This was a story on CBC (Canadian Broadcasting Corporation) yesterday, CBC New Brunswick
New Brunswick Health Minister Brad Green is searching for a way to provide medicare-funded abortions after the last provincial hospital to offer the service said it could no longer do so.
Sounds like an funding issue, but Im such a suspicious sort (I always count my change, and check my phone bills) that I decided to look back into the history of all this.
I found some disturbing articles about the history of New Brunswicks funding issues, as well as the way that they have tried to circumvent the laws of the land, without actually breaking said laws.
New Brunswick has "sexist" abortion laws: Morgentaler
This province has refused to fund privately run clinics, stating that it is against their Provincial healthcare laws.
The "pro-life" (anti choice) group has even weighed in:
Canada's National pro-life political organization, Campaign Life Coalition, issued a press release today on the development. "It appears that the Minister of Health is following the pro-abortion agenda which he established in British Columbia before he became Canada's Health Minister", said Jim Hughes, National President of Campaign Life Coalition. "We applaud Health Minister Robichaud and encourage him not to concede to the federal minister's heavy-handed threats," he continued.
"Canadians wait for months for treatment in health clinics for serious medical problems and the Health Minister has not been pressuring the provinces with regard to this problem," said Mary Ellen Douglas. "Abortion is a life-style choice not a medical problem. Healthy babies are being killed," she continued.
The former government of Canada, was applying pressure to force NB to adhere to the Canada Health Act in the past
Liberal Government Pressuring New Brunswick to Fund Abortion
The minister in that article a Mr Ujjal Dosanjh, has been a voiciferous supporter of womens rights and Gay rights in the past. Despite the fact that his own religion has completely opposite views, he has always put that aside because he believes that that is a personal choice.
Sikh Minister Excuses Pro-Gay Stance Saying Vatican Had No Effect on Catholic Prime Minister
So, Abortions are not being attacked as a law, but through an end run citing "funding" issues. And I dont have any faith that this current Neocon Government will even attempt to continue pressuring NB to fund this medical procedure.
Women can go to a private clinic and pay $750, or go to another province. They have also set the standards to a sexist level in order to obtain one. Two doctors must deem it as "medically necessary".
How many other provinces will follow suit, unchecked?
Cant happen in Canada you say? I hope you are right. I really do.
According to the Canadian Abortion Rights Action League, there were four other provinces in 2003 that didn't fund privately-provided abortions: Nova Scotia, P.E.I., Manitoba and Quebec.
Morgentaler has also commenced legal action against the Nova Scotia government.
So, they say they dont have to fund private abortions, and its quite possible to just pull funding from public hospitals citing "funding" issues.
Pregnant women may 'do desperate things'
The decision to stop offering abortions at the Chalmers Hospital also has implications to women in Prince Edward Island, many of whom travelled to New Brunswick and Nova Scotia for the procedure. No Island hospitals perform abortions, and women with unwanted pregnancies usually travel to Fredericton.
Former Morgentaler clinic director Judy Burwell sympathizes with the hospital decision to refuse the service, but worries what will happen to the pregnant women who don't have the money to pay for abortions.
"My biggest fear is that women will start looking on the internet for something they can do. Desperate women will do desperate things," she said.
*Update* Two Doctors have agreed to perform abortions, they will remain anonymous for safety concerns. This DOES not adress the sexist, completely unacceptable conditions placed on women unless they can afford it. No one seems to want to discuss that part.