For 30 years, Prince Edward Island has been known among pro-life groups as a "life sanctuary," the lone province in Canada that refuses to perform abortions.Let's put our best efforts to help our PEI friends to counter this assault on babies' right to life.
Since the last abortion was performed on P.E.I. in 1982 - after the merger of Catholic and Protestant hospitals in Charlottetown came with the proviso that the new hospital not perform the procedure - women who wished to end their pregnancies have had to leave the island.
Those who have two doctors' referrals can have their abortions performed at a hospital in Halifax and paid for by the province. Women without referrals pay as much as $800 for the procedure at the private Morgentaler Clinic in Fredericton. Last year, as many as 140 women left P.E.I. to have an abortion, about 60 to the hospital in Halifax and as many as 80 to the Morgentaler Clinic.
But a newly formed prochoice movement on Prince Edward Island is hoping to reignite the debate over what activists say is the last government standing against universal access to abortion in Canada.
If anything - it should be us, the pro-lifers, protesting at the PEI legislature. Because, if some 40% of PEI's abortions are paid for by the province (a share similar to that of NB) that means the province still uses public funds to pay for abortions on demand; even if these abortions are performed outside of PEI.