New Brunswick Lawyers Plan Lawsuit Over Abortion Funding Limits

International   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Jan 15, 2007   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

New Brunswick Lawyers Plan Lawsuit Over Abortion Funding Limits

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by Steven Ertelt Editor
January 15
, 2007

Fredericton, Canada ( — A group of pro-abortion attorneys are preparing a lawsuit against the Canadian province of New Brunswick saying that its limits on taxpayer funding of abortions are unconstitutional. They are challenging what they call "draconian" laws that they say are making abortion access more difficult.

Lawyer Michelle Caron is leading the fight against the restrictions and she claims no other medical procedure faces the same kind of limitations on funding.

New Brunswick’s medicare system will only pay for an abortion in a public hospital and when two doctors certify that it is medically necessary.

If they don’t qualify for a publicly-funded abortion, women must go to the private Morgentaler abortion business and pay as much as $750 for the abortion.

According to the CBC, Caron plans to meet with Health Minister Michael Murphy to find out if the province has any plans to change its abortion funding policy. If there’s no planned change to make taxpayers fund more abortions, she plans to file the lawsuit in the spring.

"If we need to go, it’s probably going to be in March or April that we will be filing," she told the CBC.

Last month, Simone Leibovitch, Morgentaler’s director, told the CBC that some women seeking abortions during the Christmas holiday were going to have to wait until this month to get them because two abortion practitioners at local hospitals were on vacation.

"We’ve had women that were scheduled to go into hospital and couldn’t," he said, adding that calls to the abortion facility were increasing as a result.

In May, the hospital that performed most of the publicly funded abortions in the Canadian province announced it would stop doping abortions this summer.

Dr. Everett Chalmers Hospital stopped doing abortions June 30 and it cited workload problems as the reason for stopping.

In 2005, the Medicare system in New Brunswick paid for 404 abortions and 400 were done by the River Valley Health authority, with most of them occurring at Chalmers. That year 600 women had abortions at the Morgentaler abortion facility.

In 2002, there were 105,154 abortions in Canada compared with a figure of 106,270 in 2001. The number of abortions in Canada peaked in 1997 at 112,000. Abortion in Canada were legalized in a 1998 Supreme Court of Canada ruling.