FREDERICTON, March 25, 2004 ( – The Coalition for Life and Health appeared before the court Wednesday in an application for intervener status in the Henry Morgantaler v. New Brunswick civil suit. Morgentaler is suing the province over its refusal to fund abortions at his Fredericton facility.

Judge David Russell reserved judgment on the application. There is no deadline for the judgment. Coalition coordinator Peter Ryan said, “Our best guess is that likely we will have the judgment within a month. I am hopeful that we will be accepted as an intervener.”  The pro-life coalition includes 16 provincial and national organizations including New Brunswick Right to Life, Campaign Life Coalition, Life Canada, Focus on the Family, as well as several Catholic groups. David McMath represented the Coalition. The Coalition believes the case could be a watershed with respect to Canadian abortion rights.

“At the heart of Mr. Morgentaler’s position is a glaring contradiction,” said Ryan. “On the one hand he says abortion is a matter of choice, which suggests it is an elective rather than medical necessity. But then he argues ending any unwanted pregnancy is indeed a medical necessity, so he can access public funding that is not available for electives.”  Anne Derrick, representing Morgentaler, argued against the application, while Nancy Forbes, representing the Attorney-General of New Brunswick, took no position.  If it can participate in the upcoming trial, the Coalition hopes to present medical evidence of the harm caused by abortion. Forty-one women who have had abortions, some of whom are former clients of Morgantaler, have agreed to testify on the Coalition’s behalf.

See related LifeSite coverage “Tory MP to Introduce Bill Against Abortion Funding” at:


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