Abortion advocates holding rally Thursday at Province House

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Dr. Henry Morgentaler led the campaign for the legalization of abortion. On Thursday, it was announced his only Maritime clinic in Fredericton, New Brunswick was being closed.

A group of Islanders who support access to abortions is holding a rally at Province House Thursday to take their concerns to P.E.I.’s MLAs.

In a news release, organizer Katherine Searle said the organizers knew abortion services weren’t available in P.E.I. but were shocked to learn how hard it can be for Island women to have an abortion off-Island.

“We feel it’s time that policymakers and legislators take action on this issue.”

The rally starts at 1 p.m. and will feature several speakers, including a representative from Abortion Rights Coalition of Canada.

Searle said P.E.I. is the only province that doesn’t perform surgical abortions and about 80 women travel to the Morgentaler Clinic in New Brunswick every year to receive abortions they pay for themselves.

“Even more concerning is the Morgentaler Clinic’s slated closure in July 2014,” she said.

In a separate news release, NDP leader Mike Redmond called on MLAs to attend the rally.

“Island women are demanding what other Canadian women accept as a basic human right – access to safe abortions in their own province,” he said.

Organizations: Province House, Morgentaler Clinic, Abortion Rights Coalition of Canada NDP

Geographic location: P.E.I., Iceland, New Brunswick

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Recent comments

  • Peter
    May 08, 2014 - 09:16

    Dear Guardian ... Please post this so people know the real reason why abortion services are not available and why they can't be made available in PEI. In 1982, after 102 years of service, the Charlottetown Hospital closed its doors when the Queen Elizabeth Hospital opened. The closure of the Charlottetown Hospital and Prince Edward Island Hospital also saw the end of abortion services in the province offered by the latter institution; one of the conditions that the Roman Catholic Church placed on the provincial government for merging the Catholic-affiliated Charlottetown Hospital with the Prince Edward Island Hospital into the new Queen Elizabeth Hospital being that all abortion services in the province be discontinued. Search "old charlottetown hospital" for confirmation.

  • Peter
    May 08, 2014 - 07:19

    The headline is "Abortion advocates holding rally " ... this isn't quite true, and it paints all these people with the same brush. Some of these protesters may be abortion advocates, but not all. Most I think are "Access to Abortion Advocates" ... not quite the same thing, and I think the Guardian shouldn't use misleading headlines. As for the issue itself, people can protest all they want. They can elect a new government that claims to advocate "access to abortion", but it will do no good. The Government's hands are tied on this issue, no matter their personal feelings or stance. I'd say why the Government's hands are tied, but the the Guardian wouldn't post it. (I've tried several times before, to no avail).

    May 07, 2014 - 19:48

    More money is needed so fools can cheer and see the royal knobs . Camillas hat probably cost $100,000 ,PLEASE ...royalty if you are not bringing money stay at home !!!

  • island supporter
    May 07, 2014 - 18:53

    Nice to see pro-choice advocates out there. The silent majority of Islanders support access to abortion services performed in PEI but somehow the religious anti-abortion zealots get the attention of the cowardly Liberal and Progressive Conservative parties. Pathetic really. There is a relatively low demand for abortion services in PEI but access is vital for low income and teenage women who do not have the ability to travel off-Island to a public hospital in NB or NS. In fact, the cost to Health PEI's budget for providing in-province abortion services would be less than the cost of next weekend's Royal Visit. Think about that when you're debating costs and access issues. I'd really like to see a human rights challenge on this issue by a woman who is denied access. That's what it will take to push the 2 major political parties who are so beholden to the religious minority.

  • enough already
    May 07, 2014 - 18:23

    I wonder if there was ever a child born that was not a positive factor in someone's life?

  • Bert Kilbride
    May 07, 2014 - 17:22

    No one has the right to kill a child born or not. If the mother needs help ,it is available at no cost. If Katherine and Mike would lessen to the stories of women that suffer for having had an abortion,they would work to make sure that no woman would suffer for having an abortion. 3652263

    • RE: Dear Bert
      May 07, 2014 - 22:40

      Dear Bert, I would like to commend your utter ignorance. A child is not a child until born. I, as a woman, have the right to CHOOSE what happens to MY own body... This right is not something that is debated, access is. It is MY right accorded by the Supreme Court and there is a lot of suffering occurring because of lack of access to abortion... It greatly impacts a woman's overall mental health, physical health, etc. It impacts those in the most vulnerable situations- women who are abused or in low socioeconomic status that cannot afford to take off work, to travel, etc. Please educate yourself before you make a statement that impacts my choice and autonomy over my body and those other women on PEI. It is our right and we need access to help our women, not kill children- I would like to think no one wants to do that.

    • Sally Jean
      May 08, 2014 - 08:08

      Bert - have you expirienced this first hand? Take it from someone who has...its not an easy decision and its not one to be taken lightly but I am glad that I had a right and an option to make that decision. That is what this rally is about....a women's right and accessibility.

  • Fact is
    May 07, 2014 - 13:04

    The morgantaler clinic closed because it couldn't make enough money- it's all about money- not some holier than thou crusade from the abortionist himself to provide a service to women. There are hundreds other procedures we have to travel to obtain --with abortions being but one of them.

    • Fact is.. Not that simple
      May 07, 2014 - 22:31

      Had the province of PEI and NB funded women to go to the Morgentaler clinic than there is a good chance it wouldn't be closing.. So yeah, you're right that it's all about money but it's not that simple. It's about the fact that both our government's are refusing to aid women to go there. Also, although abortion is one of the many procedures that a person (specifically women, trans-man or intersex) must travel off province to have done it is one that is very simple and can be done in almost any clinic on the island.. but instead is refused. It's not like an open heart surgery to the dismay of Doug Curry and impacts those most vulnerable on the island. Women have died because of their lack of access to legal, safe abortion and they will continue to until there is access on the island. Just because there is no access does not mean that it is not performed or that 'alternatives' are not attempted. It can mean unsafe, drastic and illegal attempted abortions for women.

    • Actually
      May 08, 2014 - 00:31

      Morgentaler donated $105,000.00 of his own money to women who could not afford abortion services. The clinic was losing money long before it was closed, Morgentaler kept it open because he believed all women deserve access to abortions. The Health Canada Act also agrees.

    • Duh.
      May 08, 2014 - 07:55

      Why do folks continue to ignore all the basic facts? We have trained medical professionals who are trained and willing to do the procedure but are frightened to come forward. Why? Because abortion providers are killed by right wing extremists. Abortion is primary healthcare. Richard Wedge and the Health PEI board have attested to much. It is a simple, ten minute procedure with extremely low complication risks. Unlike many off island procedures, abortion is extremely time sensitive and the longer you prolong it, the higher risk to the woman that there could be complications. You know what's expensive? And much more dangerous? Childbirth! What costs our government more? Childbirth! So if you're trying to cut corners in the cost of a woman's reproductive health, you should maybe switch sides. And what else is costly? The care women need who come into emergency bleeding and wounded because they attempted to end their pregnancy themselves. Women who do not wish to be pregnant, won't be. It's our legal right as granted by the Canadian Charter of Human Rights over 20 years ago, and the Island government needs to step up and do the right thing.

  • voter
    May 07, 2014 - 11:27

    there are a whole lot of medical services that are not available on pei --the ones i refer to are vascular etc etc etc --but they are all about saving people not about doing away with unwanteds