Alissa Golob of Right Now, left, and Mary Ellen Douglas of Campaign Life on the right.

‘Heart-breaking’ decision brings on-island abortions to P.E.I.

  • April 5, 2016

Pro-lifers are heartbroken that the last province that didn’t provide abortion services has succumbed to pressure from the abortion lobby.

When the premier of Prince Edward Island announced that abortions will soon be legal on the island, it brought despair to the national pro-life movement. 

“It is a heartbreaking situation,” said Mary Ellen Douglas, Campaign Life Coalition’s national co-ordinator. “I am very sad about it and a little surprised. 

“I’m really disappointed that P.E.I. didn’t hold the line. It is just another nail in the coffin.”

On March 31 Premier Wade MacLauchlan, also the island province’s Justice Minister, said that surgical abortions would soon be provided in the province. He was joined by Health Minister Rob Henderson and Minister Responsible for the Status of Women Paula Biggar. The premier cited a women’s right to equality in health care as a key reason for the change. 

Up until now, P.E.I. was the only province in Canada that didn’t provide surgical abortions within its health care system, although funding has been available to cover the costs of off-island abortions at specific hospitals since 1995, minus the cost of travel.

The province’s change of heart comes as a response to a legal challenge under the Charter of Rights and Freedoms filed in January by Abortion Access Now P.E.I. The group had filed a notice of application in the Supreme Court of Prince Edward Island against the provincial government seeking full and unrestricted access to abortions on the island. The government had 90 days to respond.

Douglas rejected the notion that increased access to abortion promotes equality. 

“What kind of equality is he talking about except to say that they have a right over another human being,” said Douglas. “That is the equality they are asking for.” 

Campaign Life president Jim Hughes criticized MacLauchlan, Henderson and Biggar for siding with the pro-abortion activists. 

“Shame on them for bringing abortion to the province,” he said in a statement.

Despite being saddened and disappointed, Alissa Golob of the recently formed pro-life political and lobby group Right Now sees the change in P.E.I. as motivation for pro-lifers to continue their fight.

“The decision of the MacLauchlan government to bring abortion back to Prince Edward Island should motivate us to ensure pro-lifers are nominated and elected so that abortion advocates are no longer able to make legal changes on behalf of Canadians,” she said.  

It is expected that the province could be offering abortions on the island by the end of the year. 

In the meantime, Douglas said the pro-life movement needs God’s intervention. 

“God help us,” she said. “We need His help in order to get through the next phases of life in Canada. We have an awful lot of work left to do.”  

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