SUMMERSIDE, Prince Edward Island, September 21, 2016 (LifeSiteNews) – Abortions could begin on Prince Edward Island within two years after the Liberal government of Wade MacLauchlan announced the building of a Women’s Wellness Centre that would provide what the government called “pregnancy termination.”
Since the 1988 Supreme Court of Canada ruling in the Morgentaler case ushered in abortion on demand, successive governments of Canada’s smallest province balanced those for and against the procedure by funding it through the province’s health care plan but sending women discreetly off the island for the abortion. Prince Edward Island is the last remaining Canadian province where abortions are not performed.
MacLauchlan’s government had promised to look at the unwritten rule and was encouraged to throw it out by a lawsuit launched in February by abortion advocates and Liberal Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau. The result from a study was a recommendation the government fulfilled this week by committing $5.35 million to expand the Prince County hospital to include abortion in a women’s wellness center.
Pro-abortion activists complained that the compromise administered by previous governments required women to go off the island for several hours for abortions.
According to study leader Dr. Lana Beth Bankhouse, who spoke at the announcement ceremony this week, the center will address “the need for cultural and gender sensitivity, the need for quality health services in an environment where women feel heard, cared for and respected no matter what their decisions, concerns, or needs.”
That was as close, CBC reporter Brian Higgins noted, that anyone from the government or the hospital came to admitting “abortions” would be done at the wellness center. Even the government’s news release, Higgins reported, only mentioned “pregnancy termination.”
Nicole Dupuis, executive director of PEI Right to Life, told LifeSiteNews that she doubted the change would mean more island women getting abortions. “Summerside is such a small community and PEI is such a small place too,” she said, speculating that the number of abortions might actually go down because women would be afraid that those using the wellness centre would be assumed to be getting an abortion.
She added that while pro-lifers on PEI were disappointed with the government’s move, they were not surprised. “We are talking about how to respond.” Now that abortions will be done on PEI, vigils such as 40 Days for Life will become a possibility. “We aren’t giving up.”