By Dave Andrusko
It is not the slightest exaggeration to say that the late abortionist Henry Morgentaler was an iconic figure in the history of abortion in Canada.
He took his case challenging the already-weakened abortion law to the Supreme Court of Canada. In 1988 the justices “struck down the law,” wrote Dr. Paul Ranalli, “on the narrow grounds that access to hospitals with abortion committees and services were unevenly available across the country, and that this regional difference constituted a threat to the security of women, as defined by the recently drafted Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms.”
While striking down the existing law, the justices suggested that Parliament could enact new laws. That was 26 years ago and there is still no abortion law in Canada. None.
The Morgentaler abortion Clinic in Fredericton (the capital of the province of New Brunswick) is the province’s only private abortion clinic. “The Morgentaler clinic opened in June 1994 and has provided abortion services to more than 10,000 women,” according to CBC News.
The way funding works in New Brunswick is that the government funds hospital abortions deemed medically necessary by two doctors. That does not apply to private facilities.
In 2002 Morgentaler sued the New Brunswick government to force it to fund abortions in his clinic. But he died in May 2013, before a decision was rendered.
So last Thursday, with the news that the Morgentaler clinic will close its doors in July due to “funding shortfalls,” pro-abortionists seized on the closure to lament the unfairness of it all.
Pro-abortion MP Niki Ashton was typical.
“It is shameful that Canada now has two provinces that refuse to uphold a woman’s right to choose, and provide necessary medical procedures free of cost to women. The federal government must enforce the Canada Health Act to ensure that all Canadians are equally protected by the Charter.”
(The other province is P.E.I.—Prince Edward Island.)
Not surprising, some pro-life organizations suspect the whole closure story may be a ruse to put pressure on the government to open up the funding spigot.
Click here to read the April issue of
National Right to Life News,
the “pro-life newspaper of record.”
As part of that pressure campaign, pro-abortionists are talking about a rally in New Brunswick and have started online petitions demanding a change in the funding process. And, of course, there is the obligatory claim of ‘back alley abortions.”
Mike Schouten is campaign director of WeNeedaLAW.ca. He posted the following.
“The news of the imminent closure of the Morgentaler Clinic in Fredericton, New Brunswick will mean that women seeking abortion in that province will have greater difficulty in doing so. This is a good thing. All too often women who find themselves in an unanticipated pregnancy will feel as though abortion is the only option they have. When that option is not readily available, other options will be considered.
Obviously there will be some who attempt to polarize the discussion by flippantly stating that the back alley will be her next option. Resorting to this shock and awe language is nothing short of extremist, and severely lacks any sentiment of love and compassion towards pregnant women in desperate need of help.
The decreased availability of abortion in New Brunswick will provide opportunity for improved care for women and their pre-born children. It will certainly require an increased focus by those directly involved with organizations like New Brunswick Right to Life in highlighting the options available, including that of adoption.
The pro-life movement in Canada has a long standing history of putting most of its resources into pregnancy care centres – showing love and compassion for pre and post-abortive women as well as care for their children and families. I am confident that they will embrace this opportunity with renewed vigour in New Brunswick, and you can be assured they will do it even without any public funding.”