Rally calls for end to taxpayer-funded abortions

  • October 26, 2011

TORONTO - Hundreds of people gathered at Queen’s Park Oct. 22 to send a message to the newly elected provincial government: stop using taxpayers’ dollars to fund abortions.

“This is outrageous that we are forced to fund an elective, medically unnecessary procedure,” said Alissa Golob, the youth co-ordinator for Campaign Life Coalition and organizer of the Defund Abortion Rally.

In Ontario, abortions are funded by taxpayer dollars. That’s about $30 million for at least 30,000 abortions a year, at a cost of $1,000 each, Golob said.

These were numbers that speakers at the rally returned to frequently to get their message across. And for Lia Mills, it’s a message she’s been trying to convey for several years now.

“If the abortion issue is really about choice, I want the right to choose whether or not my tax dollars go towards funding the destruction and devaluing of human life,” said Mills, who — now in high school — gave her first pro-life speech on Parliament Hill at the age of 12.

Mills was joined by about a dozen other speakers, including the likes of Family Coalition Party of Ontario leader Phil Lees, a pro-life family physician, a psychiatrist and a group of young people, many of whom had a hand in organizing the rally. Jim Hughes, president of Campaign Life Coalition, also addressed the crowd, emphasizing where the money used to fund abortions could go instead.

“This has been going on for over 40 years,” he said. “Imagine how many hospitals could have been built around Ontario, how many doctors and nurses could have been hired.”

That’s 200 doctors or 400 nurses a year, to be exact. Or the money could have provided therapy to 500 autistic children annually, which speaker Michael Thompson would have appreciated; his son Blaise, one of six children, is autistic.

“We need the sort of funding now not to attack children but to help them when they need the help most,” said Thompson.

The money used annually to fund abortions doesn’t include post-abortive medical expenses, either. A woman who receives an abortion after 24 weeks of pregnancy is eligible to receive up to 17 weeks of paid maternity leave, and abortion leaves the possibility of a slew of other illnesses and expenses as well.

But no figures and statistics can speak the way Angelina Steenstra’s story does. In high school, Steenstra was date raped and became pregnant. Doctors told her abortion was the solution to her situation, so she followed their advice and aborted her baby.

But as she learned — and told the crowd at the rally — “the pregnancy was not an illness.” In fact, the illnesses came after the abortion. Following the procedure, Steenstra began to feel depressed and experienced a wide variety of medical problems. Her depression led her to start smoking, drinking, using drugs and living a sexually promiscuous life. Soon, she contracted an STD and developed an eating disorder, which in turn deepened her depression and made her suicidal. Because of the infections she had acquired due to her abortion, she later had an ectopic pregnancy. All the while, the doctor’s visits and surgeries continued to accumulate. And so did the dollars.

“The vicious cycle of medical illness and medical consumption all began with a medically unnecessary abortion,” said Steenstra, now healthy and serving as the national regional co-ordinator of Silent No More, a pro-life awareness group. “Abortion cost me my health and nearly cost me my life. But more importantly, it cost me the lives of my children.”

A recent Abacus Data poll commissioned by Campaign Life, LifeSiteNews and The Interim showed 91 per cent of Ontarians are unaware that abortions cost the province at least $30 million a year. That same poll showed 61 per cent of Ontarians — pro-life or pro-choice aside — believed abortions should not be funded by tax dollars.

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