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The Liberal government's health minister, Jane Philpott, is keeping a close eye on Prince Edward Island.

OTTAWA, March 9, 2016 (LifeSiteNews) — In reiterating the Liberals’ commitment to “equitable” abortion access across Canada, Health Minister Jane Philpott hinted that she won’t rule out withholding health transfer payments to Prince Edward Island if it does not make abortion available on island.

“I will be checking back with them in the near future to find out what their further plans are on this,” Philpott told Global News in a February 23 interview.

Philpott, a family physician, told Global that she had “some good conversations” with PEI Liberal Health Minister Robert Henderson “when we first met at the health ministers’ meeting in Vancouver.”

When Global asked the minister if she would withhold federal health transfer payments if PEI did not provide abortions on-island, Philpott replied that her “style” was to “work in a very collaborative manner” and that a “punitive approach is not the first choice. … This is going to be a step-wise response.”

Meanwhile, the abortion activist group Abortion Access Now PEI, which formed in December 2015, is suing the province’s Liberal government to provide abortions on the tiny island, currently Canada’s only abortion-free province. The Toronto-based abortion activist group LEAF, the Legal and Education Action Fund is providing AAN PEI with litigation support.

The Canada Health Act “requires that all Canadians have access to medically necessary care, no matter where they are in the country,” Philpott told Global, adding that the Liberal government “is committed to making sure that women have access to abortion as they need, and other reproductive health services as necessary.”

But Health Canada itself could not produce evidence that abortions are medically necessary, pointed out Campaign Life Coalition’s Mary Ellen Douglas.

Saskatchewan Conservative MP Garry Breitkreuz petitioned the provinces and Health Canada in 2002 for documentation that abortions done were medically indicated, Douglas told LifeSiteNews.

He received responses from the federal department, nine provinces and one territory that no such evidence was available.

Douglas says that Philpott will likely “go and put as much pressure on PEI as she’s probably been asked to do by the prime minister.”

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau hinted in September 2015 as then-Liberal leader that he would force the Island to provide abortions if he were elected prime minister.

Meanwhile, a month after his May 2015 election victory, PEI Premier Wade MacLauchlan made good on his campaign promise to increase access to abortion. His Liberal government introduced a system whereby Island women skip the formerly required doctor and Health PEI referral, and directly schedule an abortion at the Moncton Hospital, paid for by PEI.

But MacLauchlan is aware that resistance to abortion runs high on the Island, telling the Charlottetown Guardian, “I think we are consistent with what we said during the election and we’re also following what Prince Edward Islanders feel about this, including that this is a very controversial issue.”

CLC’s Douglas said it’s hard to fathom why the pro-abortion activists are so persistent in pushing for abortion access, particularly in PEI. “They just can’t stand the fact that there’s a province in this country that won’t kill like the rest of us.”

According to the Global report, in 2007, 66 Island women went out-of-province for an abortion, and that increased to 102 women in 2013.

By a conservative estimate, Douglas said, there are 100,000 pre-born children killed by abortion annually in Canada, and 4,000,000 since abortion was legalized in the country in 1969.

“How many dead babies do they need?” she said. “They just can’t seem to get enough dead babies.”