Green Party exasperated at Liberal non-position on abortion access on PEI.
On PEI it is 2014, just like everywhere else, but the mentality of our politicians is locked into the mid-1950s.
“Shamefully, PEI is the only province where women cannot access safe legal abortions. Even when legal scholars come from all corners of the world and state frankly, “you’re making a mess of this file,” the PEI government does nothing, avoids commenting and hides. They say that “PEI pays for abortion in other provinces” but this totally overlooks the fact that there is a massive medico-religious-bureaucratic gate-keeping system erected unnecessarily to make it difficult - not to mention expensive - to access this simple medical procedure,” said Peter Bevan-Baker, leader of the Green Party of PEI.
A recently exposed report shows that some bureaucrats had recommended setting up access to reproductive services on PEI which would not only bring PEI into line with the Canada Health Act, but would save the province tens of thousands of dollars. The recommendation was quashed by Doug Currie, minister of Health and Wellness, in a decision supported by other government departments right up to the Premier's office.
"We all know why this is the case on PEI. The truth is: our administration hasn’t the guts to draft and enforce logical public policy; scared of the political fallout of adopting such a position. The status quo of the PEI government is a non-position justified by political spin in order to protect votes; it’s a simple and shameful as that,” added Bevan-Baker.
Darcie Lanthier, Deputy Leader of the Green Party went on to say "The status-quo is patently unfair because it restricts access to a time-sensitive medical service. At times this delay is so long that women are forced to travel to Montreal instead of Halifax. A woman with transportation, the flexibility to travel, money for the trip, timely access to a pro-choice Doctor, a person to travel with, time off for blood tests and an ultrasound might not have an enormous challenge getting an abortion, however, many women are not in this situation. In the past five years over 600 women have left Prince Edward Island to have an abortion, the current policy does not prevent abortion it just needlessly burdens Island women.”
The Liberals keep defending their non-position on abortion by saying that they do fund it, and that it equates some other procedures like heart surgery that must be done off-Island for cost reasons. But this financial argument makes no sense in light of the fact that providing the service here on PEI is the cheaper option. The Green Party, if elected, would ensure that women on PEI would have easy and timely access to all reproductive services on the Island.