CHARLOTTETOWN, December 16, 2011 (LifeSiteNews.com) – The health minister of the Canadian province of Prince Edward Island, Doug Currie, has again told a newly formed pro-abortion group that is agitating for expansion of abortion services in Canada’s only abortion-free province, that the existing status quo will not be changed.
Following a meeting this week with three members of the abortion advocacy group P.E.I. Reproductive Rights Organization (PRRO), Minister Currie said the government has no plans to change the funding policy or availability of abortion in the province.
In November, Currie pledged to keep the province abortion-free, telling The Guardian newspaper, “Right now, I see no reason to veer off the current status. I see nothing changing and the status quo is in place and that’s my position on it right now.”
Prince Edward Island’s Opposition health critic, James Aylward, endorsed the government’s position as well, telling the media, “We are in agreement with the government that, at this time, their position on this issue is not changing.”
On Wednesday, December 14, Minister Currie met with representatives from both PRRO and the P.E.I. Right to Life Association to explore the issue, due to a request from the P.E.I. Medical Society to provide clarification for Island doctors.
Currently the government pays for women to obtain abortions off-island, primarily in New Brunswick and Nova Scotia. According to Health P.E.I. this is due to both government financial considerations and to the fact that no doctors have applied to perform abortions at the island’s hospitals.
“Today’s conversations were certainly a next step and very important for me to hear face-to-face the concerns and the issues that both organizations have,” Currie told the Charlottetown Guardian after Wednesday’s meeting.
“We know it’s a very divisive issue, both sides are very passionate about their positions, so it’s allowing me to really understand the depth of both sides of the conversation… but I’m going to take a little bit of time, I’m going to reflect back on the conversations,” Currie said.
Anne Marie Tomlins of P.E.I. Right to Life told the media after the meeting with Minister Currie that the organization will step up its pro-life campaign using newspaper ads and mass-mailings to every household in the province if the government moves to reintroduce abortion on the Island.
“We certainly made it clear to the Minister that we’re really just beginning our campaign,” said Tomlins. “It’ll get as big as it needs to get.”