Thousands of PEI residents call on gvmt to keep abortion off-island
CHARLOTTETOWN, Prince Edward Island, November 13, 2015 (LifeSiteNews) – About 100 pro-life advocates rallied in front of PEI’s legislature on its opening day Thursday to send a message to politicians to keep abortion off the Island.
And they backed up their request with a petition of over 3,000 names, which they gave to pro-life MLA James Aylward to present to the legislature, says organizer Sarah MacDonald, coordinator of the two-month-old PEI branch of Campaign Life Coalition Youth.
Although PEI remains the sole province in Canada where abortions are not committed, on May 4 the Liberals won the provincial election under openly homosexual Wade MacLauchlan, who made a campaign promise to increase access to abortion.
On June 2, MacLauchlan announced a new Liberal policy in which Island women could skip a doctor’s or Health PEI’s referral, and instead make direct arrangements to have an abortion in Moncton, paid for by PEI health insurance.
That announcement sparked CLC Youth to launch its petition, says Alissa Golob, national president of CLC Youth, which organized the rally in conjunction with PEI Right to Life.
And it motivated 20-year-old MacDonald, has been pro-life for “quite a number of years” to become more “heavily involved” in pro-life activism than she’s ever been.
“There’s such a need on the Island, because of the big push for PEI to get an abortion clinic,” Macdonald, who just started her first year in arts at the University of PEI, told LifeSiteNews. “People just need to step up, and that’s what I’m doing."
PEI pro-life advocates now face not only a Liberal premier who is pushing for greater abortion access, but a newly elected Liberal prime minister who shares the same priorities.
“I recognize that Premier MacLauchlan has made positive steps in the right direction,” Justin Trudeau told the Charlottetown Guardian while campaigning on the Island in September, “but it’s important that every Canadian across this country has access to a full range of health services, including full reproductive services, in every province in the country.”
Moreover, after Health Canada approved the controversial abortion pill RU-486 in July, the registrar for the College of Physicians and Surgeons of PEI told the CBC it would be up to individual doctors to decide whether or not to prescribe the dangerous drug, which will be available in 2016.
Ontario family physician Dr. Laura Lewis spoke about the perils of RU-486 at the rally.
“History has clearly outlined the potential dangers of this medical abortion, which along with being lethal to the developing life, also has the potential to compromise the mother's health,” said Lewis, a board member of the Canadian Physicians for Life.
“Pregnancy is not a medical crisis, nor a disease,” she noted. “As health care providers we need to shift our focus from the provision of potentially unsafe abortion methods to responding to the circumstances women are challenged with.”
Angelina Steenstra of the Silent No More Awareness Campaign and Holly Pierlot from PEI Right to Life also spoke at the rally, alongside Lewis, Golob, and MacDonald.
Golob says she’s been in contact with PEI’s pro-life MLAs, who number about a dozen in the 27-member legislature, and that CLC Youth is committed to keeping up its lobbying efforts.
“We deserve better, which means keeping the Island a safe space and keeping abortion off the Island,” noted MacDonald.
“Right now, the biggest threat is our prime minister and knowing where he stands…just having someone like that in power,” she added.