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Steve Weatherbe

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Abortion returning to Prince Edward Island this month after long absence

Steve Weatherbe

CHARLOTTETOWN, Prince Edward Island, January 19, 2017 (LifeSiteNews) – Prince Edward Island will no longer be the only province in Canada without an abortion facility when Prince County Hospital in Summerside begins surgical abortions by the end of the month.

Abortions on unborn children will be performed up to 12 weeks’ gestation, the provincial government said this week, ending a decades-long agreement that the government would pay for abortions done outside the tiny Maritime province.

"That's absolutely wonderful news for us. I think it's been a long time coming," Ann Wheatley, co-chair of Abortion Access Now PEI, told the CBC upon hearing details of the service delivery.

Provincial officials had announced in September that a facility offering abortion would open on the island for the first time in 35 years starting in 2017. A $5.35 million expansion to the Women’s Wellness Centre at the hospital is expected to be completed by 2018 that will offer additional services that include birth control counseling.

Women seeking abortions beyond 12 weeks of pregnancy will still have to travel to another province.

Pro-life groups are planning a protest organized by Brian Delaney of West Prince Right to Life at 11 a.m. Saturday across the street from the hospital.

“We support it fully and urge everyone to turn out,” Nicole Dupuis of Prince Edward Island Right to Life told LifeSiteNews.

The provincial Women’s Wellness Program has posted instructions on its website indicating abortions will require two visits to the hospital. The first offers counseling on whether a woman should have the child and put it up for adoption or raise it herself. The second is to discuss an abortion.

“We are pleased about them offering pre-and post-abortive counseling,” Dupuis told LifeSiteNews.

But she was critical of the government for its underplaying of the health risks. She noted that the website described only the immediate health risks caused by the procedure.  

Advises the site: “The medication you receive may temporarily cause: clumsiness; poor balance; poor judgment; or vomiting.”

It continues: “It is recommended for 24 hours after your procedure: Do not drive a car or operate machinery. Do not care for dependents (children or other family members) – get help if needed. Do not participate in any strenuous sports or exercise. Do not consume alcohol or medications that have not been prescribed by your doctor for 24 hours.”

Dupuis noted that the hospital will conduct aspiration abortions. In describing the procedure, the website refers to the unborn child only as “the contents:”

“The doctor will do an ultrasound and provide a local anesthetic to the procedure area to numb your cervix. You will also be given medication by IV to help you feel relaxed. Your cervix will be dilated (enlarged). A small suction tube will be used to remove the contents of your uterus. This part of the procedure takes less than 10 minutes.”

But there is more to it, Dupuis told LifeSiteNews. Not only does the website not mention the killing of the unborn child, she says, it doesn’t explain that “The final stage is scraping out the womb to remove any remains.”

Also untold is the direct risk of injury to the womb caused by the final phase and the risk of a resulting infection to the womb, bladder or intestines.

“There are not only physical but psychological risks of injury,” Dupuis said. ”But the Women’s Wellness website ignores these.”

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