We have reported on the appointment of the first U.S. Special Envoy…
Dear Readers: This might not be of interest to anyone not of a certain age and from Toronto, but since I practically grew up on this street it held a lot of memories for me! Posted by Chris Bateman / December 17, 2014 No neighbourhood in Toronto has undergone a more seismic aesthetic and ideological […]
As my regular readers know, I have a real issue with the way homelessness is dealt with in many cities. Instead of doing what needs to be done to alleviate the issues related to homelessness, it seems we are getting … Continue reading →
I’ve been to spas before and have spent anywhere from $80 to $250 on a facial. Some were straight forward maintenance type of facials—you know, with extractions and that steaming machine that opens up your pores? To the extreme, I’ve […]
Folks, your sometimes naive reporter just had a revelation of sorts. OF COURSE the bible thumpers believe the world was created 6000 years ago ………….., and evolution is a myth. After all, they also believe that Jesus spoke in 16th century English! (Verily) ———————————————- Workers at a New Jersey treatment plant say they saw a […]
Manitoba’s Wait List Autism Crisis
One example of the checkerboard pattern of ABA service for autistic children in Canada is Manitoba as reported in the CBC article Autistic children’s families frustrated by therapy wait-list:
History of the Struggle for A REAL National Autism Strategy
The struggle for a REAL National Autism Strategy is summarized following from a commentary on this site on March 29, 2014:
History of the Struggle for a REAL National Autism Strategy in the Maritimes
Andy Scott Fredericton NB MP, Peter Stoffer NS MP, Shawn Murphy PEI MP, Senator Jim Munson NB
Here in the Maritime provinces we took a political approach to developing a national autism strategy with the NB efforts in which I was personally involved beginning in 2001, primarily by many discussions with our Fredericton MP, the late Andy Scott. In 2003 Andy Scott, made a public commitment in 2003 to work toward a National Autism Strategy at a tribute to his 10 years of service as an MP at the Boyce Famers’ Market, an event I attended and reported on to the members of the Family Autism Centre for Education (FACE):
Andy did answer the call on behalf of autistic Canadians and actively pushed for a National Autism Strategy which he ultimately realized with the passage of Motion M-172. However, the motion was essentially a commitment in principle with few obligations being undertaken by our federal government but it did help put autism on our national agenda and it was Andy Scott being Andy … getting done what could get done … with a view to moving forward further in future. One of the specific items that the federal government did commit to in the motion was a national surveillance program, a program that would tell us how many Canadians now suffer from autism disorders. It is a commitment that has still not been honored 8 years later.
Andy Scott himself did continue the fight as demonstrated in his June 5, 2007 statement in the House of Commons:
Hon. Andy Scott (Fredericton, Lib.):
Mr. Speaker, it is regrettable that we have seen little action by the government toward implementing a national autism strategy.
It has been more than a year since I introduced Motion No. 172. My private member’s motion called for evidence based standards, innovative funding arrangements for diagnosis, treatment and research, and a national surveillance program.
The motion was adopted in good faith and supported by the government. However, it was very disappointing to see no reference to a national autism strategy in the recent budget or any discussion this spring.
Recently, I joined my colleagues from Charlottetown and Sackville—Eastern Shore and Senator Munson at a rally in Halifax that reinforced that there are families with autistic children across Canada who need the government’s help.
The Conservatives should move off their default position of jurisdictional excuses, show creativity and compassion and start helping these Canadians.”
Jean Lewis, FEAT-BC, Medicare for Autism Now!
MR. MURPHY (Charlottetown)
1st Session, 39th Parliament,
55 Elizabeth II, 2006
HOUSE OF COMMONS OF CANADA
An Act to provide for the development of a
national strategy for the treatment of
autism and to amend the Canada Health
Her Majesty, by and with the advice and
consent of the Senate and House of Commons
of Canada, enacts as follows:
1. This Act may be cited as the National
Strategy for the Treatment of Autism Act.
2. The Minister of Health shall, before
December 31, 2006, convene a conference of
all provincial and territorial ministers responsible
for health for the purpose of working
together to develop a national strategy for the
treatment of autism. The Minister shall, before
December 31, 2007, table a report in both
Houses of Parliament specifying a plan of action
developed in collaboration with the provincial
and territorial ministers for the purpose of
implementing that strategy.
AMENDMENTS TO THE CANADA
3. Section 2 of the Canada Health Act is
renumbered as subsection 2(1) and is
amended by adding the following:
(2) For the purposes of this Act, services
that are medically necessary or required under
this Act include Applied Behavioural Analysis
(ABA) and Intensive Behavioural Intervention
(IBI) for persons suffering from Autism Spectrum
This weekend, the Canadian International AutoShow (CIAS) is in Toronto. And while it might not seem like your first pick for a family outing, it’s actually a great place to spend some time with the kids. The spectacular show runs from February […]
Hey gang, planet Raymes here on this very wet Wedneday so lets blog through the rain pain, that’s what we do boo. Just get on the bus, Gus and lets see what Raymbo Brite has in store for you. For instance, the best song by Broods captured on great quality video for you, posterity, and […]
On my quest to becoming an expert in Canadian comics (trust me, I’ve got a LONG way to go), I’d better start knocking some of the heavy hitters off the list. Originally from Calgary, Todd McFarlane, is known for a lot of successful ventures, though he …
December always warms my heart. Ever since I was little, Christmas has been something to look forward to. Family traditions of gingerbread houses, decorating trees and wondering what to leave out for Santa are always a must. But seeing all […]
I had high hopes for No Girls Allowed, mostly because of its subtitle: Tales of Daring Women Dressed as Men for Love, Freedom and Adventure. Important message + love + adventure? I’m in!Unfortunately, I was underwhelmed. Susan Hughes’ stories of seven …
Why should we take a look at the past? Well, it helps us understand where we are today. Most of us weren’t even born in the “baby boomer” generation but we certainly are aware of it, hopefully? For me, it’s […]
Facial recognition technology is used to screen people at the Statue of Liberty in New York. The U.S. government pumped millions of dollars into the development of facial recognition technology after the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks. (Chip East/Reuters) Dear Readers: If anybody is still confused about how much the government is prying into your private […]
Well, well, boys and girls, time to get serious for a change. North American blacks are leading a truly schizophrenic existence, and I don’t think it’s doing them any good! The reason I mention this is because there is a new TV show premiering tonight called “Black-ish” and it throws a light on some very […]
Here’s something that will make Pam Anderson and her buddies a whole lot happier, folks! Animal-rights advocates seeking “personhood” for chimpanzees want to take their case to the highest court in New York State. Since 2013, an organization called the Nonhuman Rights Project has been seeking a writ of habeas corpus to free a pet […]
The world-renowned Wildlife Photographer of the Year Exhibition (WPY) opens at the Royal Ontario Museum (ROM) in Toronto this weekend, featuring 100 breathtaking images on tour from the Natural History Museum in London. Making its Canadian debut, the exhibition includes […]
Still here, still angry. Still too cynical to tell y’all my in depth feelings about recent developments. I am currently reading Olivia Chow’s memoirs and the message I am taking away is the same that permeated Jack Layton’s last letter – hope is better…
Everything about the classic tale of Robin Hood is turned upside-down in the new exhilirating theatre production, Heart of Robin Hood, now on stage at the Royal Alexandra Theatre (Toronto) until March 1st. Yes, Robin Hood (Gabriel Ebert) and his […]
After years of research and extensive field testing, the Okanagan’s own GMO apple is going to the big leagues. Genetically-modified organisms (GMOs) are routinely attacked by urban organic activists in spite of the fact that not a single ailment has ever been linked to this technology. And now, as a testament to the baselessness of such attacks, […]
Both Calgary and Edmonton offer a wide-array of family activities throughout the March Break to keep children of all ages busy and happy. Here are some things to do during the break. Calgary Disney On Ice: Princesses & Heroes Disney […]
It’s the most wonderful time of the year! The middle of December, when you are still in the Christmas spirit and not yet wanting to off yourself due to the never ending Christmas carols.I mean, I don’t know how one could ever get sick of Mariah Carey’s…
Self-care is a great feminist idea, but like Virginia Woolf’s endorsement theory that every woman should have a room of one’s own, it’s also an idea that’s easier to embrace if you’re privileged. Many people do not have the time or the money to go to the spa or to the movies or even to get […]
I’m a fan of any live stage performance so when I had heard that pop and television sensation Ariana Grande was planning a stop in Toronto at the Air Canada Centre, my ears perked up. To fill the ACC is […]
Well folks, it’s official, wind turbines do NOT cause illness, or even ill effects, in people. A year long study of over 1000 people has positively shown that wind turbines do not cause bad things to good people. Not through noise, or magnetic fields, or increased UFO traffic, or disruption of the O-zone, negative energy, […]
I will admit, a few weeks ago when P!nk and Canadian singer Dallas Green released their first single I was a little ho-hum about it. The single, not the concept of P!nk and Dallas Green forming a folk duo called You+Me – cause that’s awesome. Their sec…
Vancouver songwriter Hilary Grist just released a music video for her song Come and Go. The song is beautiful, but the video is about a traveling salesman…also known as the job I will be doing in hell when I finally arrive. Seriously – worst ever.I w…
There’s a real food movement that’s taken hold and I’m okay with it. What does that mean? Well, we all lead busy lives and we’re constantly searching for ways to feed our families the best we can. We’re hearing much […]
A bold group of students from Saint Thomas University in Fredericton have created an online petition that is getting some attention. The aim is to ask/force/demand the government of New Brunswick to pay for abortions performed at the Fredericton Morgentaler Clinic, and runs thusly:
For more than 25 years, the New Brunswick government has been enforcing a regulation that allows Medicare coverage for abortions only to be done at hospitals (in Moncton),by an Ob/Gyn, and approved by two doctors in writing as “medically required”. This violates the Morgentaler Supreme Court decision of 1988, which ruled that restrictions like these are unconstitutional because they violate women’s rights. The regulation also violates the Canada Health Act, which Health Canada has said mandates full funding of abortions at both clinics and hospitals. Over 60% of NB women needing abortions are forced to pay out of pocket for abortion care at the Morgentaler Clinic in Fredericton, because hospital access is inadequate. The cost for the procedure at this clinic ranges from $700-$850 for women that are up to 16 weeks in their pregnancies. This discriminates against women, especially those of lower socio-economic status.
Women who are considering an abortion should not have to worry about covering the costs of the procedure.
Lets inform our apathetic government that they need to make women’s reproductive rights a priority!
*Also, for those who are wondering about their tax paying dollars, this procedure would cost approximately $2.21 per annum.
We call upon the New Brunswick government to fully fund abortions at the Morgentaler Clinic in Fredericton, and repeal the provincial law restricting abortion payment (Regulation 84-20, Schedule 2 (a.1), of the Medical Services Payment Act).
Now I feel like I have articulated my position on petitions before, but I feel like, hey, it costs you nothing to sign this – it will take maybe 30 seconds of your time – and it does show that there is a demand for this, and that we are not going away.
Click here to sign the petition.
There’s a new theatre production that has caught my attention as a parent and theatre lover. WAITING ROOM by Diane Flacks (in collaboration with director Richard Greenblatt) is making its World Premiere at the Tarragon Theatre in Toronto (January 14 […]
HON. CATHY ROGERS
I don’t like scary movies. Never have. I can’t even watch a horror movie trailer without covering my eyes and hyperventilating. Something about an over active imagination and never being able to be alone in the dark if I see them. So, I’m not really su…
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How often do you browse through social media accounts, only to toss your phone aside in disgust, your faith in humanity hitting rock bottom? I know it happens to me several times daily: news of atrocities committed in the name […]
So I just read the This Magazine cover story “No Choice: Why the pro-choice movement won’t let women grieve after abortion” and…well. I have thoughts.
First of all, in the interests of full disclosure, I was interviewed by the author, Rebecca Melnyk, at the start of her research for this article or what I imagine would become this article. Never have I been happier to avoid being quoted; I can’t imagine being associated with this mess. When Melnyk reached out to me she identified herself first and foremost as strongly pro-choice. She probably still does. I’m sure she didn’t choose the title of the article. But holy hell, what is going on here?
It seems to me that the premise is that both “sides” of the abortion “debate” only offer post-abortive people counselling in a politicized environment with some kind of agenda, and that the pro-choice side is routinely dismissive of the range of feelings someone might have after having an abortion. At no point does Melnyk quote a pro-choicer who backs up this assertion; on the contrary, every pro-choice person she mentions points out that folks feel any of a variety of different emotions after abortion and that they should have access to counselling:
That same month, on a warm afternoon in Toronto Miriam McDonald, an editor at the Marxist newspaper Spartacist Canada, struts up and down a hallway at the Ontario Institute of Secondary Education at an International Women’s day rally. “Abortion is just a medical procedure like getting a wart off, except it’s all politicized,” she says. “A woman’s capacity to control her fertility opens the doors to full equality. That’s why it’s … stigmatized.” Another woman standing next to her in a baseball cap, handing out newspapers, says post-abortive women need counselling, not to overcome negative feelings related to abortion, but rather, to cope with society’s stigma and culture of shame.
Some women may need counselling services before or after they have an abortion, says Joyce Arthur, executive director of the Abortion Rights Coalition of Canada (ARCC). She does not believe, however, that PAS is real. “It’s like the anti-choice movement works in its own bubble,” she says, “making up it’s own science and ignoring mainstream evidence and consensus.” The result, she adds, is confusion—public misinformation that scares women considering abortion. In Arthur’s mind, the act of abortion continues to be blamed for the source of trauma when, in reality, the unwanted pregnancy is often what’s truly traumatic. It’s not to say women don’t experience negative effects, she adds, just that it’s more complex than the anti-abortion activists portray.
Over in Vancouver, Everywoman’s Health Centre is an abortion clinic that provides free, non-judgmental counselling services and resources like the book, Peace After Abortion. Erin Mullan, who’s been a counsellor for over 20 years, works there. “When it comes to abortion, nothing is in the range of normal,” she says. “A woman’s culture, her religion or history, could all inform how she’ll feel.” For the small number of women she refers out to other counsellors who offer long-term support, abortion is not the main cause of negative feelings, but rather, “it opens a door of pain.” That door can reveal bad relationships, abuse, or mental depression. Mullan points out that coercion—if a woman’s been forced to have an abortion—accounts for one third of the problems she treats. “It can sit unfinished, inside of her for years,” she says, “if she wasn’t given the space to make choices.” At this clinic, the acknowledgment that abortion can be intimately connected to negative feelings serves no greater purpose than a woman’s well-being.
And then Melnyk goes on to describe how many other abortion clinics across the country offer both pre- and post-abortion counselling, usually for free, along with referrals for follow-up counselling with specialists. At no point in the article is there any indication that pro-choicers “won’t let women grieve after abortion”.
My feeling is that the thrust of the article, the point that Melnyk is trying to make is that the options for counselling after an abortion are either shaming, Christian, anti-abortion drivel or militant pro-choice propaganda, that there is no option for folks just looking for non-judgemental counselling. Which is a load of bullshit not even borne out by her research. Yes there is a lack of accessible post-abortion therapy because there is a lack of accessible any therapy – ask any low income person with a mental health issue how easy it is to get in to see a counsellor. But the idea of a lack of non-judgemental post-abortion counselling is especially heinous when the article itself talks about the many clinics that offer it. “Pro-choice” IS “non-judgemental” – no abortion clinic counsellor worth their salt is going to judge you for feeling guilt or regret after your abortion. That’s what counselling is about. That’s why it makes a difference that the counsellors in abortion clinics are trained specifically in non-judgemental pre- and post-abortive counselling and the people in “crisis pregnancy centres” are just random volunteers trained only in making people feel like shit – like they have something to “repent” for – because they had an abortion.
There is a disturbing amount of false equivalence being thrown around in this article.
It just really pisses me off because pro-choice organizations in this country – including abortion clinics, sexual health centres, and organizations like ARCC, NAF, Canadians for Choice, and CFSH, among others – deliberately provide listings of non-judgemental counselling options on request, and often go to great lengths to ensure that people find the care they need regardless of pregnancy outcome. All of these organizations are explicit about not favouring any pregnancy outcome over others, and the number one concern is getting folks the care they want and need in the safest and most accessible way possible.
There is no neutral on abortion, really there isn’t. Not the way it’s framed right now. Either you believe it shouldn’t be allowed, or you believe it should. There is no magical third party who are the only people who can provide non-judgemental counselling. If you believe people have the right to choose how to handle an unwanted pregnancy – if you are pro-choice – then that belief extends to how people feel after their abortion. Anyone providing actual non-judgemental counselling is pro-choice by definition.
I think Melnyk knows this, but I don’t know how to explain this mess of an article. I think she is (rightfully) concerned for folks – like her – who have had abortions and haven’t received the support that they need. And that is legitimate. But the solution there has to be more support and funding for pro-choice, sex-positive, woman-positive counselling services; fighting against abortion stigma; advocating for reproductive and sexual health services in underserved areas – not bizarre magazine articles attacking the pro-choice movement for imagined slights, for not “letting” women grieve. Women can do what they damn well please – isn’t that the whole point?
Dear Readers: In a world-wide exclusive, the Naked News Department and the Perspective Research team has learned from TMZ that Honey Boo Boo is about to have a safe, stable home free of all convicted child molesters … …., or so vows Uncle Poodle, who says he’ll file for custody if things get bad at […]
We have a brand new “Asshole of the Day” for ya, folks. A Langley, B.C., teacher has been suspended over a homophobic prank he played on a Grade 11 student in class last year. Daniel Mark Ogloff is a metal fabrication and machining teacher at Aldergrove Community Secondary School. On Sept. 24, 2013, Ogloff wrote […]