Canadian Province of Manitoba Will Use Tax Funds for Abortions

National   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Jul 8, 2004   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

Canadian Province of Manitoba Will Use Tax Funds for Abortions

byPaul Nowak Staff Writer
July 8, 2004

Winnipeg, Canada ( — A gambit to get the Manitoba government to provide funding for an abortion facility in Winnipeg has apparently worked as Jane’s Clinic, a private abortion business, began receiving funding as of July 1.

The Winnipeg abortion business was the second such facility opened by abortionist Henry Morgantaler in 1983. In April, the facility was purchased by 18 women who renamed it and began operating it as a nonprofit, hoping they could secure funding from the Manitoba province, which has refused to fund privately-owned for-profit abortion businesses.

Jan Currie, a vice-president with the Winnipeg Regional Health Authority, says the funding will allow the Health Authority to have a say in the standards and operations of Jane’s Clinic, which will function as a part of the expanded Women’s Health Clinic.

The former owner of the business, Morgentaler, has fought continually for taxpayer-funded abortions in Canada, including filing lawsuits against the provinces of New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, Manitoba, and Prince Edward Island to force them to pay for abortions at his businesses with tax dollars.

Currently, Ontario, British Columbia and Alberta pay for abortions with taxpayer dollars.

Last November Morgantaler closed his Halifax facility, as it was no longer profitable. In 1999, Morgantaler had admitted that the Halifax business was being supported by revenues at his other facilities.

In April, Amanda Le Rougetel, chair of Jane’s Clinic’s board, said the new owners would defiantly send claims to the Manitoba government to pay for abortions, even though officials originally said they would not be funding the renamed facility.

"We are going to throw down the gauntlet. That’s what this is about," Le Rougetel said in April. "Let’s force the hand and see what is the real issue here that the Doer government has with abortion services in a clinic setting."

Morgentaler has successfully defended himself against criminal charges for performing abortions in provinces such as Quebec and Ontario. In 1988, the Supreme Court of Canada struck down as unconstitutional a section of the Criminal Code under which he had been charged.