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New Brunswick Premier-elect Brian Gallant

A leading New Brunswick pro-lifer is calling on Premier-elect Brian Gallant to “look at both sides of the argument” when he creates a committee to review the province’s abortion regulations.

Beth Crouchman, president of New Brunswick Right to Life, told LifeSiteNews, “My hope and my prayer is that Mr. Gallant will not do a knee-jerk thing but will look at all the issues, including the risks of abortion for the woman and the rights of the child.”

Earlier this week Gallant led the Liberals to victory over the governing Progressive Conservatives, winning 27 of 49 seats, and according to unnamed Gallant advisors who spoke to the Globe and Mail, people are already being sought for the promised committee.

Though the election was fought primarily on economic issues, this summer’s closure of the Morgentaler Clinic, the province’s only private abortion facility, prompted Gallant to promise to review and liberalize provincial Medicare regulations, which currently fund abortions only when done in hospitals after two doctors have agreed they are medically necessary.

“If the review is truly open to both sides of the question, we would definitely make a submission,” Crouchman said. Her group would advance evidence not only as to the humanity of the unborn child, but about the health risks to women who have abortions. “There is the whole question of informed consent,” she added. “How do we really know whether women are being informed about the health risks to themselves? We believe all women seeking abortion should be shown an ultrasound image of their unborn child.”

Crouchman said she was “disappointed,” by the election results. “It looks like people voted the way they did for superficial reasons, like they thought it was time for a change.”

The defeated Progressive Conservatives had said they would not change New Brunswick’s abortion law, which was a compromise a previous provincial government passed after the Supreme Court of Canada threw out Canada’s criminal law on abortion in 1988.

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Since 1988 abortions in all Canadian provinces and territories have been legal for pregnant females of any age to secure at any stage of development for any reason (including gender of the fetus) but a few provinces imposed restrictions on funding. British Columbia’s were thrown out but New Brunswick’s were not.

Pro-abortion organizations such as Reproductive Justice New Brunswick not only want a removal of the requirement that abortion be deemed medically necessary for it to be funded by Medicare, they want funding for abortions at private clinics.

In reference to the now-shuttered Morgentaler Clinic, the group's website states, “The not-for-profit clinic in Fredericton … offers self-referral, more timely access, and a supportive environment, but it must charge for the service under the current regulations.”

Kathleen Pye of Reproductive Justice NB said she was “really happy” at Gallant’s reported swift action on the issue.

Crouchman, however, figures the province’s abortions will double in number if full funding is provided. New Brunswick now has half the national abortion rate.


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