Last provincial holdout in Canada agrees to provide abortion services by the end of the year

By Dave Andrusko

Prince Edward Island Liberal Premier Wade MacLauchlan

Prince Edward Island Liberal Premier Wade MacLauchlan

In 1988, the Supreme Court of Canada ruled that Canada’s then-existing abortion regulations were unconstitutional in a case brought by the notorious abortionist, the late Henry Morgentaler. While the court did not require provinces to provide abortions, over the years all did–with the exception of the province of Prince Edward Island.

But, alas, after almost three decades, Liberal Premier Wade MacLauchlan, who also serves as Justice Minister, announced yesterday that in response to a lawsuit, abortion services will be provided possibly by the end of the year.

Mike Schouten, director of WeNeedaLAW.ca, a national awareness campaign with a mission to build support for laws protecting children in the womb, issued a statement in response.

“Every year nearly 100,000 Canadian women request and receive an abortion and yet there are few, if any, regulations surrounding the procedure,” Schouten said. “Premier MacLauchlan and his cabinet colleagues would do well to consider how they can provide the highest, most well-informed standard of care for women and children.

“For example, are they going to mandate informed consent that will include the specific short-term and long-term risks of abortion? Will they allow a minor to request and receive an abortion with no consent or notification of the minor’s parents? How will they prevent women from being coerced into an abortion? Will they ensure an adequate waiting period between the request for abortion and the actual procedure? Is there going to be an accurate method of collecting data on who is requesting abortion, the reasons for the procedure, and the gestational ages of the children at the time they are aborted?”

Schouten noted, “Now that the PEI government is obliging itself to provide abortion services on the Island they have a duty to the women of PEI and need to ensure the highest standard of care for those experiencing the emotions that come with an unexpected pregnancy.

“As we have witnessed the chaotic manner in which abortion services are handled in the rest of Canada, it is our hope that the PEI government will employ due diligence as they make abortion available in their province,” Schouten concluded.

Ottawa, ON – The province of Prince Edward Island is in a unique position to put in place regulatory safeguards that benefit both pregnant women and the children they are carrying.

“As the last remaining province to implement the delivery of abortion services, PEI has the benefit of considering how abortion has impacted women in the rest of Canada,” said Mike Schouten, director of WeNeedaLAW.ca, a national awareness campaign with a mission to build support for laws protecting children in the womb.