Abortion is not a medical necessity and therefore should not be covered under provincial health insurance plans.  This is stated in a brief to be presented to Health Minister Jake Epp by Alliance for Life and Campaign Life Coalition.  The Brief is the first collaborative effort of its kind on the part of the two national organizations.  The Interim has learned that it has been prepared to coincide with Epp’s approval of the Hospital’s Services Exclusions Regulations pursuant to the Canada Health Act.  The Regulations list services which may be delivered in a hospital setting but which are not considered to be “insured services.”

The Hospital Services Exclusions Regulations must be approved by each province before approval by the federal cabinet.  Provinces can also arbitrarily refuse to insure services which they deem are not medically necessary; the list of insured services varies widely across the country.  However, sources in one province have revealed that Mr. Epp has indicated that he would “have no choice” but to withhold federal contribution payments from any province which de-insured abortion services.”

The Canada Health Act defines insured “hospital services” as those which are “medically necessary for the purpose of maintaining health, preventing disease or diagnosing or treating an injury, illness or disability…”  Alliance for Life and Campaign Life Coalition maintain that abortion serves none of these purposes.  The two groups present a persuasive case for abortion to be excluded.  They use statistical data from Britain to show that abortion to save the life of the mother may be a medical consideration in only .005 per cent of women seeking abortion, or three Canadian women annually.  The groups suggest that basing tax-supported medical insurance on such a statistical improbability is “ill-advised and impractical.”

The Brief contains evidence of the negative health effects of abortion on women, including health complications and the devastating effects of Post-Abortion Syndrome.

Alliance for Life and Campaign Life Coalition conclude that abortion is not medically necessary.  It has, in fact, a negative impact on the health of Canadian women.  Therefore, they state abortion should not be insured by provincial health insurance plans.

If a given province were to de-insure abortion, the matter would be referred to the Governor-in-Council – the Cabinet.  The Act provides that cash contributions “may” then be withheld.  In other words, the legislation allows Cabinet to decide whether or not payments would be withheld.

The provinces of the Canada health Act allow two separate mechanism by which abortion could easily be removed from provincial health insurance plans.  The first is through the Hospital Services Exclusions Regulations.  The second is by voluntary de-insurance by each individual province with the simple acquiescence of the federal government.  All that is needed is the political will to do so.

The Interim has also learned that Briefs to provincial governments concerning voluntary de-insurance may be forthcoming in the near future.  Campaign Life Coalition’s January newsletter points out that most Canadians are indirectly connected with abortion.  In every province, hospital equipment is purchased with tax dollars, “so our money is used to buy the abortionists’ suction machines,” the newsletter points out.  Even in Prince Edward Island where no abortions are committed, it continues, “women who obtain them outside the province are covered by provincial medicare.”