One of the larger defund rallies Oct. 13 was at the constituency office of Ontario Premier Dalton McGuinty in Ottawa.

On Oct. 13 from 11 am to noon, pro-life activists and concerned taxpayers held simultaneous rallies at at least 40 Ontario MPP’s offices calling for an end to taxpayer funding of abortion.

The event, coordinated by Campaign Life Coalition Youth, is the latest effort in a three-year campaign to defund abortion from the Ontario Health Insurance Plan.

Alissa Golob, youth coordinator for Campaign Life Coalition, said taxpayers “sent a message to their elected representatives that they do not want to be forced to pay for someone else’s elective abortion.” She told The Interim that abortion is a “lifestyle choice not a medical necessity” and that the “estimated $30 to $50 million minimum spent annually on killing unborn babies could be better used to address doctor and nurse shortages or other genuine areas of health care such as elder care or treatment for autistic children.”

Matthew Wojciechowski, a CLC project manager, told The Interim that “The Canada Health Act only requires provinces to insure procedures that are medically necessary and abortion is not one of them since pregnancy is not a disease, sickness, or illness.”

Golob said MPPs have the power to delist abortion services from OHIP funding and the mini rallies held across the province “signals that they cannot ignore this issue and that individual MPPs will be held responsible for continued taxpayer-funding of abortion.”

A prepared text for speakers at the mini rallies noted that “The simple truth is that abortions today are performed for convenience, as a back-up birth control method. That’s clearly not a medical necessity and should not be funded as such.” The text also listed the opportunity cost of abortion, noting that if abortion was defunded, Ontario could hire 200 family doctors, 400 nurses, or purchase 20 MRI machines annually.

The Windsor Star reported that “about two dozen …pro-life advocates” protested outside the constituency office of local MPP and Ontario Finance Minister Dwight Duncan. Mike Cowan, the local organizer, told the paper, “I don’t think a lot of people in Ontario understand abortion is being paid for 100 per cent by the Ontario taxpayer.”
A September 2011 poll co-sponsored by CLC, The Interim, and, found that 91 per cent of Ontarians had no idea of the extent the province paid for abortions and that about seven in ten respondents disagreed with taxpayer funding of non-medically necessary abortions.

A large Defund Abortion Rally was held at Queen’s Park on Oct. 30, after The Interim went to press. The 2011 Defund Abortion Rally attracted more than 2000 participants.