Statistics released by the Canadian Institute for Health Information reported that there were at least 81,897 surgical abortions in Canada in 2014, the latest year for which there are numbers. That is a decline of nearly 1000 from the year before and of nearly 9500 from 2011. However, the numbers do not include abortions committed at free-standing abortion facilities and some British Columbia hospitals do not report the abortions they carry out. There are no statistics for the number of chemical abortions in Canada … Beginning July 1, doctors in Canada could legally prescribe the abortion pill Mifegymisio, often referred to as RU-486. The CBC reported that the drug will likely not be available until the fall. Health Canada took the rare step of requiring doctors to complete an online training course and to dispense the drug directly to pregnant women, which pro-abortion groups have complained are onerous. Federal Health Minister Jane Philpott said she will review the Health Canada rules which were put into place last summer … Quebec Health Minister Gaétan Barrette ordered the McGill University Health Centre to repeal its policy exempting its palliative care unit from having patients killed there by euthanasia. He told the July 7 Montreal Gazette: “as we speak today, no patient can be transferred out of the palliative care unit at the MUHC, and medical aid in dying will be made available in the unit itself.” The Health Minister intervened after media reports indicated a patient in the palliative care unit who wanted to be euthanized in April had been moved to another unit in order to be killed … On June 1, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau raised the rainbow Pride flag on Parliament Hill for the first time in the country’s history … Trudeau announced that the federal government will implement gender-neutral identification under the government’s new transgender rights legislation. The move was ordered by the Canadian Human Rights Tribunal in 2015 but the Canadian Press reports that civil servants have expressed reservations about the idea. The changes could affect documents ranging from passports to social insurance numbers. Both Employment and Social Development Canada and Revenue Canada have concerns about the ability to collect data on programs in order to carry out gender-based analysis on everything from income and jobs to student loans … Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne announced that the province will change the terms “mother” and “father” to the generic “parent” on provincial documents, saying the old terms no longer reflect a society in which there are a growing number of same-sex and surrogate parents … Conservative MP Ted Falk (Provencher) made national news when he refused to attend the inaugural Steinbach, Manitoba Pride march. Initially Falk said he had another commitment in the riding, but after organizers of Frog Follies urged him to attend Pride instead, the MP issued a statement saying the event contravened his “values of faith, family, and community” … Manitoba Premier Brian Pallister said he will consider creating gender-neutral restrooms in the provincial legislature, saying at the Winnipeg Pride rally June 14, “if that’s an important issue, then it should be addressed” … Status of Women Minister Patty Hajdu reversed a 2006 Conservative government decision to not fund women’s advocacy and lobby groups in order to focus on programs addressing women’s employment and violence against women. The Trudeau government said it will loosen funding rules so feminist organizations can use the money for research and advocacy.
When President Barack Obama addressed the Canadian Parliament on June 29, he said, “the colors of the rainbow flag have flown on Parliament Hill. They have lit up the White House. That is a testament to our progress, but also the work that remains to ensure true equality for our fellow citizens who are lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transgender” … The Born-Alive Abortion Survivors Protection Act which would require medical care be given to children who survive an abortion procedure, passed the House of Representatives in a 248-177 vote but was not debated in the Senate. It is not expected to be considered this election year … The United Nations Human Rights Committee has called on the Irish government to rescind its ban on abortions, saying restrictive abortion legislation subjects women to cruel, inhuman, and degrading treatment and thus violated their human rights. The Center for Reproductive Rights filed the complaint on behalf of Amanda Mallet, who claimed that going to another country in 2011 to obtain an abortion caused her emotional pain … Ann Furedi, chief executive of the British Pregnancy Advisory Service, the country’s largest abortion chain, says in her new book The Moral Case for Abortion, that there is no difference between abortion and deciding “whether or not to marry, or whether or not to divorce,” because while “abortion may be an act of killing [it] kills a being that has no sense of life or death, and no awareness of itself as distinct from others” … Mexico President Enrique Pena said he would seek a constitutional amendment permitting same-sex “marriage.” A 2015 Supreme Court decision gave homosexuals the right to marry one another in some states and Mexico City.