People line up to sign a defund abortion petition at the 2011 Defund Abortion Rally at Queen’s Park. Photo courtesy of Alissa Golob

Defund Abortion bolstered by evangelicals

  • December 2, 2012

OTTAWA - Campaign Life Coalition’s Defund Abortion campaign organizer is welcoming the support of the Evangelical Fellowship of Canada (EFC), which recently released its own brief on taxpayer funding of abortion.

“I think it was great,” said Campaign Life youth co-ordinator Alissa Golob, who has been running the Defund Abortion campaign, of the EFC’s Nov. 21 brief.

“It demonstrates public opinion on this topic and it also reinforces the fact that this is a provincial issue not a federal issue. We need to take this up with the MPPs, at Queen’s Park and start at the grassroots level for individual constituencies.”

The EFC brief explains the background of the present legal vacuum regarding abortion in Canada, and examines the law and relevant court opinions related to taxpayers funding abortion.

“Contrary to popular political mythology, provinces are not required to pay for abortion procedures,” the EFC brief said. It also points out public opinion surveys show only 44 per cent of Canadians support the present taxpayer funding of all requested abortions; 39 per cent said abortions should only be paid for in cases of medical emergency and 10 per cent said abortion should not be taxpayer funded at all.

The EFC brief provides legal arguments based on an examination of federal/provincial funding arrangements for health care and the stipulations of the Canada Health Act. Canadian law has not determined what renders a service, such as abortion, “medically necessary,” it says.

The EFC concludes provincial governments “are not required to conform to the position of the federal government on the medical necessity of abortion procedures.”

The Defund Abortion campaign has been engaging Ontario MPPs, most visibly on Oct. 13 with 44 mini-rallies outside MPPs’ riding offices across the province. A major rally planned for Oct. 30 at Queen’s Park was cancelled due to Hurricane Sandy, Golob said. Ontario Premier Dalton McGuinty’s decision to resign and prorogue the Legislature further postponed the event. Golob said the rally will now take place in the spring when legislators are back at Queen’s Park.

“For Canadians who, like the Evangelical Fellowship of Canada, believe that life is a gift from God that should be protected through all its stages, beginning at conception, taxpayer-funded abortions are unconscionable,” the brief says. “Those who hold this position are encouraged to engage with elected provincial representatives and party leaders as well as the federal Minister of Health, when the circumstances warrant it, to advocate for the defunding of abortion procedures.”

The Defund Abor tion campaign continues on social media such as Facebook. Campaign Life youth also hope to expand the campaign to other provinces, though similar efforts in Alberta have helped provide some guidance to the Ontario campaign, Golob said.

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