P.E.I. abortion policy legally actionable: law professor

Teresa Wright
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More than 100 people took part in a rally at the provincial legislature a few weeks ago calling for more accessible abortion. 

A law professor from Dalhousie University says Prince Edward Island’s abortion policy violates the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms.

Jocelyn Downey was in P.E.I. Wednesday to take part in a news conference held by a national abortion lobby group trying to bring abortion services to the Island.

Downey, who teaches law at Dalhousie University in Halifax, says she believes Prince Edward Island’s policy of sending women out of the province for abortion services is legally actionable.

“There is quite simply no logic to the justifications offered by the government for failing to provide abortion services on-Island,” Downey said.

“The decision of the government flies in the face of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, specifically, the right not to be deprived of life, liberty and security of the person, and second, in accordance with the principles of fundamental justice, one of which is that law should not be arbitrary.”

The National Abortion Federation has presented a business case to the P.E.I. government with the aim to bring abortion services to P.E.I.

Federation president Vicki Saporta says the plan would be cost-neutral for the province and that three doctors are willing to travel to P.E.I to perform the procedure.

She pointed to statements recently made by P.E.I. Premier Robert Ghiz, wherein he stated, “I believe the status quo is working.”

“It’s not working for the more than 150 women each year who need to leave the province to obtain the abortion care they need – care that would be available locally if they lived in any other province in the country,” Saporta said.

P.E.I. is the only province in Canada that does not offer any in-province abortion services.

The government does cover the cost of hospital abortions out-of-province, but private clinic abortions and all transportation costs are not covered.

The closest hospital that performs the service is the Queen Elizabeth II Hospital in Halifax.

The proposal put forward by the National Abortion Federation would see abortions performed in outpatient hospital rooms in P.E.I. a few hours every two weeks.

But after a presentation to the province’s medical advisory committee, the proposal has stalled.

Health P.E.I. says it will not change current policy on abortion as it is following government’s direction to maintain the status quo.

Dr. Robyn MacQuarrie, one of the physicians willing to travel to the Island to perform abortions, said it is a simple medical procedure that P.E.I. women should not have to leave the province to obtain.

“Recently, as an excuse for lack of abortion services, we’ve heard that many different services are available to Islanders through referral off-Island,” MacQuarrie said.

“This is true, but generally these services are for specialists that simply cannot function in smaller communities.”

She said the Ghiz government’s refusal to change its abortion policy is a political decision.

She argues it should be a health decision.

“I assure you, as a trained obstetrician/gynecologist, the health risks associated with pregnancy, labour and delivery and the post-partum period are far greater than those created by abortion,” MacQuarrie said.

“Mr. Ghiz, while I understand the status quo is working for you and your political aspirations, I challenge you to consider that it is not working for the women of P.E.I.”

The group is presenting a letter outlining its legal concerns over P.E.I.’s abortion policy to Ghiz and Health Minister Doug Currie.

They also have meetings scheduled with Currie and the minister responsible for the status of women in P.E.I., Valerie Docherty.

 

twright@theguardian.pe.ca

Twitter.com/GuardianTeresa

Organizations: Dalhousie University, Canadian Charter, Rights National Abortion Federation Queen Elizabeth II Hospital in Halifax

Geographic location: Prince Edward Island, Canada

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Recent comments

  • Interesting
    June 01, 2014 - 09:27

    Googling stuff, I came across an American secular prolife group making a presentation. Just watched a few mins before moving on, but two things were presented that I found interesting. 1- the cofounder of NARAL, a proabortion group, who was an abortion provider supposedly became prolife after seeing it done via ultrasound. 2- the strategy in the 60s and 70s was to identify antiabortion with Catholics, which I've seen a lot of lately here on PEI. The goal was to identify this so much as a Catholic thing that secularists or atheists would not join with them because they did not want to be associated with a "Catholic" cause.

    • lol
      June 01, 2014 - 17:01

      Secular pro-life? Hilarious. More likely a religious group trying to hide.

    • Perhaps
      June 02, 2014 - 06:22

      Only religiously brainwashed could be so anti-choice.

  • Drug users rights
    June 01, 2014 - 09:05

    Look at all the drug users. Look at all the criminal acts that they commit to try to get the funds for third medical requirement for drugs. They get hurt, hurt others, and cost us much money in incarcerating them for being addicted. It would be cheaper fir us just to give them drugs, and it would be safer for everyone.

  • i notice
    May 31, 2014 - 17:06

    In NB funding of IVF has been suggested, and the comments seem very against government involvement to create life. So much for reproductive choice. It is not about reproductive choice; it is about abortion.

    • lol
      June 01, 2014 - 17:05

      No woman has a right to be pregnant, IVF as a rights issue is just a ploy to obfuscate hatred of allowing rights to women .

  • Men for abortion
    May 30, 2014 - 16:49

    Men, for the most part, are probably pro-abortion (rather than pro=choice). For the man, it is an extra layer of contraception. IF anything happens, birth is the woman's decision, and she can pay for the consequences because the man did not consent to being a parent.

    • Give it a rest
      May 31, 2014 - 10:22

      I'm a father of 3 kids, 2 are girls. This is not a contraception issue. This is a human rights issue for 50% of the population. I don't like the idea of abortion but I FIRMLY believe women should have the choice and the access to any health service, even abortion. I detest religion and the way this issue has warped the minds of those that believe in some higher power. A fetus has no special rights or anything until birth. Until that time it's part of a woman's body, nothing more.

    • What stupidity
      June 01, 2014 - 12:46

      What magical thing happens during at last inch trip down the birth canal. Regardless of your view of people who are non-atheist, there is no scientific reason to say that an hour before birth it is any less human than an hour after. Good luck with your unattached fetuses , because the only difference between a preborn and a postborn is an umbilical cord. And for your information, abortion is NOT a religious issue. It is whether 50% of the population has a right to kill defenseless humans, for the sake of convenience with impunity.

    • What stupidity
      June 01, 2014 - 12:50

      And as far as issues, this seems to rank of lesser importance than canned pop. We had to go to the mainland for that too, and it was also claimed to be a human rights issue. Everything is a human rights issue these days, regardless of whether it is actually a right but rather a case of convenience. Besides, why should what you want have any impact on what I support? I am assuming you are an atheist, and I assume you do not believe in objective morality. That being the case, all you can do is stare your opinion and your opinion is not proof of anything .

  • What about
    May 29, 2014 - 16:11

    What about fetal adoption? Can we have a setup where rather than an embryo being destroyed, as in a standard abortion, it is removed and if a pro-lifer wishes to carry the child to term she can adopt the fetus and have it implanted? We're looking at trying to get biotech started up on PEI.

    • why bother
      May 29, 2014 - 17:30

      It isn't like it is alive.

  • Peter
    May 29, 2014 - 13:44

    To Sandra: In PEI, what choice does a woman really have? The only choice I see for them is to go Off-Island". And why should they have to? My comment was addressed to those people who seem to think the Government of PEI can change the present policy. It cannot. Only the RC Church can rescind the "condition" it imposed when QEH was built. Sorry, but I can't say what I think of that "imposition", because quite frankly, it would never get posted.

  • don
    May 29, 2014 - 10:30

    read the 6th commandment. murder is murder.

    • Just sayin
      May 29, 2014 - 11:07

      Then why are soldiers heroes?

    • actually
      May 29, 2014 - 12:11

      So if you dont want vetrans to be jailed as mass murderers, you need to embrace abortion? Are you a little simple?

    • Amanda
      May 29, 2014 - 13:06

      So Don, because you are a religious zealot everyone else needs to follow your religious doctrines? Just for your information the LAW states that a fetus at this stage is not 'alive' thus abortion is not murder.

    • wtf
      May 29, 2014 - 13:30

      Where does it states that it is not alive? It is not a person, but at one point neither were women and now corporatios are. Personhood is not equivant to life. Personhood is at the discretion of Parliament.

    • gary
      May 30, 2014 - 06:56

      The wart on my right hand was alive too, until I had it burnt off with Compound W. There is no difference between it and a fetus or a hangnail or the hair on my head - just parts of a human body, all of which can be modified or removed if someone wants to do so. You don't have to personally be pro-abortion, but everyone should have the right to make that CHOICE. Just the same as you can be pro-hair cutting, pro-body piercing, pro-cancer treatment, or anything else. It's a CHOICE about a health service for your body.

    • WTF
      May 30, 2014 - 16:41

      If that wart, left to nature, will naturally progress to be a separate human being than you (barring taking action to prevent it or an unfortunate biological issue which subverts the normal development) then you may have a point. Otherwise, I think you are intentionally misleading people to push an agenda that would not be accepted as easily if you told the truth.

    • to gary
      May 30, 2014 - 16:54

      By that logic, you are just sloughed off waste tissue from your mom, and there is no reason to give you any rights. Unless you think some magic blue fairy has sprinkled some pixie dust and made you a real boy.

    • wtf
      May 30, 2014 - 17:00

      I'm sorry. Your mommy probably told you that you were special, and not an overgrown cancerous growth like all the kids who wouldn't play with you.

  • irish nannie
    May 29, 2014 - 09:14

    If this issue is legally questionable than why do I and many other patients have to travel "out of province" to see a vascular specialist also many of us make trecks across the bridge regularly to see a dermatologist. There are many parents oh so glad for the services provided off Island at the IWK. "You have a storm in a teacup..." with the strain on health services these days couldn't we put energies to better use. BTW I am neither for nor am I against abortions.

    • because
      May 29, 2014 - 19:30

      Your issues isn't as media friendly. You can't claim to fighting for the oppressed if it is dermatology. Honestly, I sometimes thing some folks don't really care about the women involved but are using "the cause" to bump up their own sense of importance.

  • Ambrose Atkins
    May 29, 2014 - 08:39

    When the three Maritime Provinces amalgamate into one province this debate should come to an end.

    • Which comes first?
      May 29, 2014 - 12:04

      Will that be before or after Canada and the United States get married to Japan and form a superstate?

  • Jenny
    May 29, 2014 - 08:36

    this island is 100 years behind the rest of Canada. ridiculous.

    • wtf
      May 29, 2014 - 13:25

      1914? We're at war with the Kaiser? I guess when one wants to be taken seriously being overly melodramatic is the way to go. Ad hominem is the resort of one who knows that they cannot defend their position based on its own merits. Sorry. Whenever anyone uses actual logic, they get called a US bible thumper. I an neither. I just hate stupid arguments.

  • Infertile due to Chronic Illness
    May 29, 2014 - 07:38

    I have stage 4 Endometriosis. Most of you likely do not know what Endo is, but I do. I've been suffering since the age of 15, fought with Dr.s here on the Island for 10 years, that's right, 10 years I suffered before they FINALLY decided it was time to do diagnostic surgery. I was diagnosed at 25 right here on our gentle Island, and was told I have very "mild" Endo, and will be ok, to just keep living. 5 years later my husband and I decided we wanted children. I started seeing a fertility specialist because of my disease (which by the way, there is no cure for, and over 170 million woman worldwide suffer from). Well turns out, the dr. here on the Island who diagnosed me was wrong. I have a very severe case of endo, attacking every organ from my pelvis right up to my diaghram. I need a bowel resection because there is so much damage. I am never likely to conceive on my own, and have to travel to the IWK in Halifax regularly for treatment, as it is clear our Dr.'s are too incompetent to treat me, even though we have Gyno's here! IVF has been suggested! It costs roughly 12k. Studies have PROVEN that if the government would fund single embryo transfers they'd save millions on pre term multiples! So all you pro-choicers, are you going to start advocating for all the infertiles too, so that not only can we have SAFE access to an IVF clinic right here on PEI (we have to travel to Halifax for that too) along with Government funding? Until than, I'm tired of the abortion debate, and think the 150 woman should continue to travel off Island!

    • and yet
      May 29, 2014 - 13:01

      No, they will not. I have asked. Reproductive rights only refer to ending pregnancy. If you get a really politically correct one, they will tell you that you should not be having children, as you are contributing to overpopulation and starvation in the third world.

    • To Infertile
      May 29, 2014 - 16:04

      I sympathize with your situation, but wanting to have children is a preference. Not being pregnant is not a critical medical condition that needs prompt intervention to cure. Pregnancy is, whether people like the fact or not. One does not have a charter right to be pregnant, therefore the government is under no obligation to provide a service to provide it.

  • Fed up
    May 29, 2014 - 07:26

    Dalhousie law professor should stick to legal issues he is asked about. Keep his/her nose out of PEI's business!!

    • jamie m
      May 29, 2014 - 12:58

      The Dal law prof was asked for her opinion, by Islanders who want abortion services available in this province.

  • Quiet Observer
    May 29, 2014 - 07:19

    Best way to settle this is to have a non-partisan plebiscite allowing all Islanders to vote on whether they want the government to reallocate facilities (has to be done somewhere) and funds (from NS to PEI) to establish an abortion service on PEI or maintain the status quo. It is such a political hot potato that no government will dare make a unilateral decision, so let's give them the easy way out, and at the same time let the people of PEI have their say.

    • Peter
      May 29, 2014 - 16:25

      Good plan.... except that if 100% of the voters wanted abortion services available in PEI, the Government still CAN'T accomodate them. The Catholic Church won't allow it.

    • k'town gal
      May 30, 2014 - 07:00

      Abortion is a health care service exclusive to women. Thus only women should be allowed to vote in such a plebiscite. Keep men out of this. They have zero say in what a woman chooses to do or not to do with her health.

    • To ktown girl
      May 30, 2014 - 16:46

      When we do away with child support, then you may be right. As long as a man may have to part, in the case that she does not abort, it is a men's issue as well. Abortion is a pro-men's issue.

  • Lilly
    May 29, 2014 - 06:02

    Frankthe tank, And to what reliable, unbaised source do you cited for your information?

  • Peter
    May 29, 2014 - 05:50

    There are three (3) things I wish people would understand about this so-called abortion debate in PEI. 1/ It isn't an "abortion" debate, it's a "freedom of choice" debate. 2/ Women in PEI have been denied their right to the freedom of choice regarding this subject because the Roman Catholic Church made it a condition for merging the Old Charlottetown Hospital with the Prince Edward Hospital to create the Queen Elizabeth Hospital. 3/ No Government of PEI can't change the present policy unless the RC Church agrees and relinquishes this condition.

    • Sandra
      May 29, 2014 - 11:58

      Peter, Peter, Peter. You sure do want abortions at the QEH! This isn't a 'choice' debate. Choice already exists. This isn't an 'access' debate. Access already exists. This isn't a 'funding' debate. The funding already exists. This is a debate about having abortions at the QEH. Your crowd doesn't want to come right out and admit that because you all know your argument is a losing one. The abortion-on-demand crowd can scream until they're purple in the face, but as long as what you're saying is deceitful you won't get anywhere.

    • Men need abortion access
      May 29, 2014 - 12:02

      Okay, let's compromise. We already have government-funded abortions in the PEI health care system, but the abortion-on-demand crowd wants to bring abortions to the QEH. So here's the compromise. We know that some women don't want to become mothers and we're giving them about 20 weeks to 'abort' their maternity. So let's compromise and say you can abort maternity at the QEH once we've passed a law allowing men to abort paternity within 20 weeks of being notified of their potentially unwanted child. If a man and a woman have an unwanted pregnancy, how come the woman gets to decide for them both? Let's give men the right to an abortion as well.

    • actually
      May 29, 2014 - 12:08

      Actually #1 is wrong. It is an abortion debate. Everyone has the right to choose. Th e argument is how convenient this particular procedure is to be. Not helped when pro-choice advocates discount any access issue to any other medical procedure as an attempt to show contempt for women. The fact that any other medical issue is ridiculed as being not important compared to this is showing contempt for any woman not pregnant and inconvenienced, and when these people are not impressed with the rhetoric they are dismissed as fundy whack jobs.

    • Amanda
      May 29, 2014 - 13:04

      So have all abortion services for PEI performed at Prince County Hospital instead. Issue solved.

  • Staying anonymous for privacy reasons
    May 29, 2014 - 05:41

    Careless wrote (in part): The careless action by 150 Island women isn't reason enough for the life of the unborn child to be terminated . There is absolutely no reason for a unwanted pregnancy in today's world unless it is rape . With the several method's of birth control & the morning after pill , unwanted pregnancy is nothing more than a woman not caring . To which I ask the question .. What about a "wanted" pregnancy that in all likelihood will cost both the woman and the child their lives? And please don't say it won't/can't happen in this day and age. It can and it has, and the worst part of it all was that the mother's choice (yes I said "choice") was to be Anti-Abortion. I know, because I was involved in the situation. After many many hours of consultation, discussion and soul searching, she chose to have the procedure in the belief that she would have a second chance to have children. Today, I have a happy healthy well balanced adorable grandchild.

    • Exceptions
      May 29, 2014 - 10:01

      To staying anonymous ; I have never said abortion should never be used , of course it should be used if the health of the mother is at risk or rape was involved . The case you put forward is quite legit & if I'm not mistaken , abortion is available for such cases . My disapproval of abortion is when it's used for a means of birth control . I'm sorry I didn't explain my self better .

  • Don Wright
    May 29, 2014 - 05:32

    Looking at the picture of the women protesting that there isn't any baby killing on the Island., it seems to me that most, if not all of them, are well past menopause . Why are they so intent on having someone from away to come here to kill other women's babies ? The people that want to kill the babies in the womb are not ever from here.. They are willing to travel from Nova Scotia just to kill the babies of Island mothers. here on the Island.? This is beyond monstrous. It is diabolical in the extreme.

    • Janet McLeod
      May 29, 2014 - 11:48

      Don, perhaps these older ladies have seen suffering because of lack of abortion availability. I have and I should have been standing with them. If I question your participation in the debate based on your age and gender, do you care? While I appreciate your right to your judgmental, vehement, violent opinion, I will not let your fear and hate affect my beliefs. Apparently those women feel the same as I do.

  • w kennedy
    May 29, 2014 - 00:18

    does anyone know what the current demand for adoptions are here now really one to leave to women I have no idea apparently it can be done the same as other med procedures in a higher demand area off island which should be more discrete. really to avoid decease virginity would be ideal if you expect to keep the equipment healthy for future use???

  • curious
    May 28, 2014 - 22:05

    just wondering, why are people that don't live on our island getting so involved in our business. Whether you are for or against abortion we are the ones that live here so why are we not the ones making these decisions. As foe the "petition" that was sent to the government by the prof of the psychology dept at upei, what a joke. It was signed by "360 academics, professionals, lawyers, historians from all over canada". Really a whole 360 from all over the world, that's impressive. Also why is a professor from a government funded school spending her time discussing her personal politics at work. UPEI really should not be involved in this. I personally have a life threatening illness that requires me to travel off island for treatment. Its not ideal and I can't afford it but I have to do it, so anyone one that says that an abortion is needed more here on PEI then oh lets say cardiology centers , more physicians to treat cancer, more nursing home beds, a neurologist. I could name a hundred things our health care system desperately needs to save lives. abortion is not one of them

    • But...
      May 29, 2014 - 06:54

      But each of the service you have listed are not cost neutral, which the plan for abortion services is. It makes perfect sense for health PEI to provide it on an economic and medical basis. The only reason they won't is to appease the religious crowd. If you are wondering why a professor is involved in this, it precisely because she's a professor of women's health issues. She is the most informed person around on PEI and she is not "discussing personal politics". The govt funds her research because she is an expert in this field; something none of us in the comment section are. Her informed opinion carries a lot more weight than yours or mine.

    • and yet
      May 29, 2014 - 12:54

      A former supreme court Judge weighs in and is ignored because of his gender.

    • wtf
      May 29, 2014 - 13:42

      If it so slam dunk why is there just talk and no action? If anyone had the feeling they could argue it, it would have been done already. Until I see something filed, this is all hot air so a few activists can feel that they are fighting the courageous fight against the odds. The odds are always against you if you aren't willing to actually do anything.

  • upwest proud
    May 28, 2014 - 21:56

    How often have we heard that the abortion debate is settled, this comes from pro-choice side more often than not, if this was remotely true they would stop pushing their views on islanders, what would they do if they couldn't bring their dog and pony show to PEI and have the media eating out of their lap. There were 60 people going to Fredericton for this, do we have to go through this constant debate to save 60 people from driving 200 kms in NB. We know we can't have every service here, accept it and move on, the people who keep pushing this issue are driven by a political agenda not any thing more or less. So, if this is really actionable, why do so many talk about it but never take action.

    • Rights
      May 29, 2014 - 06:10

      People confuse what they want with what they have a right to. Part of the confusion is whether abortion is medically necessary, like CPR, or elective like being fitted for a prosthetic. Since, in the US, this is a multi million dollar profitable industry, that the founders were quite clear was targeted at reducing the birth rate of particular minorities, there is per packaged rhetoric ready to deploy to shout down anyone who shows any resistance. Basically, you scream about how ant objector is a hateful lying person until they back down, and no matter what the situation portray the woman involved as a victim being persecuted by religious fundamentalists citing rape ( which statistically usually turns out to be an extremely low percentage). I don't find it much more credible than the campaign when I was in college to show that statistically most men were potential rapists, and if you changed your mind the next day that you were obviously tricked and it was still rape, as the assumption was always guilt.

    • But...
      May 29, 2014 - 06:55

      Having the service on PEI would save money. Why not change the policy?

    • to but
      May 29, 2014 - 17:29

      Killing orphans and the elderly would save money too.

  • John Cena
    May 28, 2014 - 21:17

    You can't see me.

    • Stone Cold Steve Austin
      May 28, 2014 - 22:04

      Austin 3:16 says you just got your kiester sued. Its time to fight for our women's rights, and THATS THE BOTTOM LINE.

    • Hulk Hogan
      May 29, 2014 - 12:09

      What are you going to do brother when prolifers come to your hometown.

    • The Rock
      June 01, 2014 - 13:00

      You guys are a bunch of jabronis, if you smell what The Rock is cookin'.

  • ideologist
    May 28, 2014 - 21:14

    I don't think the Liberals are holding firm because of costs. I also don't think it's because of any religious values they hold, because JT has made it clear he expect his men to be pro-choice. It's only a theory of mine, but I think that someone promised somebody's grandmother they would never allow abortions in PEI on their watch. Somebody respects their elders, and those elders respected human life.

  • Iggy Azalea
    May 28, 2014 - 19:35

    Hey government, how you does that?

  • Dale Gribil
    May 28, 2014 - 19:29

    Its all the governments plan to force population growth so that they can get more money from the feds and push this socialist regime.

    • good grief
      May 28, 2014 - 20:20

      The government does not force people to have sex and get pregnant. Go back to watching Alex Jones and David Icke.

    • talk to calling a spade a spade
      May 28, 2014 - 20:47

      He sounds like he's into herd culling, Should all work out. Wait.... Isn't the New World Order wanting to wipe out all but 500,000,000 worldwide? Which is it? More people or less? Abortion would sound more NWOish, by getting people to kill themselves.

  • john Malone
    May 28, 2014 - 18:18

    If this is right .What about people with heart problems? We don't have a cardiology dept. people with life and death at there door need to go to Halifax or Saint John to get work done. Is abortion more important then saving a life?

    • Cost positive
      May 28, 2014 - 19:20

      A local cardiology dept costs money. A local termination dept saves money.

    • cost negative
      May 28, 2014 - 21:13

      Euthanizing the elderly may save money. If that is our only goal.

  • Bobby Gimby
    May 28, 2014 - 18:07

    For all of you clowns personally attacking Ghiz and the Liberals you seem to forget the Tories under Pat Binns did not allow abortions on the island for the three terms he was premier.

    • hmatt
      May 29, 2014 - 07:25

      Oh, a Ghiz supporter, ..they are very rare. I suspect you like Wes too ?

  • good grief
    May 28, 2014 - 17:58

    "the minority who are violently opposed to a woman's right to choose," I do not think that causing the death of another human is something I would support, but to call me violent is a bit of a poisoning the well to try do dismiss any alternate view out of hand.

    • calling a spade a spade
      May 28, 2014 - 19:45

      First off, a fetus is not a human being. It is a collection of cells. Secondly, human beings are primate animals, not much different than gorillas and chimps. Do you really think we're that special because a minority of us believe in the bible? Thirdly, I would be curious to know your stance on wars, capital punishment, lethal use of force by law enforcement, etc.? So many of the southern U.S. bible thumper anti-abortion activists coming onto this CANADIAN newspaper website approve of the 3 uses of lethal force against living human beings. I fail to understand their logic. Then again, I fail to understand much of anything that comes out of the mouth of a yankee.

    • good grief
      May 28, 2014 - 20:18

      Why do you assume there are southern US bible thumpers here (The genetic fallacy in full force there) rather than Planned Parenthood sycophants? Also, your argument would lead me to assume that you do not have an issue with killing the old, or even hunting people to cull the herd. after all you are just a generic primate.

    • Technically
      May 28, 2014 - 20:24

      First off, a fetus is not a human being. It is a collection of cells?????? Technically, you are just a collection of cells.

    • you realize
      May 28, 2014 - 20:28

      ", I would be curious to know your stance on wars, capital punishment, lethal use of force by law enforcement," You are comparing a pregnant woman to a crime victim. Since you were once a fetus, are you guilty of assault and kidnapping?

    • a lie is a lie
      May 28, 2014 - 20:34

      Dishonesty is wrong, even if pro-choice.

    • lol
      May 28, 2014 - 20:59

      Spade, that is the worst response yet. That person who was just typing BIGOT! in previous articles had a better argument. Stop trying to help.

    • To Spade
      May 28, 2014 - 21:32

      You are not helping.

    • I Disagree
      May 29, 2014 - 07:34

      @good grief : I believe you have this wrong , "the minority who are violently opposed to a woman's right to choose," is not factual . the majority are for pro choice yes - women's right to choose which she does when she becomes pregnant . In today's world with the birth control method's available there isn't any excuse to become pregnant unless you decide too . Unless it's RAPE & just how many of these 150 island women are pregnant for this reason ???? The majority of people believe in this right of choice , but also on the same note , after she has chosen , the majority do not believe she still has the right to end a life that she previously decided to create .

  • Phillip Campbell
    May 28, 2014 - 17:55

    The PEI government was the LAST province in Canada to allow gay marriage - dragged kicking and screaming until it was obligated to approve the practice by the Supreme Court of Canada. Similarly, the PEI government is the LAST in Canada to provide women in-province abortion services. This despite the fact that this province had in-province abortion services throughout the 1970s. And just like PEI was the LAST in Canada to allow Sunday shopping. Ghiz seems to be really trying to be on the side of social conservatives. Why doesn't he go and run for the Reform Party in Alberta or the Republican Party in the USA? These despicable politics have no place in PEI. Do the right thing and allow 50% of your constituents an in-province choice. What a bloody tool !!!!

    • huh
      May 28, 2014 - 20:05

      So...if PEI is the last province to offer the services you mention, doesn't that imply that previous governments also did not offer them? Why single out Ghiz? Your partisan stance on the issues makes no sense.

  • Heas Shaker
    May 28, 2014 - 17:54

    Based on the Letter to the Editor by the former judge, "Clarifying facts on Canada’s abortion law, or lack of" on May 22nd, there seems to be a different interpretation of what the law actually says.

    • yeah no
      May 28, 2014 - 20:13

      He has no idea what the law says, obviously.

    • the prblem
      May 28, 2014 - 20:33

      The key word is "He".

    • still unhappy
      May 29, 2014 - 13:11

      Why do men even have the right to an opinion? If you do not have a utetus, you have no right to comment.

    • ffs
      May 29, 2014 - 17:37

      Gender is not relevant to whether the information is accurate. The prof from NS is not automatically right on the law, simply due to having a uterus. Political correctness must atrophy the brain, being informed what to think and what your opinion will be by others.

  • gender neutral commentor
    May 28, 2014 - 17:13

    Then go to court. If you REALLY have a case, do it and don't just threaten. If it is as obvious you would win easily. Just cite the article in the Charter and do a charter challenge. UNLESS....... You think abortion is less important than community centres in french schools. Did they not charter challenge? Surely you have more support than that?

  • Adam Drake
    May 28, 2014 - 15:33

    Our government will fight the inevitable lawsuit to the bitter end. Spend incredible amounts of money employing Liberal lawyers, then lose. They will then be able to face their constituents , the minority who are violently opposed to a woman's right to choose, and say"We tried! Sorry !" A sad decision , considering the financial position of the government and their difficulty maintaining education, infrastructure and healthcare, to name a few issues. The Premier needs to recognize that he must take a position. The right position. He knows what it is. Maybe if it hurts him politically, that can be the springboard he would, presumably love to have, into Federal politics. Consider the humanity that your Status quo is hurting Mr Ghiz.

    • Lilly
      May 28, 2014 - 17:55

      Let's face it folks, Health PEI does not have an endless pot of money to offer Islanders all services in the province. This is not the only procedure requiring Islanders to travel. Where do we draw the line? Are we going to demand that all services are offered here? If that's the plan don't complain when the government is forced to increase your taxes.

    • Careless
      May 28, 2014 - 18:30

      The careless action by 150 Island women isn't reason enough for the life of the unborn child to be terminated . There is absolutely no reason for a unwanted pregnancy in today's world unless it is rape . With the several method's of birth control & the morning after pill , unwanted pregnancy is nothing more than a woman not caring . She is choosing to use her body as she see's fit, which is her right & her right only at that time . Several weeks or months later when she changes her mind , a child's right to live comes into the picture & her rights are diminished to the point that she doesn't have the right to control the death penalty for her unwanted child . She has given that up .

    • frankthetank
      May 28, 2014 - 18:30

      Lilly, the proposal to perform abortions on PEI is cost neutral. It won't cost anymore than what the province is currently paying. So no, we aren't going to demand all services be available here. But if services can be performed here for the same costs as off island, why wouldn't we do them here?

    • Reproductive Rights
      May 28, 2014 - 20:11

      Does a woman's reproductive rights include IVF? Is there any right to be a mother, or only not to be one?