OTTAWA, November 1, 2001 ( – The Canadian Abortion Rights Action League admitted yesterday that abortions are a “socio-economic” rather than medically necessary procedure. In a submission to the House of Commons Finance Committee, CARAL Executive Director Marilyn Wilson said that women who seek abortions: “… do so for socio-economic reasons. Sometimes it is a desire to complete their education and become financially independent. In many cases, couples with children wish to restrict their family size in order to provide adequate financial support. Often, choosing abortion is a conscious decision not to become a socio- economic burden on society.”

Alliance MP Jason Kenney, a Finance Committee member, said “This admission is significant from an organization that has always claimed that abortion is a ‘medically necessary service’. CARAL has now blown the cover off its argument that provinces must finance a procedure which is not done for medical reasons.” When asked by Kenney how a procedure done for “socio-economic” reasons could be medically necessary, Wilson replied that if the provinces determine it to be necessary, then it is.

“This kind of circular reasoning is patently ridiculous,” said Kenney. “CARAL also admitted that abortion is not medically necessary for reciprocal billing purposes – they don’t have a leg to stand on.” Kenney said that in light of CARAL’s admission, he will now write to Federal Health Minister Allan Rock to ask whether he agrees with CARAL’s assessment of abortion as a procedure done for “socio-economic” reasons.