WINNIPEG, January 3, 2005 ( – Just before Christmas, Court of Queen’s Bench Judge Jeffrey Oliphant ruled that the province of Manitoba must publicly fund abortions at private abortion mills. 

On Wednesday December 22, Oliphant ruled that the province violated the constitutional rights of two women who paid for their own abortions at a private center rather than opting for publicly-funded abortions at a hospital. 

Lawyers for the women argued that they faced delays on having their children aborted at taxpayer expense in hospitals and felt that such a delay posed medical and psychological risks. 

Judge Oliphant found that the funding restriction was a violation of their rights under the Charter of Rights and Freedoms.

Legal experts suggest that the ruling could be used to mandate the province to pay for other medical procedures at private clinics. 

The province is considering an appeal of the decision.