On April 30, Foothills Hospital and the Calgary Regional Health Authority obtained a court order forbidding Alberta Report from repeating information contained in the story the magazine broke about reports of aborted babies born alive and then left to die. They also attempted to force the magazine to reveal its sources. What follows is editor and publisher Link Byfield’s response.
There’s a strange satisfaction, I find, in being under a court order forbidding me to say or write certain facts about the Calgary Regional Health Authority in my magazine, Alberta Report. That this sock was stuffed into our publication’s mouth on World Press Freedom Day is only a delicious irony. What is particularly rewarding is the feeling of a job well done: The CRHA injunction has catapulted our story across the country. But the best part of it is the creativity it demands of the writer. For you are probably by now asking yourself: what on earth is he not allowed to say?
Well, let’s put it this way. Let’s pretend that once upon a time, somewhere in this vast, beautiful land, but certainly not in Calgary, there was a hypothetical hospital. Let’s call it Happy-Face Hospital. One day, the bureaucrats in charge decided to save money by moving all the eugenic-termination moms into the baby-birthing ward. The former were sad moms who had succumbed to the concerted efforts of the medical system to rid the world of any fetus who might (or might not) be handicapped and be a burden to the mom and a cost to the public purse – and besides, what quality of life do Down syndrome people have, anyway?
But after mixing all the sad moms and glad moms in the same ward – a remarkably insensitive thing to do – a few maternity nurses began telling tales to the outside world – shocking, unhappy tales.
If you’d like to find out what was censored by the CRHA, which is an entirely separate subject, you could visit our Web site, http://albertareport.com. Both of our stories on the CRHA situation are posted there, because both were exempted from the injunction; they had circulated before the CRHA went to court. The order suppresses only information collected without permission of the CRHA.
Other news media have been quoting from our stories quite freely, because they got their information from our stories, not from unauthorized sources. We, of course, have admitted we got our material unofficially, and are forbidden now to use it. But the story has moved on anyway, and the injunction is for practical purposes irrelevant. The media are hounding various medical authorities to justify their policies.
Jason Kenney, Reform MP for Calgary Southeast, has asked Alberta Justice Minister Jon Havelock to investigate the phenomenon with a view to Criminal Code charges under Sections 222 through 242, which outlaw the deliberate wounding, concealing, or neglect of infants during and after birth. Who knows, maybe one of these great healers will go to jail.
The Calgary Health Authority has said its genetic abortions follow guidelines set by the provincial College of Physicians and Surgeons. But if the CRHA had any wit (though so far I’m happy to see none in evidence), it would vacate the court order immediately and withdraw the appended statement of claim demanding Alberta Report reveal its sources. For these stand as a snarling menace not only to the magazine, but to every media conglomerate in the country, print and broadcast alike. I doubt we’ll be fighting alone.
But personally, I hope the CRHA keeps right on going, because something else is becoming plain: a lot of reporters are suddenly dubious about the claims of the medical establishment in the matter of “reproductive health.” The grounds of justification keep shifting.
We were told in the 1970s that the fetus is a “lump of cells.” Only fanatics preserve that pretense now. Then we were assured termination is almost always a desperate medical necessity. Nobody believes that any more except politicians. Then we were told Canada doesn’t do late-term abortions. Now we find out doctors do them routinely to eliminate handicapped people from our society, and have secretly expanded into selective infanticide. And, of course, this is justified because (wait for it) these “fatally deformed” infants were all, without exception, going to die anyway. Trust us on this, say the doctors, the “professionals.”
Oh? Why would we? And now we have the latest shift from the CRHA: unless all unauthorized information about eugenic terminations is suppressed, the lives of hospital staff and patients are at risk. Funny thing, though. Reporters this time seem distinctly skeptical.