Researchers include city of 85,000 as part of “rural” B.C.
Two recent research papers based on a 2011 survey of physicians providing abortion in British Columbia assert that “rural abortion services are disappearing in Canada.” However, what the papers contribute to an understanding of the “barriers” to abortion services in rural British Columbia is doubtful, for two reasons. First: the analytical structure proposed (the urban-rural dichotomy as defined by the authors) is inadequate. Second: the authors ignore the significance of an important variable: the nature of the facilities or institutions where abortions are performed. Concerns expressed about “access” to abortion are frequently accompanied by demands that freedom of conscience for health care workers should be suppressed. Given the weaknesses noted above, the authors would have been hard-pressed to justify such a suggestion. To their credit, they do not do so.