Extract In the 20th century it is unrealistic to teach children that babies are made through acts of sexual intercourse and not to teach them when they become adolescents how to make love without making an unwanted baby. . . Contraceptives should be easily available to every boy and girl who is sexually active and responsible enough to admit it by seeking birth control. . . .It is socially irresponsible for a doctor to condemn a girl for asking for the pill, or to refuse it to her in the hope that it will stop her from having sexual intercourse . . . . He must also know that his denial of the pill to a girl forces her to adopt less effective methods of birth control or to use no method at all, and that when she subsequently becomes pregnant and asks for abortion the blame is as much his as it is that of the girl or her boyfriend.
Extract On a number of occasions in the past year I have referred patients for therapeutic abortion where pregnancy had occurred following temporary discontinuation of oral contraceptives on medical advice. . . Last year the Medical Handbook of the International Planned Parenthood Federation was distributed widely to Canadian physicians by the Department of National Health and Welfare. In this authoritative source it is stated: “The earlier views, that oral contraceptives should not be used for more than two (later changed to four) years without a break are no longer tenable.”
Extract A course of post-coital estrogens, in adequate dosage, is a highly effective and safe (though misnamed) form of post-coital contraception that deserves to be more widely known and prescribed. Both unwanted pregnancies and the demand for abortion could be reduced by its widespread use in emergency situations.
Extract One certainty at least about the situation as regards the liberalization of abortion in Canada is that the problem it presents is not going to go away. . . . one cannot but conclude that the dilemma posed by this state of affairs cannot be dismissed by the ingemination of ready-made phrases such as “rights of the fetus” and “reverence for life”, no matter how respectable these may sound. One suspects that sometimes such phrases are used to rationalize inflexible attitudes and spare a probing of deeper motivation. In some instances they may well suffice for individual physicians who wish to dissociate themselves completely from the issue. But they will not satisfy society at large, to whom another set of slogans (“every baby a wanted baby” and “a woman has the right to the control of her own body”) has a stronger appeal. . . Has not the time come, therefore, for society, including the medical profession, to admit the state of affairs that prevails and face up to its obligations? . . . No serious person believes that abortion should be considered as an alternative to the regular practice of birth control. The by-no-means negligible morbidity associated with abortion and the occasional fatality, apart from the demands it makes on hospital and medical staff, make it much too costly when simple means of conception control are readily available. . . the escape from this dilemma is not in saying that birth control should have been used. . . [advocates sex education as described in Brave New World]. . . as long as human beings are sometimes careless and irresponsible, even if they are no longer ignorant, unwanted pregnancy will occur and the question of its termination, if we have the respect for motherhood we profess, will have to be faced.
Extract Parliament must clearly decide whether they are mainly concerned with preventing the birth of defective children or with accommodating pregnant women. If they intend to move further than they have done in Scandinavia and give ” abortion rights ” to women they will have to set up special abortion clinics staffed by ” committed” gynaecologists. . . the profession, for its part, must devise simpler and more effective means of birth control and of sterilization, and perhaps be willing to offer the latter to all women who have had two or more children.