I am writing in response to Michael Sullivan’s letter in the May 16, 2014 edition of the Times&Transcript.
Abortion is a medical procedure that should be funded in our province. I would like to see the restrictive regulation 84.20 Schedule a.1, modified to remove the phrase “two medical practitioners certify in writing that the abortion was medically required.” I would also like to have the Morgentaler Clinic added to the list of approved facilities, and am open to discussion whether other hospitals should be included. Maybe one in Saint John and one in Edmunston.
You’re right, there is no law, pro or con, on abortion. In the absence of law against, this means it is permissible. No government since has chosen to wade the muddy waters of legislating a ban, because they know the Courts will not uphold a challenge to said ban. The Mckenna government enacted the regulation referenced above, as a compromise position in 1988. This is 2014.
The restrictive nature of the regulations is an issue. The Morgentaler Clinic provides abortions up to 16 weeks. In a province where many do not have a family doctor, how easy is it to find two doctors to agree on the need for a therapeutic abortion, within the first 16 weeks of pregancy? The Clinic serves a need and this must be protected.
You mention a distinction between therapeutic abortion and abortion on demand? What is it? You leave me hanging for an answer. You fall into a social argument, without answering the factual and medical distinction. I see no difference between an abortion in the Dumont or Chaleur hospitals and the Morgentaler Clinic.
Abortion is a discussion between a woman and her doctor. This procedure can be safely and reliably provided in Fredericton by the doctors at the Morgentaler Clinic. Funding needs to be opened so that the facility does not need to close its doors in July as announced.
Here is the letter I respond to:
To The Editor:
Perhaps, given the ‘bafflegab’ on the current abortion on demand topic in New Brunswick, facts, not myths, distortions or personal interpretations to suit a predisposed position, have to be brought to the attention of the general public.
1) There is no law on abortion in Canada, pro or con. A federal legislative vacuum has existed since 1988, i.e. R. v. Morgantaler, when the Supreme Court of Canada, rightly, struck down the existing law then found in the Criminal Code of Canada. It was premised on an argument of discrimination against many Canadian women due to the failure of many Canadian hospitals to comply with the requirements of the, then, existing law.
2) No constitutional right to an abortion exists in Canada. This was determined by the Supreme Court in the above, same case. The striking down of the Criminal Code of Canada provisions was procedural, NOT constitutional.Those advocating abortion on demand at all N.B. hospitals and repeal of the two doctor regulation (in place since the McKenna administration) under a guise of journalism and/or social activism, STOP advancing non truthful, inaccurate statements to mislead the general public and conform to your predisposed political agenda.
3) The Canada Health Act recognizes therapeutic abortion as an accepted medical procedure and eligible for public expenditure underwriting. Therapeutic abortion, complying with N.B. regulations is available at two hospitals; Dr. Georges-L-Dumont University Hospital and Chaleur Regional. Access is available for N.B. women – just not at all hospitals, anymore than open heart surgery, neurosurgery or cardiac procedures are available at all N.B. hospitals.
4) There is a factual, social and medical distinction between therapeutic abortion and abortion on demand.Many, on both sides of the topic, have asked why an objective arm of our fourth estate has not conducted a poll asking N.B. residents the following straight forward question: Is abortion on demand intended to be a socially accepted method of birth control? Such an inquiry, going straight to the heart of the matter, would secure the viewpoint of the silent majority and could lay the foundation of future social/legal/medical policy in our province.
This commenced with use of the word ‘bafflegab’ in the first sentence. You are directed to Times & Transcript writer Norbert Cunningham’s excellent analyses and exposé of this term, and how it has been used to obfuscate any subject.