Well it looks like this will be the last post on my application for judicial review of PEI’s abortion law, a legal action which I initiated back in February. I spent over an hour making arguments before Judge Nancy Key at the PEI Supreme Court this morning (July 18) in a bid to defend a challenge by the provincial government against my standing. I was hoping they would be willing to have the judge decide on the merits of the case, but I was obviously being a little naive. Once they challenged my standing, I knew it would be a long-shot to have a judge rule in my favour, based on my research on legal precedents on winning legal standing as an individual.
Judge Key returned to Court at 3pm to deliver her ruling. In a nutshell, there are three conditions which must be met for standing to be granted. I was confident I had shown that I had met all three conditions….but Judge Key ruled I didn’t meet any of them. There are lots of technical reasons for this disappointing outcome – for example, I submitted very credible documentary evidence in the form of a document with over a thousand signatures from gynecologists and obstetricians who signed an international declaration that abortions are never medically required; however, Judge Key indicated that she could not consider that information as “evidence” because those doctors had not sworn affidavits nor did they appear in court to make themselves available for cross-examination by the lawyer for the provincial government.
I believe I presented a very strong case, which I am sure anyone – other than a judge bound by countless technical rules – would find very persuasive. You can be the judge of that….I have uploaded my presentation for those of you who have been following the case and may be interested in reading it.
I take solace in the fact that my legal action – along with the many Guest Opinion articles on abortion and the need to protect the “right to life” of the unborn which I have published in Island Newspapers over the past three years – have provided Islanders with lots of good information on key issues related to abortion and the law. There are now a lot more Islanders who know that there is, in fact, no “constitutional right to abortion” in Canada, despite what we all keep hearing from those promoting greater abortion access, including Liberal politicians. And I am also certain that many more Islanders now know that the regulation of abortion services is entirely a provincial matter, and that a future government could legally decide to stop providing abortion services as “health care” services funded under our Provincial Health Plan.
If enough people become aware of all the facts about why abortion is neither medially required nor a reasonable way for a society to help women deal with unwanted pregnancies, then perhaps the day is not too far off when we will have a provincial government willing to stop providing and paying for abortion-on-demand. In the meantime, we must all continue to do what we can to help pregnant women in need so they will chose to deliver their babies rather than end their lives. Although today’s decision was disappointing, I hope that we can together work towards building a society where abortions will soon become just another sad and regrettable chapter in our social history.