Posted by: sayamika, the killer bunny | 2007 September 26

Little Decisions

I suppose I am coming from a different world.

“The big city.”

(said scornfully, with a lift of the chin)

There, physicians worked without much contact with their patients outside the hospital. They were careful to avoid meeting patients in social situations; they were unlikely to ever hear about one of their patients thirdhand. Attitudes were more liberal. Religious affiliations of physicians were largely considered to be matters outside their practise, and there was a set of expectations regarding access to care, referral practises, and ethical behaviour.

I am now in a small town where I had my hair cut by my next-door neighbour’s second youngest niece. I can’t tell anyone I hate my haircut.
Nevertheless, I was astonished to discover how difficult it can be to connect a woman with a physician who will perform a termination around this area. Few physicians offer the service, and it seems it is considered acceptable practise to allow personal bias to colour how you handle referring patients onwards.

This is Canada. Since 1982, abortion has been legal, and it is covered by our national insurance. It’s a ten-foot-pole issue that no political party can touch.

It disturbs me that the young women who need the service most are the ones most vulnerable to biased “counselling”, and certainly least able to afford to go to the big city for one to two days. There are real choices in Canada, but apparently not here.



  1. I support women’s rights to first trimester abortions, but I also support the rights of physicians to not perform them if they are uncomfortable with the procedure. And I believe that the physicians’ right to autonomy outweighs a patient’s desire to have a physician perform any elective procedure.

    Choices are not always easy or convenient.

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