by Steven Ertelt
January 28, 2005
Fredericton, NB (LifeNews.com) — A Canadian province is standing firm in its fight to not use taxpayer dollars to pay for abortions at a private abortion facility. New Brunswick’s Health Minister says the province will not pay for the abortions, despite increasing pressure from Canada’s national government to do so.
The battle is raging over whether the province should pay for abortions of women who get them at infamous abortion practitioner Henry Morgentaler’s abortion business.
Elvy Robichaud, the New Brunswick official, says that if a woman wants an abortion at the private abortion facility, she should pay for it herself without expecting taxpayers to foot the bill.
Robichaud called a news conference in Fredericton Thursday to respond to pressure from federal Health Minister Ujjal Dosanjh to pay for the abortions.
The two met privately earlier this week to discuss the issue.
Dosanjh said the federal government would step in to make sure New Brunswick is enforcing the Canada Health Act, which requires provinces to pay for public abortions. He said he is ready to file a formal dispute if the province refuses.
Robichaud says the act requires the province only to pay for those abortions performed at a public health facility and he expressed his disappointment that Dosanjh would make their private conversation a matter of public debate.
The question of abortion funding is currently before the New Brunswick courts as Morgentaler is suing the province for not paying for the abortions.
Robichaud has asked Dosanjh to hold off on any further actions until the case is resolved.