NewsFri Jun 16, 2006 - 12:15 pm EST
All Coat-Hangers Aimed at New Brunswick
By Gudrun Schultz
FREDERICKTON, New Brunswick, June 16, 2006 (LifeSiteNews.com) – The province of New Brunswick is being targeted by a concerted effort from abortion activists throughout North America for its laws limiting access to government-funded abortions.
“This has been an ongoing campaign, but the volume has stepped up recently,” N.B. Right to Life director Peter Ryan told LifeSiteNews.com. “The voices are very loud and very present in the media: ‘New Brunswick has oppressive and outdated policies on abortion’.”
Abortion activists have called on supporters to mail coat hangers to all N.B. MLA’s, he said.
The National Abortion Federation, which recently expanded its pro-abortion activism into Canada, has increased pressure on the province. Judy Burwell, who acted as manager of the Morgentaler abortion clinic in Fredericton up until this past year, is now an associate of NAF, according to Ryan.
The NAF has added its voice to demands that the province begin funding abortions at the Morgentaler clinic, following the announcement of the closure of the abortion program at the Dr. Everett Chalmers Hospital in Fredericton last month.
Chalmers Hospital was the only N.B. hospital to perform abortions. Under provincial regulations Medicare will only pay for abortions when a specialist in an accredited hospital carries out the procedure.
NAF president and CEO Vicki Saporta traveled to the province last week for a news conference held at the Morgentaler clinic, after writing to Health Minister Brad Green in May to demand the province fund abortions at the private clinic. “I’ve heard some people call New Brunswick the South Dakota of Canada,” she said.
Peter Ryan said his goal is to see N.B. become the second Canadian province to stop performing all abortions (there are no abortions carried out on Prince Edward Island).
“That is my hope, plan and prayer.” He warned, however,Âthat the political leadership in the province is “tilting in the wrong direction.”
Â“There is no position of principle regarding respect for life, or abortion not being the best option for women…The tone of remarks suggest the politicians are very much trying to appease the pro-abortion women’s lobby, assuring them there will be as much if not more access to abortion.”
Two N.B. hospitals are scheduled to begin offering abortion procedures by the end of June, according to the Department of Health.
Ryan said the Dr. George Dumont Hospital in Moncton would likely be one of the two hospitals to begin offering abortions at the end of June. The other site is “suspected” but uncertain, he said.
Efforts to mobilize community residents and hospital workers against the introduction of abortion services will be underway as soon as the locations and doctors involved are confirmed, said Ryan. Alerting local people to the situation has been very effective in the past at preventing abortion programs from starting up in the province.
New Brunswick is fighting an ongoing battle in the courts to keep provincial funding for abortions limited to procedures carried out in hospitals. Henry Morgentaler launched a lawsuit over N.B.‘s refusal to pay for abortions carried out in his Fredericton clinic. The Morgentaler clinic is the only private clinic in the province, performing more than 600 abortions annually.
See previous LifeSiteNews coverage:
Doctors Volunteer to Keep Abortion “Alive” in New Brunswick
Conservative Government Soon to Decide on New Brunswick Refusal to Fund Private Abortions
Abortion Funding for Privately Run Clinics? New Brunswick Says No Way