The Following Letter to the Editor appeared in the Guardian newspaper on January 26th; it addresses a key inaccuracy in an article reporting on a recent Pro-Life demonstration in Summerside.


In Tuesday’s Guardian editorial, ‘Fact check everything,’ we read:

“We have to be more careful than ever to be accurate. We also have to be ready to clearly identify and call out mistakes and lies for what they are, when they occur. We want you to consider the source, and not find us wanting.”

I sincerely commend the Guardian for taking the journalistic high road. I also want to take you up on your offer.

An article in Monday’s Guardian, “Anti-abortionists rally outside PCH,” stated:

“The Canada Health Act states that everyone in Canada should have access to necessary health services, including abortion.”

Abortion is nowhere legally defined as a necessary health service in Canada.  Nor does the Canada Health Act state that “… everyone should have access to necessary health services, including abortion.” The word abortion is nowhere mentioned in the CHA.

The Constitution grants provinces exclusive jurisdiction to determine which medical procedures are funded under provincial health plans. The federal law and government division, in “Abortion: Constitutional and Legal Developments,” says,

“The state is required only to respect such decisions, or to refrain from interfering with them, not to approve or facilitate them. . . . .A province can limit coverage for abortions by regulation, provided there is authority in the governing Act to make such a regulation.”

The P.E.I. Health Services Act clearly conveys such authority. It is entirely within P.E.I.’s jurisdictional and legal right to neither offer nor pay for abortions.