Women turning to desperate measures due to lack of abortion services

Teresa Wright
Send to a friend

Send this article to a friend.

Kandace Hagan

A 14-year-old P.E.I. girl who discovered she was pregnant turned to desperate measures of self-harm to induce an abortion due to lack of access on P.E.I.

For two weeks, she ingested chemicals. She tried repeatedly ramming her stomach into a table. She tried getting drunk and throwing herself down the stairs.

Her body was bruised and damaged, but she still didn’t want anyone to know what was going on.

This is just one experience of many that Dr. Colleen MacQuarrie at UPEI has gathered in a research project on the health impacts of abortion policies on P.E.I.

Despite the project being still in early stages, MacQuarrie says she is shocked at the similarities in stories from women who have or tried to have abortions.

Many have been turning to self-harm.

“If you limit options then you create desperation, and then desperate people do things they wouldn’t normally do. It’s deeply disturbing,” she said.

Prince Edward Island is the only province in Canada that does not provide any abortion services. The procedure is not done in Island hospitals and there are no private clinics that offer the service in the province.

This lack of access has left P.E.I. women with limited options with an unwanted or unplanned pregnancy.

The provincial government does cover the cost of the procedure off-Island, but only when done in a hospital and if a woman has been referred by two doctors – one from P.E.I. and one from the doctor performing the procedure.

Women must travel to the Queen Elizabeth II Hospital in Halifax or the private Morgentaler clinic in Fredericton, but the province will not fund any abortions performed at private clinics.

Fees at private clinics, where a doctor’s referral is not needed, are roughly around $800, not including travel. The province does not cover any travel expenses.

Getting this kind of information on what services are available and what other steps are necessary for this procedure is not easy.

Those who call the health department are often told to contact women’s groups for information. The Guardian attempted to get information from the Department of Health and Wellness for this article and received nothing. And those who go to their doctors may not fare much better.

“There are doctors who just don’t give referrals. There are doctors who say that’s not what they do… one woman, her doctor refused to even see her,” MacQuarrie said, citing examples from her research.

Kandace Hagen experienced first-hand the difficulties in getting information when looking to terminate a pregnancy a few years ago.

“I wasn’t aware what my options were and I just wanted to know how I could go about making sure that happened,” she said.

“(The doctor) told me that my only option was to go to the Morgentaler Clinic in Fredericton and gave me the number and that was it. He left the room.”

He did not offer a referral to the Halifax hospital where the procedure would be covered by the province. He didn’t tell Hagen she would require an ultrasound and a blood test to be conducted on P.E.I. prior to travelling to an off-Island clinic. He also didn’t tell her she needed to have all this done within a short period of time, as the regional clinics only perform abortions up to 15 weeks after conception.

“He very quickly wanted to wash his hands of it and keep going,” Hagen said.

“I definitely felt there was a stigma surrounding it.”

Hagen is now working with a group of women lobbying for changes to P.E.I.’s abortion policies. It has recently gained local and national media attention by bringing the issue to the forefront.

But this lobby group is not alone in its effort to bring forward a discussion over the Island’s lack of abortion services.

The P.E.I. Ad-Hoc Abortion Rights Committee, comprised of several women’s groups and private citizens, formed several years ago and has been holding more regular meetings for the past six months.

It recently published an information sheet with all the details needed for women looking for an abortion. It was placed in doctor’s offices around the Island.

“Women and women’s organizations have gotten together to discuss the state of access to abortion services and reproductive justice issues and share information and discuss possible strategies for working with government and working with doctors to make sure women have access to a service that’s available in other provinces in Canada,” said Jane Ledwell, a researcher with the P.E.I. Advisory Council on the Status of Women, which is part of this ad-hoc committee.

It is now working to support the work of Hagen’s Reproductive Rights Organization lobby group in trying to get changes to the current provincial policies.

P.E.I. Green Party Leader Sharon Labchuk has also come out in support of this group, calling P.E.I.’s abortion policy to be “blatant discrimination against women, especially low-income women.”

P.E.I. Health Minister Doug Currie has said he has no plans to change the current abortion policies or laws.

But MacQuarrie believes this status-quo stance will have to change.

“There’s a saturation beginning about the real harms that are happening to women because of these policies,” she said.

“There’s enough there for me to confidently say that we have a real health issue here. It’s probably more than we ever thought when we started.”

Organizations: Morgentaler, Queen Elizabeth II Hospital in Halifax, Department of Health and Wellness Halifax hospital Hoc Abortion Rights Committee P.E.I. Advisory Council on the Status of Women Reproductive Rights Organization Green Party

Geographic location: Prince Edward Island, Canada, Fredericton

  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5

Thanks for voting!

Top of page

Comments

Comments

Recent comments

  • Alia Schotten
    May 13, 2015 - 09:58

    I feel soo bad for these people because I know where they are coming from self-harm wise. When I was 5 years old I started to self-harm post raping at 4 years old

  • maryrice
    January 10, 2015 - 14:58

    My partner and I have been trying for a baby for over two years now, We were going to a fertility clinic for about 5 months before somebody told us to contact this spell caster who is so powerful, i contacted him at this email; fiokporspiritualtemple@gmail.com , for him to help, then i told him our problem, he told me that i will either conceive in June 2013 or July 2013,but after two years of trying we were at a point where we were willing to try anything. And I'm glad i came to Dr fiorkpor, Because he predictions put us at ease, and I honestly believe him, and his gods really helped us as well, I am thankful for all he has done. after few weeks the doctor confirm that i am pregnant thank you DR Fiokpor for helping us get a baby. he can cast any spell you need, either to cure any sickness, win Divorce, Ex back, good job anything you can think off, just try him because it is never harmful to try, remember quiter don't win and winners never quit

  • Kia
    November 16, 2011 - 14:02

    That poor girl. I hope she got an abortion if she wanted or needed an abortion.Throwing herself down stairs? Ingesting chemicals in a effort to poison herself? Terrible. My mother did something similar , but that was back in the 1950's. PEI needs to revamp its tourism brochure informing women and teenage girls that your ability to access certain timely medical procedures ends when you set foot on PEI.

    • Relax
      November 16, 2011 - 23:40

      For those of you citing the use of tax dollars as reasoning for not condoning abortion, how many of you smoke or partake in other health-compromising activities? For those of you who do or will suffer health consequences for these reasons, maybe I feel that my tax dollars shouldn't go towards medical treatment for you?

    • Crazy Eddie
      November 19, 2011 - 20:16

      You poor fool. Was it you who she was pregnant for... and failed?

    • To RELAX
      November 19, 2011 - 20:39

      Your tax dollars do not go to help smokers. The 10 dollar taxes on each pack (That amounts to 3500 dollars a year per smoker goes toward that. I don't smoke. I don't kill either.

    • To to relax
      December 02, 2011 - 17:09

      3500 dollars a year per smoker does not cover the cost of smoking on the health care system... It may cover one ER visit, but not the money spend on lung disease, heart disease or the number other illnesses linked to smoking. Our tax dollars foot the bill for those, in the same way they foot the huge bills that result from obesity-related health concerns or accidents that happen under the influence. As a healthy, successful woman who doesn't drink - I still pay for those "choices" even though i disagree with them.

  • melissa
    November 15, 2011 - 13:00

    What about the victim of a rape or abuse case that was not consenting to the sex in the first place? Should they be forced to give birth to an unwanted child that would then be abused either physically, emotionally or both ? Should they be forced to carry around the memory of this horrible experience for 9 months let alone the rest of their lives? This unwanted pregancy could become a child that ends up trapped in the system, bounced from foster home to foster home and finally on the streets. Yes someone could adopt the baby and provide a loving home, but local adoption is such a hard and enduring process that the child would no doubt be subjected to the horrors of the foster care system. Lets be real and give people the benefit of the doubt that most time they are making an informed much thought about decision and not using abortion as birth control. If I was to find myself in a situation where I truly felt that was the only option I would like it to BE an option. Offer support and information and options to these women.

  • Dan
    November 14, 2011 - 19:07

    Sorry, but some of you Americans REALLY need to get with the times and get out of your religious minds. If you stop women having abortions legally in certain states, and you stop women being able to have free or reduced fee abortions, you will get this forever more. You will also get an excess of children put up for adoption, and an excess of ruined lives. If you're such a good person that you would never have an abortion, then that's fine, but don't put your warped views onto young girls, young women and victims of rapes.

  • cf
    November 14, 2011 - 14:45

    @PEILADY - as a non-smoker, I do not want my tax dollars going toward treating smokers with lung cancer. in fact, I don't want any of my tax dollars going toward people who smoke, because they brought it on themselves. except that's patently untrue because I respect other peoples' mistakes and think they deserve the same dignity and care as anyone else. up to, and including, the choice to not be pregnant if they don't want to be. I will never have an abortion, nor will I ever have a potential life growing inside of me, but who are you to dictate to someone who might be in these circumstances what it should mean to them? I'm pretty sure far more of your tax dollars would still go to warplanes and corrupt immigration and economic policies than to this medical procedure.

  • Luna Baby
    November 14, 2011 - 13:53

    a.) Not everyone believes in your god, whoever your god or gods happen to be. Why should someone be legally forced to adhere to the morals of a god or gods they don't pray to or believe in? Legislating morality is fascism, and last I heard Jesus wasn't too keen on that kind of thing. b.) If you all love your god so much, why don't you trust him to do his job? I could point you in the direction of thousands of people who have killed, maimed, harmed, raped, even destroyed entire civilizations- all in the name of a god. Is that what you think your god really wants from you, for you to be judgmental, to condemn others, to be vicious, cruel and murderous? If you truly believed your god was real, you would trust in him instead of scrambling to condemn and punish others in his name. Your only job is to live righteously without judgment in and of yourself, and you are all failing miserably. c.) Abortion is legal. It has been for some time. It will never be illegal again. The only thing you do by restricting access is promote rape, suicide, child abuse, poverty and overpopulation. If you were truly "pro-life" (as opposed to pro-fetus), you'd be funneling your misdirected rage to one of those areas- where it's both warranted and badly needed- instead of terrorizing vulnerable and disenfranchised women and children in the name of "life." Righteous? Far from it.

    • Lilly
      November 14, 2011 - 14:43

      Wow. This article was really inspiring. Abortion should be a choice. No doctor should be forced to perform an abortion if it is against their own values and morals, and no woman should be denied the right to a procedure that affects their body. It is amazing the lengths that women will go to when they are deprived of some options. While abortion may not be your choice, it still remains a choice, and you don't have to be pro-abortion to support a woman's right to choose, whether the choice be to carry a pregnancy to term or to end the pregnancy.

    • what's that you say
      November 14, 2011 - 16:18

      OK, let's remove gods and God from the picture. Now Pagans, Jews, Christians, Muslims, Hindus etc are on the same plane as those who do not take a religion. What we all have in common now is that we all believe the same things that Christians always believed... that it is wrong to do wrong to others. The fact that it is legal is your argument that it is not wrong. The opposite - that if it is illegal it is wrong is pure bulldroppings. Is it immoral to drive without wearing a seat-belt? Is it immoral to walk onto the front lawn of 24 Sussex in Ottawa? Both will get you a fine. Non religious people know it is wrong to steal, yet people do it a lot. Abortion is immoral. Abortion is murder. Pro-abortionists are flawed. Abortion is unconscionable.

  • Unbelievable
    November 14, 2011 - 13:06

    This story was not intended to spark at prolife/prochoice debate. I wish I'd stuck to reading the story because some of these comments are infuriating. An abortion is not just a walk in the park after a "night of fun". Before throwing your 1950's attitudes all over the place try to walk a mile in a young pregnant women's shoes. It's a traumatizing experience and, after speaking with many girls who have been in this situation, most are trying to make the responsible decision. As for the comments about using birth control, do some research. Birth control is NOT 100% effective Comments about all those who cannot have children but would love to are also ridiculous. There are millions of children around the world waiting to find a family. No matter what, adoption is going to be a long, expensive process. A woman having an abortion does NOT affect them at all. Before you throw your beliefs all over the place please step down from your high horse for just a moment.

  • Open Eyes
    November 14, 2011 - 10:28

    To say a girl tried to cause a miscarriage because she couldn't get an abortion in PEI is a lie. She did this because she didn't want anyone to know she was pregnant. Even IF abortion was available, she still would have done the same. I say that if she had the money to pay for an abortion here, then she would have simply gone to the mainland instead of hurting herself. It is bizarre how this was blamed on our abortion law.

    • aahxzen
      November 14, 2011 - 14:10

      How is a 14 year old supposed to go mainland without her parents finding out in order to receive and abortion? It isn't really that bizarre. Abortion would definitely make it easier for young girls in this position to make their own decisions regarding their body.

    • Open eyes
      November 14, 2011 - 16:03

      It's not her body that she's trying to kill. And you made my point. She was up to keeping it secret from her parents. 14 year olds go to the mainland a lot for everything from shopping to visiting. Her parents wouldn't know. That's unfortunate because her parents need to help her learn to stay safe. The mere fact that she got pregnant shows that she's at risk of disease etc. By the way, murder is wrong and abortion is murder. That's irrelevant to what I'm saying tho'.

    • Ann Wright
      November 14, 2011 - 22:37

      Open Eyes? Perhaps. Closed mind? Definitely. Time for you to give that head a shake and raise your spirits by showing compassion for a real live young lady who made a mistake she's unlikely to ever forget. But lest she does, you and those like you can make it your business to keep her guilt alive. How pathetically hilarious! And how do you suggest that we deal with the daddy? Surely you have a punishment for him too. And the two sets of parents who were unable to keep these youngesters from experimenting with (well, dare I say it?) SEX. Yes, what do we do with them? Okay, so I am now being shamelessly flip (because I don't subscribe to sex for kids--for their own sakes), but you get my drift, how far do we take punitive measures to ensure that several lives are ruined unnecessarily? Forget the dogma. Get out of the "god" business. Be pragmatic. Allow the children to reduce the damages of their error--and pony up through your taxes. What a concept, eh wot?

    • Open Eyes
      November 15, 2011 - 20:07

      What do you mean "showing compassion for a real live young lady"? I car about her. I care also for her baby. Of course she made a mistake. And she made a bigger mistake by not getting help. If she has guilt, then she thinks that she did something wrong. What a shame. She got pregnant. That is not something to be ashamed of. Are you saying that it is shameful to get pregnant and that is why we need abortions? Getting pregnant is NOT shameful. And how do I suggest that we deal with the daddy? You say "Surely you have a punishment for him too". I never spoke of punishment. I am NOT about punishment. YOU ARE A FOOL.. Who cares about the God business. This is about the murder of a human. My taxes should not pay for post-screwing birth-control because my taxes should go for running the country.

    • Ann Wright
      November 16, 2011 - 02:52

      Ohmygawd, Open Eyes, you say you're not being punitive? Are you for real? May I respectfully suggest that you turn to science for some clear direction on the topic of abortion. That is precisely why I suggested that you get rid of this god "thingy"--I feel that it could be clouding your judgment. A fetus only has the POTENTIAL of developing into a human being who can survive (with considerable care) outside his or her mother's body. Thus one does not MURDER a fetus; one aborts it--hopefully in the first trimester before any attachments are made which would very likely prove undesirable or downright nasty in the long run. The best case scenario is to bring into the world only those children who are wanted by their parents. And even then, there is no guarantee that a child will be given an even break. Seven billion of us and counting. Yep, better to take care of those who have already made it into this too often cruel world. And remember, too, you can't miss "being" if you were never born. And maybe, just maybe, "those" are the lucky "ones.." Besides, it's no one's business if a woman feels it's best for her to have her fetus aborted. It is, afterall, a procedure which is offered to all women across Canada. But, because this girl is unfortunate enough to live in PEI, she must be denied? And that's not punitive? I advocate that one should base their decisions on knowledge and not some archaic belief system that is not grounded in science. One must learn to "keep up" as it were. Why not use your considerable energies and concentrate them on alleviating the suffering of those who have made it into this world and who are being subjected to unspeakable harm and deprivation. Forget what's going on in the uteruses of the nation and know that fetuses are incapable of caring about anything, including the whacky notion that they are viable human beings. It's interesting that you're concerned about your tax dollars going towards running the country. I'm curious, is it just abortion you don't want your taxes to go towards? What about building our military and more prisons? Are those initiatives worthy of your tax dollars? Do you have a problem with how government squanders money on initiatives which are detrimental to our society as a whole; e.g., the Alberta Tar Sands? . Do you think preemptive wars are a good thing to support; e.g., Libya. Do you think our tax dollars should go towards sending our troops where they don't belong to kill and to be killed--say anywhere in the Middle East? How about supporting with your tax dollars our collusion with the U.S. to have one of our own citizens tortured in Syria. How about mandatory sentencing using "three" (offenses) as the magic number? Do you approve of monies being spent primarily on retaliation over monies being used for purposes of prevention? I assume you are on each and all of these bandwagons indicating your disapproval. My, I certainly do hope so. Finally, as for you accusing me of believing pregnancy is shameful, how utterly ridiculous . Don't ascribe to me that which you proposed was the state of mind of this poor 14 year old youngster. However did you come up with such an idea even though you may unwittingly be correct? On the matter of abortion, you and I are in total disagreement. Perhaps down the road we may meet up again and find that we have found something upon which we CAN agree. Ever hopeful, that's me.

    • Open
      November 19, 2011 - 20:27

      Why do you keep telling me to drop the God thing? When did I ever give the impression that I believe in God?

  • Lori
    November 14, 2011 - 07:09

    Come on people, it is 2011.... Get with the times. This is a personal choice. Why force a child to have a child... that they are not ready for, and can't possibly take care of. Maybe that is why we see so many young mothers (babies themselves) with young children. Why do we not have abortion on PEI - the LAST province in Canada not to have it. Come on already - get with the times.

  • Danny
    November 14, 2011 - 06:46

    Nothing is ever planned to go right so when you think about it if abortion was around on PEI you might not be.....There's people out there that would love to hold a baby an raise is to be there own but they just can't...

  • extend the time
    November 14, 2011 - 06:21

    try this on for size ~~i believe abortion is murder and you don't ~~~just saying ! if you get pregnant and want to reverse ,cancel,or somehow negate the fact of the pregnancy why don't you advocate extending the time to do that up until TWO YEARS after you find out you were pregnant ? no????????????don't like that??????? what about 5 years ?????1 yr ?? 11 months ? 10 months ? 9 months ? 8 months /? 7 months ? 6 months ? 5 months ? 4 months ? 3 months ? 2 months ? feeling better yet ? 1 month ? 1 day ?

    • Lilly
      November 14, 2011 - 14:46

      If you believe abortion is murder, then don't get an abortion, and don't perform an abortion, and don't support doctors that perform abortions. But don't deny a woman with different beliefs the right to make a choice about her body

    • extend the time
      November 14, 2011 - 17:23

      keep abortion as well as the cost of abortion to yourself -murder is murder no matter who commits the crime and no matter how young the victim- i refuse to help fund a murder-do not expect my support or understanding --pay for the dirty deed with your own conscience

  • Ann Wright
    November 13, 2011 - 20:12

    While I doubt my comment will see the light of day here, I am still so furious with the mindset of this province that I feel compelled to express my feelings on the subject of abortion and why it is disallowed on the Island. I ache for that 14 year old--so, so sad. How dare any adult dictate to her, by withdrawing abortion services, that she see the pregnancy to term. That a doctor would be so cruel is unconscionable--absolutely unconscionable --hell, that any doctor believes in the fairy tale of a loving god says to me that such an individual is either an ignoramous or playing the role of a religious nutter in this ridiculously religious province. Religious people here would take issue with me--and I say to them that I find religion offensive to my sensibilities and good plain common sense. I gave up Santa Claus, the Easter Bunny and this demonic god who permits, allows, and watches over all the cruelty that exists on this planet. Instead of religious folk thinking so selfishly about their own eternal life with this so-called god, they might instead be more concerned with others who are in great pain and require our compassion and not our judgment. Give me a really religious person and I'll give you a really cruel one--but then why not, the god they worship demonstrates cruelty and of course they would want to emulate that mythic figure. I personally want no part of it. We have millions of unwanted children in this world and the vast majority of them are living miserable lives. What's so great about being brought into this world only to suffer immeasurably. For those docors in particular who would stand in judgment of those unfortunate women seeking an abortion, apox on you. You are a shameful--but then you don't have a problem burying YOUR mistakes--ah yes, there be no problem there. As for those doctors with a heart, some good common sense, and I dare say, guts, to put themselves on the line among the sanctimonious, I encourage you to take a stand and support your colleague, Dr. McQuarrie.

  • MB
    November 13, 2011 - 08:07

    Two humans beings make a choice (albeit a foolish one), and through their actions they have created a human being at the very beginning stage of life. At that moment two bodies now exist - and safest place for a human being is a human womb. At the very least, we are unable to determine whether that life is human or not, all arguments of choice become irrelevant, does choice alleviate moral responsibility? If you owned a building and planned to demolish it, and someone said their "might be" a human being inside, would you demolish it anyways? The very basic human right that exists for any person is the right to exist, all rights are not created equal - ownership of a human body at the beginning stages of life within a woman's body does not trump the right to life. Can we certainly say that a child "becomes a human being" when it takes it's first breath according to Canadian law? What is this based on - convenience? If a child in the womb IS a human, than abortion is one of the greatest human rights tragedies! The fact is, we simply do not know! Shame on us for not loving these young woman, not giving them the only real humane option - caring for them while they are pregnant, and making sure their child finds a home.

    • MLLAMP
      November 13, 2011 - 10:11

      I can see the human rights once the baby actually has a nervous system developed but I mean, what if a woman got pregnant after she'd been raped. Don't tell me that she isn't allowed to get an abortion because some people think that a few cells are already a human being. Any women that get pregnant and don't want a child in nine months as a right to get an abortion. Some (mostly teenagers) won't bother to be properly nourished during the pregnancy if they don't want to have a child.

    • Ann Wright
      November 13, 2011 - 20:17

      MB - Spare me, spare that 14 year old child, spare yourself and return to mind your very own business. That would be so welcomed.

  • Mike Wagner
    November 12, 2011 - 20:57

    I'm actually surprised and pleased at the number of comments in favor of women's rights. I expected more backlash against them in the comments than there actually was. We need the support that Planned Parenthood provides. Not only abortion services, but counseling, sex education, etc. If you want to decrease the numbers of abortions, education is the key, not imposing your will on a woman or child who does not want the pregnancy. It would be more accurate to phrase the "pro life" motto as "Life is sacred. From conception until natural birth. Then screw 'em."

  • CrazyTalk
    November 12, 2011 - 17:47

    Head shaker - I am afraid that you misunderstood what I wrote. I don't believe that "...killing ought to be a right if they would otherwise do something stupid that jeapordizes their own" lives - I assume you were going to say. What I said was "This is about a woman's right to control what happens to her body. And every other province in Canada recognizes that right. " Access to abortion is is available to women in all other province in Canada. Sorry to hear you don't have a family doctor - but that is not what we are talking about here.

  • Sick to my stomach
    November 12, 2011 - 17:33

    While i agree that abortion should not be used recklessly as a method of birth control, it should still be an option. We have enough unwanted children in the world. This girl is still a child, and we don't know the full story- maybe she was raped and was too embarrassed to talk about it, maybe her parents are religious zealots and she was afraid to talk to them about it- maybe a condom was used but broke or slipped off? Who is the father and why is he not somewhat to blame? Why is this child expected to make adult decisions just because she chose to have sex (or was pressured to) ? And to those that begrudge paying for abortions with their taxes, consider the burden that unwanted children have on our health care system, foster care and justice system, or even just social services. Do we not have enough people in this world already that we can't just focus on bettering the quality of life of the already born rather than worrying about the unborn?

  • Keep an open mind...
    November 12, 2011 - 10:22

    I think it is important to realize that with abortion being made available come other services. Most planned parenthood clinics provide people with birthcontrol, pap tests, pregnancy tests, and councelling to help women. If PEI brought in abortion it would come with a long list of other resources. I have spoken to women who have considered abortion and gone to the clinic, spoken to a trained professional and made an informed decission. Mistakes happen - people keep saying "use a condom" but condoms are 82% effective. Sex is not always a choice, lets keep that in mind. And finally some people, who get pregnant are not in a position to be. The young woman who subjected herself to all that self harm could have killed herself as well...is that worth it? Her life matters as well. With a more forward thinking system in PEI these women could get the right help and information. At the end of the day PEI is very backwards. There are some wonderful people here but they are so far behind other parts of the country and the world. I am shocked on a daily basis at the attitudes of some islanders. It's time for this beautiful province to listen to all their people, including those who are not stuck in the past.

  • Wake up people..
    November 12, 2011 - 07:39

    For all of these people complaining that we do not have an abortion clinic they may as well start complaining about all of the other medical services we don't have on Prince Edward Island. If we get an abortion clinic why not build a children's hospital similar to the IWK why were at it. Truth is if people have not already noticed Prince Edward Island is a small province. Therefore we do not have the funding to spend money on everything necessary. Many Islanders face having to travel across the bridge for different medical reasons that i believe are a lot more valid then killing an innocent baby. If you feel the need to have an abortion services are available close by its not like the government is asking you to fly to Alberta! There are lots of people that have no problem traveling across for a concert or to go shopping so why is crossing the bridge for an abortion any different. In Addition this comment is for Hagan. Do you wish your child was never born? Would you like to murder them now?

    • laura
      November 12, 2011 - 12:36

      travelling to acess medical treatment takes time and money. for many people, financial reasons are the reasons they're seeking abortions in the first place: being a parent and being pregnant takes A LOT of money and time. pei may be a small province, but abortion is a very common procedure, and claiming that the province shouldn't provide abortion access just because there are other medical services people have to travel for is a very childish argument.

    • Free Country
      November 12, 2011 - 13:35

      For wake up people............ There has been a doctor here already to make such a thing happen. Close as we could come to an IWK here. But ya know what? The system is so screwed here that this Doctor left and had to pay X amount of dollars to break the deal. Maybe if our system wasn't so backwards and arse up we would have the Dr's here and stay here for these purposes!

  • Marie
    November 12, 2011 - 07:25

    Isn't abortion all about acting irresponsibly in the first place? And if irresposible behaviors were already in place, doesn't a disposable baby come next. Murder is however murder. I don't condone the doctors' lack of assistance but certainly understand his morals.

    • laura
      November 12, 2011 - 12:29

      marie, often abortion is a very responsible choice. when a person isn't ready to be a parent or be pregnant (due to financial, physical, mental, etc. reasons) then ending the pregnancy is very logical and responsible. i'm not sure how you can understand a doctor's morals when they include misleading people and refusing legal, safe medical treatment.

    • mcccccc
      November 12, 2011 - 16:08

      Murder most definitely is murder. Thankfully, having an abortion is something completely different when you don't let archaic religious fairy tales do your thinking for you. A cluster of cells isn't a baby, and an abortion isn't a murder, just like a teen firing one off down the shower drain isn't mass murder.

  • Tony Reddin
    November 11, 2011 - 22:28

    good wishes to these brave organizers- equal access to health care for Island women has been a long time coming, but it's now within sight. Next target will be to get innovative, cost-effective and collaborative models of preventive medicine and family physician practice on PEI- see https://www.facebook.com/pages/The-Island-Health-and-Patient-Advocacy-Association/112235538863124?sk=info

  • IN DISBELIEF
    November 11, 2011 - 21:59

    I am honestly shocked and appalled by the fact that people so ignorant and misinformed can still exist and actually think that they have a right to tell me what I CAN and CANNOT do to my OWN body? And the government, healthcare, doctors just add to the ignorance. There is no battle to be fought, whether pro-life or pro-choice. We have already won. Canada already decided. You don't believe in abortion? Don't have one. Its MY choice, not any one else's. I deserve the same rights and access to healthcare as any other woman in this country.

  • Sarah
    November 11, 2011 - 21:21

    Abortion is for everyone, it is our right, it is not just for people who have been raped or for women who are careless and fail to use protection, it is for everyone. It is for people like me who never for one second of there life have ever wanted a child, it is for people that practice safe sex and have it fail, it is for anyone for any number of reason and unless it is you having to deal with this situation, it is none of your business. I have had an abortion, I got pregnant while on the pill and using a condom! I not a dirty person I am in love, but that doesn't change the fact that I don't want children. And for the people who don't want their tax dollars going towards abortions I would just like to say that since I am never having kids I would prefer if my tax dollars did not go towards your children's education, maternity leave, children's tax benefits etc. You are not the only people paying for something you don't believe in.

  • no thanks
    November 11, 2011 - 20:14

    a pregnant woman represents two or more persons in one body - i don't care if the year is 2525 ,murder is still murder - if you are pregnant you have a responsibility to the child and government already has lots of money available for that child if the expectant mother needs it - why should government pay to have it killed --

    • laura
      November 12, 2011 - 12:47

      i'm curious as to what exactly you consider to be "lots of money available" for expectant mothers. and what about the 18 years when that mother is responsible for that child? children cost A LOT of money. being pregnant costs a lot of money. you're right, murder is murder...and abortion is NOT murder.

    • no thanks
      November 12, 2011 - 19:38

      wow !! in the next comment Laura explains this in terms of 18 years of money --not murder -just some way to protect your standard of living -- just a MERCY KILLING --wow

  • PEI Woman
    November 11, 2011 - 19:33

    While I personally would not have an abortion , I have also never been in a position where I have felt that it was necessary. I also don't think I have any right to tell any other woman what is right for her. Every woman should be given all her options and all the information available so she can make a clear, conscious decision.

  • Free Country
    November 11, 2011 - 16:49

    I'm sure all of you that are saying that abortion is wrong, have not even come close to the situation. And its not always "young" girls that want or have abortions. You cant assume any of this is easy to do. Some times believe it or not girls get raped! Was that really their decision to say "oh hey wait, can you wear a condom please?" What kind of world are you all living in? Not the real world where things like this happen. I'm not saying this is the case all the time but when it is, why can't there be something on PEI for these girls? And really, women, if this happen to you, would you really want to carry that child inside you each day, reliving that rape nightmare? Just to give it away when its born? Have any of you just gave away a child after you delivered it? Ya think its an easy thing? If you have children I'm sure you would agree with me, saying it would not be easy. Your all saying like it would be the same as eating supper. I think you should keep em closed unless you have actually been in this situation! Typical judgmental Islanders.

    • I suspect
      November 11, 2011 - 22:52

      i suspect the main reason for abortion is not rape. also there is no one stopping anyone from getting one. if all medical treatments that were not illegal we're mandated to be available on PEI where would the money come from and where would you find the doctors. I find it sad that I have to leave PEI to see a good neurologist or heart surgeon, but it is unacceptable not to have free anonymous abortions available within a few minute can ride. A woman may have a right to decide the fate of her own body, but she doesn't have the right to have it supersede others rights to live.

    • mdot
      November 12, 2011 - 01:43

      Ladies, I am proud to call you sisters! You are standing up for the women to come, this is so important! Access NOW to Abortion rights on Pei. Access NOW to free and host information from our health care providers Access NOW and Shame on the island Government for keeping our Access to health! Thursday Stand for Women s right to Choice.

  • InLoveWithAnIslander
    November 11, 2011 - 16:35

    Wow. That is all I can say. How dare the PEI health minister, who will never be in a situation himself where an abortion is possible, let alone necessary, shake his head when confronted with evidence from the University, as well a women's groups (Women, you know, those people for whom abortion is a reality) shrug, and refuse to even look into the policies. In response to those who think Adoption is a viable option for all of the offspring potentially created by situations where Abortion is not available; Have you seen the vast number of children in Canada's foster care system? Do you know what it is like for most of these children, some of whom will never have forever families? On top of that, what do you think a teen pregnancy does to a high school student, or a junior high school student like the one featured in the article. One bad decision should not be a life sentence for a teenager, and the child that results from that bad decision. The doctors who refuse to properly see their patients, and provide them with adequate care up to and including a reference to a clinic that will provide an abortion procedure should be charged with murder when Teens who are trying to rid themselves of an unwanted pregnancy accidentally die while drinking bleach, or getting drunk and throwing themselves down the stairs.

  • Future Advancement
    November 11, 2011 - 15:49

    why must our beautiful province be soooooo slow at advancing in everything including peoples rights. today is a day to remember those who fought for FREEDOM, not for a group of individuals to tell us what is right and wrong based on their OWN opinions. The rest of Canada is clearly smart enough to give us our proper rights, why can't we do the same. Time and time again PEI is on national news for things like this and the rest of North America sits backs and laughs at our tiny province for how backward our small population and leaders continue to be

  • Canadian first
    November 11, 2011 - 15:06

    It was only a short time ago Islanders were given the green light to shop on Sundays!!! The last place in the world. Isn't that haha funny? And now Islanders are the last province to get aid (monetary, listening, etc) in the abortion department.. Isn't that haha funny. The men don't want it, and the women who live to please the men, rule. Isn't that haha funny? And the men are allowed and ignorantly, arrogant enough to publicly deliver this message to EVERY ONE of us. . Isn't that haha funny? And then there is a powerful God and Church under which this message is safely theirs. S.U.F.F.O.C.A.T.I.N.G. If they ever come out of the woods, they will think the Flintstones is a documentary. So relax and laugh, isn't it quite a comedy performance. By the way, how were all these young soldiers saving the world ..... they were sent out to kill, at a very young age too. Before women were even allowed to join the forces. Lotsa killin' going on in this world people. So shut up, and make 'equality and fairness' the focus....oh, but, shit, that's right, it would mean giving up dominance and power. Oh, sorry, stupid thought!! haha, isn't it funny?

  • Yeah
    November 11, 2011 - 14:55

    Okay hats with all these comments saying that women should be charged with murder of they get an abortion. I don't think it's exactly right to get an abortion but you have to take into consideration what exactly these women went through in order to insider have an abortion. We have so many other options that you don't have to keep the baby if yu have it. Youcan put it up for adoption even before te baby is born. Yes getting an abortion is wrong because you are taking away an innocent life but it's YOUR decision, it's YOUR body and witty he way society is today if you're pregnant you looked down on as if your lower than dirt. One of the girls at my school got pregnant an she kept the baby she considered abortion at one point I think but she didn't want to kill her child. Then I think she considered adoption but in the end she kept the baby and she loves him with all her heart and is still going to school. I don't know I her boyfriend is helping her out with the money, but he stayed with her. Now if you just getting an abortion because you think people are going to make fun of you then that's not a good reason they will make fun at first whisper mean things be total bitches but once you admit it and keep your head up high they won't care anymore. In the end it's the woman's choice bit she should be free I make it.

  • Blown away by these comments
    November 11, 2011 - 14:38

    Men's health: "these women should be stoned to death'!!!!!!!! And you're against abortion? These attitudes are terrifying, not unlike the mindset that set arson to a home with two gay men inside last year in Little Pond. Under the Anne of Green Gables exterior, this can be a scary little place. Thank you for your courage to the women in this story.

  • Country Girl
    November 11, 2011 - 13:49

    This is absolutely disturbing!!! In this day and age there is absolutely no need to become pregnant in the first place!!! On this, Remembrance Day...our veterans are honored because of the sacrifices made for our freedom to live!!! Abortions are the easy way out for people who are careless! I'm sorry but if they are old enough to have sex they should be old enough to pay the price...take some responsibilities for their actions, don't make the poor unborn baby suffer. There are so many good people that would give up anything to have a child!

    • elizabeth
      November 11, 2011 - 14:41

      Im sorry but thats rediculous. A Child, a human being, should not be seen as a disciplinary measure. If a person does not want to have a baby, the person should not. Unwanted children are unhappy children. Period.

    • Suffering
      November 11, 2011 - 15:22

      Country girl, When you say "don't make the poor unborn baby suffer.", are you thinking of the life-long consequences for that baby? Perhaps the baby is born to a 14yr. old mother who can't afford and doesn't want to raise it. What do you think is more humane: bringing the child into the world destined to a life of emotional pain, or terminating that life before it can feel the shittiness of bad parenting?

    • crazytalk
      November 11, 2011 - 17:02

      There are all kinds of people out there who were born in spite of the use of contraceptives. They fail. That is a fact of life. This is not about what makes you feel good or otherwise. This is about a woman's right to control what happens to her body. And every other province in Canada recognizes that right. The legislators on PEI have never had the courage or the inclination to stand up and the doctors on PEI seem to have a god complex. And you - people who would beat a desperate woman with your opinions and hateful words - you support this patriarchal system that forces her to measures that may risk her life. So have your opinions that is fine - but you have no right to force them on others. Walk a mile in her shoes before you pass judgement!

    • but what did I expect
      November 11, 2011 - 19:46

      With a name like Country Girl, why would I ever expect you to be progressive, intelligent or in favor of human rights? You can stay in the country way of life while we go to the 21st century

    • oceanna
      November 12, 2011 - 07:49

      Country Girl, you are referring to all the unwanted pregnancies as consentual sex. Did you ever consider the fact that maybe the unwanted pregnancy is a result of unconsentual sex? Also, if this is so, or for other reasons the pregnancy is unwanted, if the mother is unable to stay healthy during the pregnancy, should she not have the choice as other women in Canada have? Abortion is not against the law, just not provided in our province. I made the choice 33 years ago to keep my child and I had the support of my family to nurture my child, go back to school, get an education. Unfortunately, its not a perfect world for some young mothers out there. It sounds to me as though many who are against abortion, require more education as to why people seek to have abortions and to understand that a person's mental health may be jeopordized. People tend to be very judgemental on PEI. Whether a young mother keeps her baby, gives it up for adoption or has an abortion, it is a decision she has to live with for the rest of her life.

    • Head shaker
      November 12, 2011 - 08:05

      a couple of points. Elizabeth and Suffering seem to be saying that children are better off dead than having unhappy parents. Crazytalk seems to believe that killing should be a right if they would otherwise do something stupid that jeapordizes their own, and then But what did I expect has no valid point other than that they are an uneducated bigot. Abortions ARE legal here, but we don't have enough doctors to offer every legal procedure. I'd rather see more radiologists or heart specialists.

  • IT'S A WOMANS CHOICE
    November 11, 2011 - 12:42

    tRe:DONALD MACPHEE...Your twisted rhetoric is exaclty what's wrong with the vast majority of pro lifers.All women who abort a fetus should be charged with murder ! Are you serious ? PEI is the only province in Canada where women can not get an abortion from a doctor...is the rest of the country wrong ? I suppose you're one of these self appointed "Christians" as well,yet you wish all women who through their own choice abort a fetus "nightmares" & "guilt ".You are a complete & utter hypocrite & you have set your pro life cause back 50 years.As a man, I consider myself a Christian & I wish nothing but professional help,understanding & compassion to the young lady in the featured article & all women who must make this difficult choice.How dare you pass on this kind of judgement.

  • Greeneyed Monster
    November 11, 2011 - 12:39

    SHOCKINGLY ABSURD, Our Veterans also fought so that you have the privilege to voice that ridiculous rant about your god having domain over my body. Free will ! I'll fight for that !

  • Reality
    November 11, 2011 - 11:44

    I suggest you have to deal with your own actions. If you become preganant than that just gives you more of a push to succeed even thought it will be tough. In the end it will make you stronger. I don't agree in paying for abortions for someone who just slept around carelessly. And what about the father.....does he not get a say, it is after all his child too.......

  • Islander
    November 11, 2011 - 11:29

    I find it ironic that Sharon Labchuk is going on about women's rights and low income women harming themselves and is all for abortion but when it comes to a seal hunt she is dead set against it and does not care about the Aboriginals and fishermen who depend on the hunt for an income....priorities ?!?!

  • Mens Rights
    November 11, 2011 - 10:46

    The women in this group should be stoned to death. The Government will pay for the abortion, if signed by two doctors. This is more than fair. If it is life threatening, then clearly the government should pay, otherwise, why should they pay because an immature woman makes a wrong choice? If they do change their law, if I get a girl pregnant, and don't want the baby, will the government force abortion upon the mother? No. When a man complains about not wanting to have a kid, people are quick to judge. They say "You should have wrapped it up!" When a woman complains about not wanting a baby, everybody feels bad for her. Sick sick world we live in. These lobbyists should be ashamed.

    • Supportive
      November 11, 2011 - 17:23

      Kandace Hagan you are one courageous woman! You have the support of many women who have been through the same thing, including myself. I have always been mystified by people who fight for the rights of a fetus by trampling on my right to control what happens to and through my body. I am not simply a vessel through which to bear children, but a thinking, feeling and emotional human being with needs. If I cannot fulfil even my own needs, how do all of these people fighting for my fetus hope to care for it once it is born? Or will they be done controlling my choices then? Women who seek abortions are not heartless and cruel, they are courageous and responsible. Compassionate human beings are supportive in a time of someone else's anguish, and making the decision to have an abortion is never easy. On Remembrance Day, lest we forget that among all of our other rights and freedoms, freedom of choice - including access to safe abortions, is one that our fallen soldiers died to give us. Providing abortion services on PEI would be a perfect way to honour them.

  • GUILT
    November 11, 2011 - 10:42

    i wonder what the unborn baby thinks of the death sentence so casually delivered by many of you??????? Why would anyone choose to live in guilt ,regret, selfishness or denial for the rest of their life because of a decision to end someone elses" life ??? as the years go by ,i hope people put more value on the stages of life -- not less !! what's next ,killing everyone over 45?

    • Luna Baby
      November 14, 2011 - 13:25

      GUILT, the "unborn baby" doesn't think anything. It has no brain.

    • Luna Baby
      November 14, 2011 - 13:34

      GUILT, the "unborn baby" doesn't think anything. It has no brain.

    • guilt
      November 14, 2011 - 19:11

      no brain you say -- therefore it is ok with you to kill any one with no brain ? the spirit of the unborn child will think --don't kid yourself

  • Curious
    November 11, 2011 - 10:30

    Just wondering - can a 14 year old child get an abortion without a parent's knowledge? If not, then she probably wouldn't have accessed an abortion clinic if there was one here anyway. Sounds like she didn't want her parents to find out. In my opinion abortions are to be legal and provided for people who need them, and Halifax and Fredericton are close enough and not really that big of a deal to travel over in a day. We have other services that are much more needed in PEI. When we have them, only then will I support a clinic here.

  • Babs
    November 11, 2011 - 10:26

    This is a hot topic that is always going to be controversial because people feel so strongly about it one way or the other. When a woman or a girl finds themselves in an unwanted pregnancy, there is no easy way out. All options are tough, whether it be abortion, keeping the baby, or giving the baby up for adoption. What people need to understand is that not everyone is going to feel the same way you do. Some women are tramatized after an abortion, others are not. It's not a one size fits all. I understand that many of you have commented on how biased this article is, but I personally think it's an article that has been a long time coming. Numerous times I have read The Guardian reading letters to the editor on how abortion is wrong because of God this, or Jesus that. I have noticed that many of these are written by men, who do have the right to voice their opinions but have actually never physically been pregnant, so would not have c lue what is it like, and how frightening it is, to feel alone, and have little support from the community. As a woman, I have obverved several friends of mine with unplanned pregnancies and how they dealt with the matter. Many who stated before that abortion was wrong now state that they believe that it is up to the woman. Ultimately, it is up to the woman. She is the one that has to deal with being or not being pregnant. Prolifers like to constantly state what about the baby? What about the baby? Well, what about the woman? What about the man who got her pregnant who left her, or rape her, or doesn't give a damn? What about the doctors who won't give the correct information on how to go about getting an abortion? What about the people who look down on a woman for going through that, are often the same people who look down on the young, single mothers who are struggling. What about the women and girls who are so desperate that they (like the 14 year old girl in this article) take it upon themselves, or go to a backstreet abortion. There should be a proper abortion clinic on PEI period. And there needs to be compassion and understanding from all sides. Many who say that they will help you out if you stay pregnant don't. And lastly, if you don't believe in abortion.....don't get one!

  • Very Sad Ottawa Girl
    November 11, 2011 - 10:25

    I personally am a child that "should have" been aborted, my mother was a teen, to this day does not have a maternal bone in her body and is a drug addict. Luckily for her she had an incredibly loving and supportive family and I was raised by my aunt and uncle. For this reason I myself could never have an abortion and would never be able to look past the fact that a life has been created and no matter how early terminated it is still ending a life. I however am PRO-CHOICE for this exact story. Yes, it is tragic that some women do not feel they have a choice, and they may not have a great support system in their life. I do not think it is up to the government to force a full term pregnancy nor the trauma of having to live the rest of their lives knowing there is their child out there living a life they do not know. Yes they might regret their choice, or may be unable to have children in the future but it is their choice to make, and women who do not have this choice will find a way to terminate their pregnancy one way or another I think a government who cares for its people will not allow them to go to extreme measures and risk their own lives. If a woman wants to terminate her pregnancy it is going to happen with or without government aid, but at least in a hospital she has the opportunity to continue her own life.

  • IT'S A WOMANS CHOICE
    November 11, 2011 - 10:02

    What a great opportunity for all you bible thumpers & religious zealots to force your ideals on the rest of us.There is nothing more annoying than the know-it-all religious freak who feels the need to shove their beliefs in your face when ever possible.You're the same ones who come to MY door wanting to come into MY house & talk about YOUR religious beliefs,usually just at dinner time.Give me the address of your house of worship & IF I want,I will drop by. ...and to MACHEL,I noticed you did not let the rest of us in on where your ivory tower is located.After slamming the entire Island & painting all of us with the same hateful brush the least you could do is let us know where YOU live.Your nasty,convoluted post leaves me puzzled as to what side of the fence you support ?

  • UGH
    November 11, 2011 - 09:57

    I wish that the people commenting here would actually read the article, they are asking for better resources for those wishing to go the route of abortion. This is not a pro life or pro abortion issue, they want doctors to provide their patients with a complete set of their options, giving them a chance to make an informed decision on how to proceed with their pregnancy, the same way a cancer patient would like to know all of their options when they are diagnosed, or any other type of medical treatment that a doctor would provide information on. Also for those complaining about their tax dollars going toward taking a life, again read the article, abortions are already funded by the government, as there is no clinic here on the island. Honestly people I realize when it says abortion in the headline everyone gets all up in arms but please read further and see what these women have encountered before you start commenting with your pro life, a baby is a life comments.

  • UGH
    November 11, 2011 - 09:55

    I wish that the people commenting here would actually read the article, they are asking for better resources for those wishing to go the route of abortion. This is not a pro life or pro abortion issue, they want doctors to provide their patients with a complete set of their options, giving them a chance to make an informed decision on how to proceed with their pregnancy, the same way a cancer patient would like to know all of their options when they are diagnosed, or any other type of medical treatment that a doctor would provide information on. Also for those complaining about their tax dollars going toward taking a life, again read the article, abortions are already funded by the government, as there is no clinic here on the island. Honestly people I realize when it says abortion in the headline everyone gets all up in arms but please read further and see what these women have encountered before you start commenting with your pro life, a baby is a life comments.

  • L
    November 11, 2011 - 09:53

    This story hits me on so many levels. When I was a teenager I had to have a street abortion in Ontario because of a rape. I couldn't tell anyone. It was a devastating experience. And it has affected me my whole life. I never could have children later in life. That this 14 yr old was having consensual sex, I presume, and had no safe adult role model to speak to about her pregnancy is absolutely reprehensible. She needed to speak calmly and rationally about all her options. Obviously abortion would not be one of them right now unless she could have got herself over to a private clinic (with all the necessary pre-tests). But a good counsellor would have involved one of her parents...that probably would have scared the heck out of her because she was having sex most likely without their knowledge. Whose responsibility is that? I see so many young teens acting out sexually--"hooking up". Do the parents think their babies are doing this? Are they talking to their kids? Women's Sexual Health clinics are badly needly for all ages!!! I DO NOT AGREE that abortions should be used as a type of contraceptive for irresponsible women having sex without protection. And I have know more than a handful of adult women who use them that way and give it no thought. Their disrespect for their own bodies is awful. But that doesn't mean all abortions should be banned. It means that there needs to be a lot of safe, comfortable, non-judgemental education for all women who seek answers to unwanted pregnancies for whatever reason. I see abortion as the last option, but it is not my place to say no. Nor is it anyone else's. These clinics should make it mandatory to do follow up on abortions to ensure mental health issues are taken care of (there are ways to persuade a woman to go back). In the end we live in Canada and by law abortions are legal. What Prince Edward Island is doing, by putting up barriers to creating a Women's Sexual Health clinic that offers everything from full education to the last option of abortion, is making women second class health citizens. In PEI A man's sexuality is fully under his control. In PEI a woman's sexuality is not... because we are the carriers of progeny. To finish...this is a huge, complex issue with many, many sides and opinions. No matter where you fall on the continuum, I think it is important and timely that this discussion happens....not just for 14 yr olds but for ALL women.

  • BioChoice
    November 11, 2011 - 09:49

    The province already pays for it- this is not a financial issue, it's an accessibility one. "Difficulty carrying children to full term when a planned pregnancy happens" is a myth. Statistically less than 1% of women who have abortions have trouble carrying a pregnancy to term should they choose to become pregnant. I think it's disgusting that people would want to force another woman to carry a child to term so they can take it. I'm pretty sure that was an episode on Criminal Minds.

  • Pro-lifers discriminate
    November 11, 2011 - 09:48

    The abortion procedure certainly is drawing lots of comments,as it did 20 years ago.........except this time the tide is changing the ...pro-lifers and others driven by Christian values are no longer in the majority..islanders now are not the culture they were the last 50 years...religion 's influence in our "CULTURE" has dropped signifigantly........it is easy to be Black and White when you are presenting YOUR beliefs..and imposing them on the majority who YOU think should have no say in the issue......almost like SHARIA law....Today most free thinking islanders want access to a medical procedure that every other Canadian can get,it is denying services to 51% of our population!!..How naive are you that you think human beings will not be sexually active....not pro-create and practice abstinence.....Life is not that simple......... Althought everyone has access to birth control...not everyone uses it(just like seatbelts)...or are afraid to because of outdated and rediculous relegous doctrine.......If your pro-life that's your business...if your pro-choice no one has the right to tell you you can not have access..........STOP practicing religious discrimination... stop being relegious BULLY"s............young women like Ms HOGAN are equal members of this society and have a right to make this demand.....and have a right to decide their own destiny .....I admire her courage...............TIMES HAVE CHANGED

  • NOT WITH MY MONEY
    November 11, 2011 - 09:43

    Let me get this right ... these young women, who are adamant that they have the right to control "their" body (with or without the baby inside) ... CHOOSE to have sex and then want the taxpayer to pay the costs to kill that baby?? Maybe the choice should be to act more responsibly with your body and not ask others to bear responsibility for YOUR choices ... When I see Valerie Doherty on TV saying that we may not have the taxpayer money to help the Salvation Army provide home heating assistance .. When we don't have the money to help cancer patients purchase expensive drugs .. With only so much Government money to allocate, I know where I want my taxpayer dollars to go ... And it's not to pay for abortions for these people!!

    • Wallace Cameron
      November 11, 2011 - 11:09

      So then Not With My Money, to carry your comment further then you would have no trouble forcing smokers who have lung cancer to pay for their own medical care, maybe people who ate a lot of smoked meat and have bowel cancer should be forced to pay for their own medical care. What about treatment for alcoholics and drug addicts and since I am not a church goer and do not believe in God why should my tax dollars go to support religion in the form of tax breaks? What about government help (albeit not very much) to help problem gamblers who have spent all their money on machines or buying lottery tickets. When you deny one group in society necessary medical care it is very easy to deny another group whom you deem not worthy.

  • Supportive
    November 11, 2011 - 09:37

    Women like Kandace Hagen offer a lot to our society. They are strong willed, vocal, educated and are not afraid to discuss or express their views and take into consideration others on taboo topics. To all of those who make the comments about using a condom or taking birth control... They are not 100% I can name 7 cases of women I know that have conceived on birth control or experienced a broken condom, I am one of them. Presenting the question... what if you were raped and became pregnant, would you want to keep the baby? I personally could not go through that. Each man and woman have their own bodies and have a RIGHT to make decisions on their own bodies from tattoos, piercings, dying their hair, botox, dieting, exercising, and including abortions. Then you say that the fetus doesn't have a say in the procedure, does a child have a say when their parents chose their religion? pierce an infants ears? refuse immunizations? There is nothing wrong with respecting peoples decisions while fostering your own. Knowledge and understand are key. Congrats to Kandace and her support team for being strong individuals and following their beliefs on equal rights for all Canadians.

  • Concerned
    November 11, 2011 - 09:29

    I cannot believe the "logic" of this article. On the front page of "The Guardian" website, we see a Remembrance day article, honoring those who fought in the war to save lives. And then right below it we have a article advocating for killing our babies. This is unbelievable to me. The argument that says, "oh, look our young pregnant girls are injuring themselves trying to kill their babies, instead of injuring themselves, why don't we provide the means to kill babies instead? "this thinking blows my mind, to think that people could be so deceived to think that this makes sense. To you "pro-choicer’s" out there, i say, when someone has sex, there is always the risk to be pregnant, if you don't want to be pregnant then don't have sex, this is our choice. If you do and you do not want to keep your baby, the least you could do is give the baby up for adoption. This baby was created by God, he/she belongs to God. You did not create this life, and therefore do not have the right to end this life. What we should be doing instead of advocating for abortion, is teaching young pregnant woman about the importance and value of Life, honoring life, teaching them about self-respect, and respect for others. Allowing them the option of adoption, if they so choose.

  • Head shaker
    November 11, 2011 - 09:28

    i have no access to a family doctor and I am supposed to be outraged at the fact that some people need to travel to see a specialist because they don't know where babies come from?

  • Stella Walsh
    November 11, 2011 - 09:21

    A lot of fear and judging, the laws will eventually have to change, whether some Islanders like it or not, the one problem with having a Pro -Choice on the Island is you would have to keep that to yourself as I am sure a lot of Islanders do, otherwise you are Judged, I say "Judge and be Judged"

  • donald mac phee
    November 11, 2011 - 09:07

    any one who gets an abortion should be charged with murder .after all you are killing a baby to be .if this baby to be could speak for it self it would probily say please mommey do not do this to me please. so now do you feel guilty .if not you should .nightmares to all and a guilty feeling .to all

    • Yippee
      November 12, 2011 - 01:43

      You've got mental issues....those are covered and available and with less stigma attached on the precious Island....have at er!!!

  • SORT-OF INTELLIGENT LIFE
    November 11, 2011 - 09:07

    To Pro Life Islander--you can't have things both ways. You describe sex as a "dirty act", yet the consequence of this so-called nastiness is "LIFE!". And it is clear that LIFE, in the form of wee babes, is valuable to you, and as you are able to empathize, it is valuable to those women/couples who are unable to produce LIFE. So when is sex not a "dirty act"? When it does not produce LIFE? I understand and accept a person's right to have the opinion that life begins at conception. But unfortunately, you have undermined your argument, and perhaps some points worth debating, by showing your true hand--your issue, as you have written, seems not so much to be with abortion as it is with a Quaker view of sexual intercourse. Shame, you did have some points that could have been discussed.

  • DD
    November 11, 2011 - 08:55

    If you end up pregnant there are a lot of choices other than abortion. There are thousands (if not more) couples out there who would give their lives to have a baby and yet we have these people throwing these lives away. It is just sad. These people say a woman should be able to have a say in what goes on with her body?? Who has a say on what happens on this poor baby's life....... No matter what you think of that life growing inside of you - it IS A LIFE! and nobody should be able to terminate a life but God or else I would consider it murder.

    • very uninformed
      November 11, 2011 - 12:19

      Actually DD, there are already thousands and thousands and thousands of Canadian children waiting to be adopted. I can never understand why people like you are so concerned about a fetus before its born and yet do nothing to support neglected children currently without love or families. Plus this article is not about you and what you consider, its about Island women having the same access to a legal medical procedure as all other Canadian women.

  • This article is shockingly absurd
    November 11, 2011 - 08:53

    I cannot believe the "logic" of this article. On the front page of "The Guardian" website, we see a Remembrance day article, honoring those who fought in the war to save lives. And then right below it we have a article advocating for killing our babies. This is unbelievable to me. The argument that says, "oh, look our young pregnant girls are injuring themselves trying to kill their babies, instead of injuring themselves, why don't we provide the means to kill babies instead? "this thinking blows my mind, to think that people could be so deceived to think that this makes sense. To you "pro-choicer’s" out there, i say, when someone has sex, there is always the risk to be pregnant, if you don't want to be pregnant then don't have sex, this is our choice. If you do and you do not want to keep your baby, the least you could do is give the baby up for adoption. This baby was created by God, he/she belongs to God. You did not create this life, and therefore do not have the right to end this life. What we should be doing instead of advocating for abortion, is teaching young pregnant woman about the importance and value of Life, honoring life, teaching them about self-respect, and respect for others. Allowing them the option of adoption, if they so choose.

    • old-style thinking, renewed oppression.
      November 11, 2011 - 12:54

      Dear Pro-Lifers, you advocate to keep the babies, but what about once the baby is born? Where is your advocacy for the kids who kill themselves because your religious dogma tells them they are "dirty," "sinful," and "evil."? Pro-lifers don't care about our children, they just care about controlling the people who make them.

  • Tracey B
    November 11, 2011 - 08:49

    I know girl who asked me to hit her stomach, (I didn't) and she used tooth brushes and knitting hooks, to get rid of her baby! She finally did it, but was so sad to know she had no other way to get rid of a baby she did not want nor carry! I am not for or against abortion, but I do believe in a righ to choose if you want or is ready for a baby.

    • FormerIslander
      November 11, 2011 - 12:19

      The issue here is not whether or not abortions are ethical or if taxpayers should pay, that's already been decided. The real issue is that a province is denying women of a choice that all other Canadian women have. This is why so many young people leave the island; because people are stuck in a patriarchal society where women are put down and men make all the decisions. I dare health minister Doug Currie to wear an empathy suit for a month, he'll has no ovaries and no say in women's reproductive choices as far as I'm concerned! WOMEN'S RIGHTS NOW! PEI IN THE 21st CENTURY NOW!

  • speedy
    November 11, 2011 - 08:48

    To Pro Life Islander, I quote you. "If you don't want to have a baby perhaps you should not be doing the dirty act in the first place" I am the proud father of six children, fifteen grand children and four great grand children all from from this, as you say dirty act, Wow! we do not need people like you, trying to influence our youth re abortion or adoption. For all you people who really want to find a solution to this issue, it is time to act. Let us as a people try and find a solution on Prince Edward Island and not add to the problem by saying we are a people born out of a dirty act.

  • mike
    November 11, 2011 - 08:48

    I don't agree with abortion but there are times when it needs to be done. for medical reasons and also if rape was involved. However i believe that if you have sex even with protection and you end up pregnant then you should have the child and if you can not raise the child then adoption is always an option.

    • Laura
      November 12, 2011 - 13:00

      well isn't that nice of you to provide us poor, lowly women with exceptions for when we should be allowed to have control over what happens to our bodies (ie when our control has already been taken away through rape or medical reasons)). adoption is an alternative to parenting, not pregnacy. some people do not want to be pregnant. some people can't afford to be pregnant. some people can't handle being pregnant (mentally, physically, etc.). get off your high, righteous horse, please and let pregnant people make their own decisions.

  • Think About It
    November 11, 2011 - 08:39

    Of all the comments, Thaddeus Sholto's comment is the best. She says it the way it is with compassion and understanding. To the others with there holier than thou attitudes, sex is not a dirty act. It's attitudes like yours that cause problems. Give your head a shake and get with the times.

  • Cindy
    November 11, 2011 - 08:38

    Thank you Dr. Macquarie and Kandace for sharing your experiences and stories. QEH has the equipment and has the resources so why shouldn't we provide this service? Cheaper for taxpayers than paying child tax credit, welfare and perhaps justice system down te line

  • george acorn
    November 11, 2011 - 08:33

    I just think that the governement should help people have babies not get rid of them. Coming from first hand experience with having trouble having a baby and trying for almost 2 years to have a baby . i can say i what a bleesing it is to see a child born .going through that i have met and talked to alot of others islanders who went through the same thing and alot of them cant have kids and talk about abortion just turns my stomach there is other options out there

  • PRO
    November 11, 2011 - 08:32

    This article is terribly one sided. Nowhere does it states the long term effects for those who are considering abortion. To name a few : Difficulty carrying children to full term when a planned pregnancy happens if you are ever able to carry a child again, clinical depression, death, infection, and the list goes on. I was one of those teenagers out of wedlock who had a child and in no way shape or form was I going to do anything about that pregnancy. People said that I could have it taken care of and you know what it was my fault not the fault of my unborn child. I was stupid and reckless and “didn’t think it could happen to me”. My child is not in foster care thank you, I have gone on and now have a degree and I am still with the father. The doctor in this article is allowed to have his opinion as well. He is trained to help the lives of human beings and he is listening to someone who is making the decision to end a life. A life that could have been lived fully, if not with the biological mother then with one of the thousands of couples praying for children. I am sorry that you didn’t get a gold star and a hug but if you are old enough to be considering abortion then you are old enough to plug into google “ Where to get abortions in the Maritimes”. The bottom line is that if children are going to have sex it is the parents’ responsibility to layout the consequences, if you are going to get pregnant there will be a child to either raise or to put up for adoption. I am not 100% against abortion for instance if the girl was raped then found herself in a truly terrible situation then by all means. But getting an abortion because of lack of judgment and not protecting yourself is just as I said stupid and reckless and the attitude of it won’t happen to me needs to go.

    • LJ
      November 11, 2011 - 09:47

      Note to Pro, I am very happy to hear that your situation turned out well for you. You deserve to be praised and comended for your ability to cope and deal with difficult situations. Someone like you would be an excellent advocate for women's rights and freedoms. I have one comment in response to your "for instance" remark. Rape is not easily defined or easily proven in our culture. If,as you have said, abortion would be a suitable option for a raped woman, then the laws and availability of abortions must be all inclusive (no exceptions) so that women who have been raped (whatever the circumstance) can have access to abortion if they chose without having to "prove" it was horrible circumstances. I personally can testify that not all rape circumstances that end in pregnancy have to be aborted, but having the choice is good). So, as far as i can tell. it is absolutely necessary that it be legal and available across the board. It is difficult enough without having, for example to simply say or worse, PROVE you have been raped. This takes time and emotional fortitude. It must be changed for the sake of all women...even you, it is a matter of Women's rights, not a moral issue! Wedlock has nothing to do with this issue.Thank you though, for sharing your story, I am sure you can give hope and strength to women, young or not who are struggling with available choices...let's just make sure they actually have choices.

  • IT'S A WOMANS CHOICE
    November 11, 2011 - 08:28

    Re:PRO LIFE ISLANDER..."should not be doing the dirty sex act in the first place"...good lord,you sound like the twisted mother in the movie "Carrie".

  • Mad as hell
    November 11, 2011 - 08:28

    When will the father stand before a judge? Regardless of all the other issues, how can someone who has sex with a 14-year old not be charged?

    • legal age
      November 11, 2011 - 09:21

      Depending on the male involved, the age of 14 was the age of concent not too long ago.

    • Really
      November 11, 2011 - 09:37

      It is the definition of life question. Some people prefer not to terminate life if possible, and others don't care ( as with the folks who insist that 10 seconds before birth the child is still a mass of cells and isn't any more alive than a tumor). If you want to end the debate, that is the question that needs to be anawered

  • Peter pluggington
    November 11, 2011 - 08:13

    @proud parent. Get with the program everyone is plugging.

  • Pro-Life
    November 11, 2011 - 08:03

    I don't think we are UN-aware that kids have sex but with all the birth control options out there many of these pregnancies could be prevented. I also know there are thousands of people out there who are UN-able to have children and would love to adopt these babies. I can see why a 14 year old would not want to have a baby so a great solution is adoption. There is no shame in that. I also don't think the Jesus I know would turn his back on me or anyone else.

  • Tony Tweel
    November 11, 2011 - 07:59

    I for do not believe in the abortion when we do have adoption available, but the one thing that could be revamped would be the cap on adoption on pei, as there is an age cap? As I would love to be able to qualify to adopt

  • Islander
    November 11, 2011 - 07:54

    Has there been research and studies carried out on women and their partners who have had abortions and later regretted it or had difficulty down the road with emotional stress? No matter which way this issue is looked at, abortion or not, there are long-term consequences. Every person's actions tend to have some kind or reaction.

  • Think about it
    November 11, 2011 - 07:49

    Please people, think about it ! Why do you insist on thinking of this as a "womans" right"? There is a babies life at stake here! How can you ignore the fact that a live baby is being torn apart, limb by limb, just because he/she is still inside by his mothers womb? Take a look at any ultrasound, there is a real live baby in there! Better yet, take a look at a video of what happens to the baby during an abortion, it should make you weep!

  • John G
    November 11, 2011 - 07:29

    The 14 year old did not want anybody to find out. That's why she did those things to herself. It wouldn't matter if abortions were done locally or not. Miss Hagen said on the radio that she was near 18 weeks along when she had her abortion. I'm a male and even I know that if you miss your period three to four times then it might be to late to stop the process.She knew what her and her boyfriend were doing so maybe she should have been concerned after missing one period, not three or four.

    • Islander
      November 11, 2011 - 11:01

      Given that it is possible for a fetus to feel pain as of 16 weeks (the brain structures that process pain exist by then, scientists as yet disagree at what point pain as we experience it is felt. But fetuses show responses to tactile stimulation even before the end of the first trimester) the fact that any abortion without medical indication is performed past that point sickens me. An abortion, IMO, should never, never be performed for any reason but imminent risk to the life of the mother past the point at which fetal pain is a possibility, and even then should be done in a way which would prevent pain to the fetus.

  • D
    November 11, 2011 - 07:23

    I was pregnant at 15 and 19 and on birth control both times I got pregnant... so It can happen even when you are carful, I also had a close friend Raped and got pregnant and choose to abort the pregnancy because she was already a single mother at young age. we contacted her doctor and she told us to get it funned she would need to see another doctor, go for an ultrasound (where we had friends working) who would know she was going to have an abortion and then she would have to wait up to 10 weeks (she was already 5 weeks along) to get an apt with the hospital to do it. we ended up paying the $700 and going to a private clinic.PLus paying for out travle, driving all threw the night and missing a full days work. she was a victim. but the support on the Island made her feel like she was the worst person in the world. I even called a few places to get information for her and was called down to the lowest. PEI needs to step up and become pro choose.

  • vick
    November 11, 2011 - 07:22

    Why is it that everybody in pei no matter race/religion gets to practice their beleives, have traditional practices changed because it offends them tedetc.......but a female on this rock wants one thing and thats to be treat equal and we say no to abortion! Has anyone check to see how many messed up kids we have in our system right now, how many welfare clients we have, how much crime we have...........why shouldnt a women be able to have an abortion on pei?????? its her right not yours and if we can have 90 yr old imingrants come here and pay for their medicare then we sure has hell should be able to pay for a female here to have an abortion......at the least allow for a private clinic to operate here........come on liberals please do the right thing here and allow females the same rights!

  • Walk a mile...
    November 11, 2011 - 07:21

    You can debate the ethics of abortion all you want, but in the end if you have not faced the decision personally, you will never really be able to appreciate the difficulty of it, and can certainly not judge others in their decision. It is a decision left to women in every other province and in most countries in the developed world. Women here, don't have the same choice. They have a much more difficult decision, and have many more barriers to making a reasonable decision. It is time to fund a full service women's health or sexual health clinic with unbiased counselling services and access to medical terminations and abortions.

  • more information is needed
    November 11, 2011 - 07:17

    A 14 year child is in a crisis and needs help, that is what this sad story tells us. She does not tell her parents or her school councilor, she ingests poison to destroy the fetus so the whole matter can go away. There is so much wrong here that the focus on abortion is so unfortunate. The girl needed love and support but for 2 weeks she tried to deal all on her own with a personal and family crisis. Maybe some believe children should be able to walk into a medical clinic (private or public) and access surgery without any parental or guardian consent but this is not how our medical and justice system works. A 14 year old falls under the young offenders act, they are protected by laws against those who would take advantage of them and I don't think we as a society want to change that. To say this person was a woman at 14 because she was pregnant is very dangerous, do we want to make children adults at 14?

  • HowItIs
    November 11, 2011 - 07:17

    Yes, it's sad that so many abortions are necessary but it's reality. Young people make mistakes. That's part of learning. Unfortunately a baby is very big mistake to make. There's no easy answer and the choice is very difficult to make but you can't deny a young woman a safe abortion if that's the choice she makes. Otherwise you are merely punishing her. PEI is stuck in the 50s, yes, because the voters here were born in the 50's and earlier. It's the way it is because we have a larger number of seniors on the island and the young people don't vote. Another mistake that young people make. But like I said, it's all part of learning.

  • Confused
    November 11, 2011 - 07:09

    So they want the gov't to pay for abortions, and the gov't will help people who aready have kids but don't look after them, but yet a couple who want a baby and who would actually take care of a baby gets no help from the gov't????? What's wrong with this picture?

  • Shannon
    November 11, 2011 - 07:04

    Not having an abortion clinic on PEI is less about denying women rights and more about being a small province unable to be everything to everyone. There are limited funds and government needs to direct them appropriately. I make no apologies for not supporting an abortion clinic on the island. We have sick children traveling to the IWK all the time and critically ill heart patients being shipped to Halifax or Saint John. Are these people's human rights being denied because we don't offer appropriate services for them? It's frustrating to see this group turning this into "denial of human rights" case. An abortion clinic is simply not a priority, nor should it be.

    • CrazyTalk
      November 11, 2011 - 17:31

      Wow - you've got it all figured out huh. Part of having a publicly funded healthcare system means that all Canadians are to have the same access to the same healthcare regardless of where they live. So what we have here is PEI failing to provide the same access to healthcare that is provided in every other province in Canada. Why? Because it would be unpopular. This is not canned pop or Sunday Shopping. This is a failure that ruins lives (mothers and their children)! This is about squeamish legislators and doctors who are more interested in what others think than in doing the right thing.

  • on the fence
    November 11, 2011 - 06:42

    This story makes my heart ache on so many levels. My birth mother was extremely young when she had me, she put up with the stigma of being pregenat, however, had she had an abortion i would not be here today, nor would i have the wonderful parents that i have who so lovingly adopted me. On the other side of the fence is me, i would give anything to have a child, but i can't, unless i go through the years and expense of adoption, and lets face it thats not a cheap process and with abortion so commonly used now there isn't that many babies out there for adoption. so you see, i am on the fence, my heart aches for those mothers who are in an unbearable situation to have to face abortion, and my heart aches for people like me who can't have a pregnacy of thier own.

  • upset mommy
    November 11, 2011 - 06:29

    this article is very upsetting...I cant believe it...I know there is two sides to every story but lets get all the facts out there before we go publishing stories like this....for example how did this child end up pregnant...did she just have unprotected sex....cause if so then that isnt not a good enough excuse to want to have an abortion....that excuse sickens me...will all the forms of protection that are available to people of any age to avoid getting pregnant then why wasnt she taking something ...and if she couldnt afford any of them...then she shouldnt of been having sex..Everyone needs to be held accountable for their decisions no matter what age...if your going to decide to have sex then you better be prepared to be a parent incase it happens...and if your not ready for parenthood...then your not ready for sex...

  • baffled
    November 11, 2011 - 06:28

    every teenager knows the consequences of being sexually active (even at age 14) getting pregnant is not something we want happening to our young teens...but it happens..i think alot has to do with the parents not being supportive and teens being scared to tell there parents...after 5 weeks there is a heart beat...and sorry to say to all you people who think a (fetus) is not a living thing there is seriously something wrong with you...anything with a heart beat i think is called a living thing...dont you?...just because it needs to be in a womans womb to grow..i seriously dont know how some people think...before the BABY has a heart beat it is excusable for an abortion...all you people who think womens rights womens right..its a crock....if a girl doesnt wanna raise a baby, give it to a family who cant have children...i dont care what the age is..she opened her legs...deal with it!

    • Yippee
      November 12, 2011 - 01:45

      I believe she is dealing with it...did you read the article? Thanks for coming out!

  • Kirstin
    November 11, 2011 - 06:18

    Well done, Colleen. This is important research.

  • Life
    November 11, 2011 - 04:46

    Thank you to The Guardian, who in my opinion, has been publishing articles with a bias. Where are the articles with commentary from others who are in opposition to abortions?

  • shannon
    November 11, 2011 - 02:45

    Educate your children and protect them! Enable them to make good decisions and know when they don't what consequences and life risks are before them. Provide resources where protection is available and offer them resources where teens and young adults can go to for advise,counselling and healthcare needs. Including, all available options available for them. Allow women and men to make their own choices. Freedom of choice! Do not judge others! This debate goes around the subject of rape as well. EDUCATE FREEELY!!! I am so thankful I grew up and learned about this subject at a very young age. I knew my risks and consequences. I also knew how to protect myself and whom to talk to if I got into trouble. Fortunately, I was educated and made the right choices. Simply, It's a fact of life. Educate & Protect our children to make good decisions for a bright future!

  • Walkin Shoes
    November 11, 2011 - 02:27

    As a single parent raising a child due to an assault I would like to speak from personal experience. Firstly, don't judge me. My pregnancy was not my choice, the decision to abort or keep the child was. No one but myself should make that choice and no one but myself and my child holds the right to pass judgement. Secondly, regardless or the situation and how it may have happened, anyone harming themselves and an unborn child have more issues then just lack of access to a doctor. Pointing fingers and making excuses, instead of accepting personal responsibility is an illness in itself. Thirdly, if women had more access to a regular doctor and medical attention there would far fewer long term demands on the Health system. Prince Edward Island may not have an abortion clinic on the Island, but women looking for access to a clinic have several legal options openly available to them. Saying there is no option to an unplanned pregnancy is a falsehood and deceives the public creating this unnecessary debate.

  • shannon
    November 11, 2011 - 02:22

    Oh my, this reminds me of an essay I had to do in high school over 15 years ago! Yes, PEI wake up!!! I had no idea the system didn't provide assistance to women in these real life circumstances. This is a world wide issue many debate and protest for years. Ultimately, it is about sex education. Our children must know about diseases and pregnancy and what is out there to protect them. How to use the protection available and what risks they are really taking. In addition, who to talk to and what clinics are available to help women/men with unfortunate outcomes. There is such circumstances as rape and I wouldn't know how I would personally handle that situation so how can I judge what another should or shouldn't do? It is a choice and let's allow women/men to be educated on those choices freely. It is not something that should be kept in the closet. Let's give our children options. I am so thankful I grew up in a place that provided this education when I was really young and I knew the life risks. Therefore, had a choice to make the right decision. Let's not turn our backs on this subject and openly offer resources to protect our children for a better future.

  • They couldn't be more wrong
    November 11, 2011 - 00:34

    This whole issue is getting an unfair media advantage that it simply doesn't deserve. The reality here is that abortions are provided to Island residents and they are actually more accessible than to most rural Canadians. In many parts of Canada an abortion clinic is 10 hours away where women must travel at their own expense from rural areas into larger centers. In the interests of providing services to all Canadians, all of our medical resources are strategically located in central areas. It is both naive and foolish to assert that we should have a hospital on every street corner. The people discussed in this story are all representing one particular side of a very complex issue. Of course they're all complaining that their own side isn't dominant and more aggressively pushed on young women by doctors, but the reality of the situation is that this is perhaps the most complicated moral debate in civil society today. To assume that doctors are going to come down purely on one side of this issue is ludicrous. If doctors were pushing abortion information on young women then people on the other side of this issue would be justified in launching similar complaints. Medical professionals need to be aware that this is a very serious dilemma and finding the right solution is more challenging than printing out MapQuest directions to the nearest infanticide center. Frankly, it is a relief to know that our medical professionals are not unduly influencing people toward one option when this is a moral question as well as a medical question. Perhaps we should be debating whether doctors ought to be compelled to provide adoption information to pregnant women asking about abortions. After all, there are dozens of married couples who apply to adopt children every year in PEI and only one child per year is placed for adoption. If more information could be provided, at least some - perhaps only one each year - women would choose life and adoption over extermination. As I say, this article only includes the opinions of people who are decidedly on one side of the issue. What about women who considered an abortion but ultimately chose life instead? Or women who chose adoption? There is far more to this debate than simply demanding an abortionist on the Island. In the grand scheme of things, medical services will always be strategically placed to best serve the entire population. It's naive and simply ridiculous to argue that we should bring abortion directly to Charlottetown. Women who need an abortion will only need to travel to Halifax once in their life. But parents with sick children - who are sick through no fault of their own - need to travel to Halifax dozens of times for treatment. If Prince Edward Island is going to bring more medical services to Charlottetown, I'm in favor of bringing in greater health care for sick kids who want to be close to their parents. When these one-sided women are demanding more localized access to death, I'll be thinking of the sick kids from PEI who can't be close to their families. Doug Currie, if you read this: You're right. Abortion is already available to Island women. So is the IWK. But if you have the power to bring us a clinic for sick kids or a clinic to kill kids, please, choose life. It's easy logic for those whose minds are open. Remember: "The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to say nothing." Oh, and I've been in this situation. I faced the stigma, the scorn, and the criticisms. I chose life in a world that demanded I kill an unborn child.

    • Yippee
      November 12, 2011 - 01:38

      Pin a rose on your nose!

  • expatislander
    November 11, 2011 - 00:23

    This is a very sad story. I feel very badly for this girl. My wife was the victim of stalking and date rape by her "boyfriend" which resulted in pregnancy back in the 80s. She was forced to drive to a back alley clinic in Maine as a teenager. It is time abortion was offered in PEI! You self righteous religious zealots need to concentrate on taking better care of grown babies like this poor girl.

    • Chelsea
      November 11, 2011 - 10:27

      Who said this was rape? Kids are focusing on sex much younger now, its not all forced upon them. This is not just a religious issue, there will never be a fair solution to both sides. If it was simply consenting to unprotected sex, should we take away responsibility due to her age? It is a very sad story I agree, I am pro-choice, however in cases unlike your wife's I do not believe we should be shrugging off responsibility.

  • Machel
    November 10, 2011 - 23:45

    PEI, WHAT A BACKWARD, DISGUSTING PLACE TO LIVE. YOU'all should be totally ashamed. Disgusting, backward people IMO

    • TC
      November 11, 2011 - 09:22

      No one is stopping her. There places she can go to deal with this. It just isn't free and on the next block so mommy can't find out. I suppose where you live they are free and done at the local pharmacy?

  • Wants a baby bad
    November 10, 2011 - 23:38

    While I am one of those adult woman, who wants a baby really badly, but for many reasons may not be able to have one of her own, I would NEVER EVER want to force a 14 year old CHILD to carry a baby to term for my benefit. Pro life is easy to preach, but there any many reasons why abortion may be the only choice for some woman (were they raped?, incest? medical reasons they can not carry?) - the reality is people have the right to choose. and no woman should have to suffer. PEI, get with it.

  • Former Islander
    November 10, 2011 - 23:03

    Before adressing Abortion Legistlation, I think focus MUST be put towards preventing unwanted pregnancies! That begins with Education, and providing accessible forms of Birth Control! Maybe birth control should be provided free of charge! PEI is a small place! Maybe too small for a clinic to offer such a private and controversial service! I have concerns over privacy. But the education and ACCESSABLE forms of birth control are key and such a basic method of prevention. Maybe having more women's health nurses availavble and accessable, would be a more approachable and trusting healthcare profressional to those girls who feel uncomfortable speaking to their make physicians!! I am a young women who has tried for many years to get pregnant with no success, this is a hard issue to talk about. For starters I don't understand how pregnancy happens so easily to those who don't want it, and those who want it more then anything, seem to struggle. With that being said PEI lacks a Fertility Clinic to help those suffering with infertility. In all fairness I am party disgusted to see the need for this service on PEI before attempts aimed at the prevention side.

  • rosieredrose
    November 10, 2011 - 22:50

    If u play with fire u may get burned. Parents should educate their children about pregnancy. This is not the 19th century. Why do some think the government should pick up the tab for a night of fun when things do not go the way "WE" think they should..

  • I have an opinion
    November 10, 2011 - 22:40

    Unless you are female and have had an abortion or carried a child to delivery and given that baby up....Do NOT open your damn mouths on this subject....Because you know absolutely nothing about how that person feels....

    • TC
      November 11, 2011 - 09:16

      When you are going to demand to have me pay to provide something for you, you darned well are going to hear my opinion . You may have the right to do what you want with your body, but you do not have the right to have me forego a medical treatment to find enough money to fix your little indescretion on the public dime. If you don't want something, perhaps you should think twice about doing the thing that causes them. Seriously, it is not like there are a thousand causes of pregnancy and this is the one that just happened.

    • Free country
      November 11, 2011 - 16:34

      I agree with you 110%!!!!!!!! I'm tired of hearing all these people giving their stupid opinion's on this subject when (im sure) none of them have come close to experiencing anything like this. Nobody knows any girls story, so they shouldn't say a word. And the adoption thing, easy for those to say that haven't in that situation. They say to do it like its such a simple thing to do! STUPID STUPID people

  • PeiCitizen
    November 10, 2011 - 22:37

    People....this is not a prolife vs womens rights debate. Abortion is allowed in PEI. Thats done. Get over it. Take your prolife opinions and apply them to your self and let everyone else live their lives as they see fit. Personally, I do see the lack of abortion services available on PEI as a problem. I am a health care practitioner and I have seen some doctors resort to utilization of chemo drugs and misoprostol to force fetal death and expulsion of the uterine contents. Women are sent away to perform a home abortion and to deal with the consequences without proper support or medical attention. Its barbaric and cruel and its all that's available to women who see abortion as their best option. That or the actions the woman in this story utilized. Besides this, the people who proselytize re their beliefs and how everyone should share them; you offend me. I don't believe in god or organized religion and I am a pragmatist as well. My belief structure dictates that the world we live in is what it is and people are free to live their lives as they choose. If they choose to live aside from your beliefs and accept choices such as abortion in their life what place is it of yours to judge them. Live your own life and leave others in peace.

  • Wilkins Micawber
    November 10, 2011 - 22:35

    Pro Life Islander and Proud Parent, judging from your comments I assume you are proud foster parents to at least some of the children born out of wedlock. With your sanctimonious attitude I am sure you are doing all you can to help the young girls get through their difficult time. But I doubt it. You and others like you prefer to preach to rather than help those in need. If Jesus returned tomorrow he would surely turn his back on people like you.

    • chellybean
      November 11, 2011 - 10:35

      @WILKINS MICAWBER You are so ignorant to the actual issue, Proud Parent is modern in her way and there is nothing wrong with that. Do not bring religion to politics they do not mix. As for Jesus, sorry to burst your bubble, he is not returning and your comment is also is insulting which is against the conditions of this thread. And for noted purposed if Jesus would return he would be so disgusted with the Hate in the world he would not turn his back of few but the whole collective I am pro-choice, but abortion is not the only choice. @Pro Life , I am with you and you are taking a pro-active outlook on a reality. Wish more parents were like you.

  • Thaddeus Sholto
    November 10, 2011 - 22:26

    Proud Parent and Pro Life Islander, very simplistic answers to a problem that is not going to go away no matter how much you try to pretend you are great parents or that sex "is a dirty act." It is attitudes like yours that perpetuate the problem and make things worse. You just don't seem to realize that no matter what you teach your kids they are going to experiment with sex because it is normal and natural and the more you try to make it into something unnatural or dirty the more they will rebel. Talk to your kids openly about sex and birth control and let them know they have a place to turn if they become pregnant. Pretending all is well and covering your eyes and ears when your daughter becomes pregnant or your son becomes a father and blaming it all on society is the height of stupidity. Face reality, sex is natural and normal and if you want to avoid problems talk honestly and openly with your kids or possibly face the consequences.

    • Proud Parent
      November 10, 2011 - 23:22

      I realize kids will experiment with sex, I have no problems with that. The problem is kids who experiment with sex and get pregnant will use an abortion as an "out". My problem is not with sex, it's people who think it is alright to have an abortion as opposed to adoption or such. Using abortion to right an wrong is not the way to go. Why not use protection if a person does not want to get pregnant. My kids I am sure will have have lots of sex before they are married, fine with me. If they come home and say I am pregnant well we will discuss the options other than abortion. Why should the baby be the one to pay the ultimate price?

  • Proud Parent
    November 10, 2011 - 21:24

    Easy solution to unwanted pregnancies, abstain from sex. 14 or 40 do not want a child abstain or protect. There are plenty of women out there who can not have kids, think of them maybe going through nine months of pregnancy then have child go through adoption, give the child a chance at life. By the way why is this 14 year old trying to do harm to herself besides the fact she doesn't want the baby, is she suicidal or homicidal? Maybe look into her mental health.

  • Sam
    November 10, 2011 - 21:19

    If there is anything that signals how far PEI has to go to emerge from its rural, backwoods history, it's the abortion debate. It's long been overdue that Island woman had access to abortion services. No Island woman should be denied the fundamental right to have control of her own body because of the intransigence of the government here. The case studies described in the article are appalling.

    • Lisa
      November 11, 2011 - 09:45

      All women have the fundamental right to have control over their body - choosing to have sex is one of those things we have control over and if you choose to have sex then you are putting yourself at risk of becoming pregnant. Taking someone's life is not a right that anyone has. If you are not prepared to have a baby, don't engage in sexual activity. If you do end up getting pregnant and aren't ready, there are many couples who are ready and are willing to adopt a baby.

  • Pro Life Islander
    November 10, 2011 - 21:17

    I'm sorry, but this story angers me to no end. I am pro-life, when you have intercourse (sex) with a boy chances are very good you are going to end up pregnant. If you don't want to have a baby perhaps you should not be doing the dirty act in the first place. If you end up pregnant there are a lot of choices other than abortion. There are thousands (if not more) couples out there who would give their lives to have a baby and yet we have these people throwing these lives away. It is just sad, really - and to see more and more people looking into abortion is even sadder. No matter what you think of that life growing inside of you - it IS A LIFE! Please, please consider other options other than abortion.

    • CrazyTalk
      November 11, 2011 - 11:25

      Not sure why it should anger you Pro Life Islander. It has absolutely nothing to do with you. Clearly anyone who calls sex "the dirty act" will never have an unplanned pregnancy to deal with. You and anyone else who would feel important or worthy enough to judge another human being need to take a step back and figure out why you get to render judgement on another human being and her decision. It is a very sad state where a doctor, rather than trying to help a patient make a difficult decision, throws a phone number at her and walks away. This is cowardly and it is revolting and it is reality here on PEI. BRAVO to Dr. MacQuarrie and to Kandace Hagan. You are brave and strong and you deserve the thanks of all women on PEI!

  • Well done
    November 10, 2011 - 20:26

    The kinds of things that go on behind closed doors in PEI are frightening. Domestic abuse, self-induced abortions - it really belies the fantasy that PEI is a happy, safe place. The more that national coverage can force some light on the oppressive backwardness of this province, the better. I am very impressed by Kandace Hagan and anyone else who has the courage to speak up and try to break down the wall of silence.

    • Former Torontonian
      November 11, 2011 - 09:00

      Happens in Toronto too. no point in pretending it doesn't.

  • pei is backward
    November 10, 2011 - 20:16

    The PEI government needs to step out of the 1950s and provide abortion services at PEI hospitals as part of a comprehensive revamp of healthcare for women. Women comprise 50% of the population and taxbase, yet are blatantly discriminated against by the good ol' boy PEI legislature. Time to change and get with the times !

    • Citygirl
      November 11, 2011 - 01:51

      It's cheaper to buy a condom than it is to end a life! If the government does not cover fertily medicine then there is no way that they should cover abortion! There are many options out there - people just have to look for them!

    • Confused
      November 11, 2011 - 08:56

      I am reading that PEI does pay for abortions off island, but will not pay to preform the procedure on PEI. If Health PEI or the Health Minister has agreed to this expense why should we not perform the procedure on island and pay PEI doctors instead of off island doctors. Also in response to Ms. Tomlins, PEI Right to Life "I don't think there should be abortions anywhere", this issue is not about your personal opinion, it is about medical care that is available to islanders and the way it is being mishandled.

    • peilady
      November 11, 2011 - 09:42

      PEI IS BACKWARD "Women comprise 50% of the population and taxbase, yet are blatantly discriminated against by the good ol' boy PEI legislature." As one of those 50% of the population, I do not want my taxes going to pay for abortions.