WINNIPEG, December 16, 2003 ( – The Manitoba Government has refused to cave in to demands to publicly cover the abortifacient morning after pill.  Despite three years of pressure from Paladin Labs, the Montreal company which markets the drugs in Canada, the Government’s drug review committee, an advisory body made up of three doctors and three pharmacists, refused to cover the drug.  Dr. Andre Lalonde, executive vice president of the Society of Obstetricians and Gynecologists of Canada reacted to the refusal saying, “I can’t believe this province won’t approve the morning-after pill when practically every other province has approved it.”  However, the Winnipeg Free Press reports that Newfoundland and PEI also refuse to cover the abortifacients.  “It’s the minister of health who should be deciding this, not some ding dong committee. He lists this committee but what are they? Are they all grey-haired males deciding this?” said Lalonde.  “This is anti-women’s health,” he concluded.  Ms. Gillian Long, President of Campaign Life Coalition Youth, was pleased that Manitoba was not funding the abortifacients.  “This is not a medication, but a toxic drug that disturbs a healthy woman’s reproductive system,” she said. “It’s not healthcare.”  Regarding the comments of Dr. Lalonde Ms. Long said, “That’s the same old pro-abortion rhetoric, making ad hominem attacks instead of dealing with the facts.”  Ms. Hilary White of Campaign Life Catholic told LifeSite, “This is a conscience issue for pro-life people. We should not be forced to pay for drugs which kill unborn children.”  She noted that the government is currently considering allowing the morning after pill over the counter status in Canada and quoted the statement of the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops regarding the drugs.  “Women have a right to know that what is described as ‘emergency contraception’ may in reality be a form of early abortion,” said the Bishops letter.

See related LifeSite coverage:  Canadian Bishops Object to Making Abortifacient Morning After Pill Over-the-Counter   (with files from the Winnipeg Free Press, December 16, 2003)  To express encouragement to the Government of Manitoba:  [email protected]