Prince Edward Island, long praised as a “life sanctuary” by the pro-life movement for not providing surgical abortions, now has a doctor willing to do chemical abortions. Chemical abortions, sometimes called medical abortions, are brought about by taking abortion-inducing drugs that make the uterine wall inhospitable to newly conceived life; without the ability to grow safely in that location, it is expelled from the womb and dies.

On January 28, CBC and the Charlottetown Guardian newspaper interviewed a woman from P.E.I. who was prescribed chemical abortion, which uses two drugs to end the life of a seven-to-nine-week-old unborn child – one to kill it and the other to expel it from the uterus. The woman already had several small children and said she was not ready for another baby. “I was looking on the internet for ways to self-abort for where I could buy this medication,” she told the Guardian. “Who knows what I would have been getting? I was feeling pretty depressed. I just couldn’t see a way out and he was my last hope.”

The woman also said she had no regrets over the abortion and was worried about other women who did not know about this option or did not have a physician who would provide the abortion.

Richard Wedge, acting CEO of Health PEI, told the CBC that his agency does not monitor medical abortions. This is because the same drugs are used for diseases such as cancer. Wedge believes medical abortions are uncommon and does not know of any physicians “actively promoting this kind of treatment.”

“It’s quite likely that somebody could learn about it, keep the medications in their office or provide prescriptions for women to go to the stores, but we don’t track it and we don’t have any organized clinic for medical abortions,” he said.

The Guardian reported that Colleen MacQuarrie, a professor at the University of P.E.I., talked to a doctor who gives medical abortions. The doctor does not offer them openly because of fear of backlash.

None of the media reports said what drug regiment is being used to procure the abortions.

In the 1980s, pro-lifers successfully lobbied the province’s hospital boards to stop aborting children, thus earning the “life sanctuary” status. Currently, women from P.E.I. who want a surgical abortion must travel either to a Morgentaler abortion facility in Fredericton or a Halifax hospital. The province pays for the abortions in Halifax but not at the Fredericton facility.

Ann Marie Tomlins, interim president of the P.E.I. Right to Life Association, told LifeSiteNews that she feared that the doctor prescribing medical abortions may be jeopardizing the lives of women because of the abortion drugs’ life-threatening side effects. “This is a small province and it will not be long until this doctor’s name is revealed,” Tomlins said. “When this happens, I predict that there will be a mass exodus of patients from his practice. Any doctor who would put a woman’s life at risk would be hard pressed to find people who would trust him or her with their medical care,” she explained.