by Steven Ertelt
December 29, 2004
Winnipeg, Canada (LifeNews.com) — A Canadian judge who recently ruled that the province of Manitoba must pay for women’s abortions — whether at a public hospital or private abortion business — is coming under fire.
Associate Chief Justice Jeffrey Oliphant ruled last week that the funding system in place in the province of Manitoba violated the Charter of Rights of women by not paying for their abortions.
Earlier this year, but after the women obtained their abortions, Manitoba changed its policy that previously allowed funding only in cases where such abortion occurred in a public hospital.
Winnipeg Sun columnist Tom Brodbeck says the policy was sufficient and that women who don’t want to wait for the province to pay for abortions at the public hospital can get them at private abortion facilities.
"[A]dd me to the list of people who are getting really nervous about activist judges who are striking down laws passed by elected officials," Brodbeck wrote in a Wednesday column.
"The problem with Oliphant’s decision is that he made a political ruling, not a judicial one. And that’s not his role," Brodbeck explained.
He said the Manitoba policy was not a Charter of Rights violation and that "judges such as Oliphant are deviating from the intent of the Charter."
"[I]n the abortion clinic case — whether a government should fund a particular medical service at a specific facility — it’s clearly a political issue and not one for the courts to adjudicate," he wrote.