OTTAWA, Feb 28 ( – On Friday, Reform MP Jim Pankiw (Saskatoon-Humboldt) introduced Bill C-440, “an act to provide for a referendum to determine whether Canadians wish medically unnecessary abortions to be insured services under the Canada Health Act and to amend the Referendum Act.”

Pankiw said “if the electors agree that this should not be the case, an amendment to the Canada Health Act would be brought into force which would allow a reduction in fiscal transfers to provinces that allow such funding.”

The initiative has strong public support. In a 1995 survey, fifty-seven per cent of Ontario residents opposed tax-payer funding of abortion. The poll, conducted by Environics Research for Campaign Life Coalition, asked the respondents whether a variety of health services should be funded through provincial medicare. Among the procedures mentioned were annual health examinations for all adults, in-vitro fertilization, abortion, reverse sterilization and cosmetic surgery.

A total of 57 per cent of the respondents across Ontario said OHIP should not pay for abortions. Only 27 per cent said the province should pay while 14 per cent said payment depends on circumstances.

Those who want to contact Jim Pankiw to express their appreciation for this initiative can do so at:
Ottawa: (613) 992-8052
Fax: (613) 9969899

Saskatchewan: (306) 975-4918
Fax: (306) 955-0301
Address: Box 2061,
2105-8th St. East,
Saskatoon, Saskatchewan
S7H 5N9