New Brunswick newly-elected Liberal premier, Brian Gallant, declared this morning that he would scrap previous abortion regulations and work with regional health authorities to “increase capacity” and “improve timeliness to access.”
The new measures, to take effect January 1, include that:
- obtaining an abortion will no longer require two doctors certifying that it is “medically required.”
- abortion can now be performed by any doctor, not only a specialist.
- abortion will now be tax-funded since it will be put “in the same category as any insured medical service.”
- abortions must still be performed in hospitals.
“We have identified the barriers and are proceeding to eliminate them in order to respect our legal obligations under the Supreme Court of Canada ruling and the Canada Health Act regarding a woman’s right to choose,” Gallant said in a statement.
“The government will also be working with the regional health authorities to increase capacity and improve timeliness to access. The government will also work to improve access to accurate and non-judgmental information,” he said.
Jim Hughes, president of Campaign Life Coalition, Canada's largest pro-life organization, called the news “devastating.”
“This is devastating news for all New Brunswick mothers and their unborn children. Unfortunately, Mr. Gallant’s actions were expected and are a wake-up call for all New Brunswickers who believe themselves to be pro-life. It is a day of shame for the province,” he told LifeSiteNews.
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Abortion took center stage in the Liberal’s election campaign in April in response to the announced closure of the province’s Morgentaler abortion facility. The party approved a resolution at the time calling for taxpayer-funded abortion in private facilities, reversing longstanding policy on the issue. The reigning Conservatives said they would maintain the status quo of funding so-called “medically necessary” abortions in hospitals.
Gallant had stated on numerous occasions on the election campaign trail that if the Liberal Party were to form government they would “swiftly act to find all barriers to abortion and eliminate them.” He has fulfilled that promise exactly 66 days after being elected.
On the ground pro-lifers reacted to the news with sadness, calling the announcement a “radical change” in public policy.
“It’s a very sad, sad day,” said Peter Ryan, executive director of the New Brunswick Right to Life Association, to LifeSiteNews.
“It really opens things up to a rapid escalation of abortions in New Brunswick. By talking about ‘increasing capacity,’ that can only mean finding more doctors to perform abortions. We expect the net result to be really a situation of open season on the unborn here in New Brunswick,” he said.
Ryan said that local pro-lifers will now ramp up their efforts to serve the needs of pregnant women at pregnancy centers.
“Those needs will now be greater than ever for concrete help to provide an alternative to abortion,” he said.