians were chosen random, it would appear, however, according to an article appearing in the Canadian Medical Journal on January 1, 1983, that the physicians polled were carefully selected according to province and specialty-hardly at random. What is even more startling are the actual questions posed in the questionnaire. The questions are so worded that even the most avid pro-life physician, if he completed the questions as asked, would come out as supporting abortion in some circumstances. The questionnaire assumes that abortion is “right” and the only question it addresses is how should these abortions be effectively and efficiently carried out. In short, the questionnaire is a fraud. It is deliberately set up to receive pro-abortion replies in order to support the CMA’s existing position on unrestricted abortion.
Campaign Life wrote to the CMA requesting information on the questionnaire and we were advised, however, in a letter dated January 31, 1983, signed by Dr. N.P. Da Sylva, Director of Medical Services, that information could not be released on the questionnaire during the conduct of the survey “in order to reduce to a minimum the criticism we except to get.”
Dr. Da Sylva then concluded the letter by stating that the questionnaire would be discussed by the General Counsel of the CMA in September 1983 and that there were no plans to publicize the matter until then.
This questionnaire is a fraud and the public should be alerted to its existence so that it can interpret its results for what it is worth-absolutely nothing.