by Steven Ertelt
August 21, 2006
Montreal, Canada (LifeNews.com) — The government of the Canadian province of Quebec has been forced to pay for the abortions of more than 45,000 women with taxpayer funds. That’s the result of a ruling by Superior Court Judge Nicole Benard who ordered the province to pay for abortions women had at private abortion facilities.
Previously, Quebec paid for abortions done at public hospitals but only a portion of the cost for private abortions.
The ruling makes Quebec spend $13 million on the abortions done at private abortion facilities there since 1999. The province could pay as much as $300 per abortion for the thousands of women affected by its policy.
Abortions are covered under the Quebec Health Insurance Act, so women were likely charged the same amounts at the private abortion businesses as they would have been a t public hospitals.
Anabelle Caron, a pro-abortion advocate with the Centre de sante des femmes de Montreal, told the CanWest News Service she was happy with the decision.
"It’s good news for women’s rights," she said. "Now, women can choose where to go for an abortion without having to pay if they choose a women’s center or private clinic."
Abortion advocates filed a class action lawsuit against the provincial government covering all abortions done on women in the first 13 weeks of pregnancy. The Association for Access to Abortion initially filed the lawsuit in May 2002.
The government must deposit the award money in a bank and regulations will be set on who will be entitled to the funds and how much.
Quebec has 30 days to appeal the decision. Premier Jean Charest told the Canadian Press the government will study the ruling.