Board members of the Fort McMurray Regional Hospital in Alberta have voted against the establishment of a therapeutic abortion clinic. According to hospital board chairman, Ron Wolff, the June 19, vote was close. The board looked at projected costs for the clinic and public opinion o n abortion but declined to say what weighing these factors had in their decision.

Dave Reynolds, spokesman for hospital, told Cathy McLaughlin of the Western Catholic Reporter, that the board released the minimum of information on the decision” because of the emotional nature of the issue.”

Hospital trustees received 5,133 written submissions from the citizens of Fort Mcmurray and area: 90 per cent were opposed to the clinic. A telephone survey of 801 people in the area found 57 per cent to be in favour of the clinic. However, the telephone question did not address the clinic question specifically; it merely asked if the respondent believed a woman had a right to abortion under certain circumstances.

Chairman Wolff denied that the board’s decision fearing a pro-life backlash. “We’re scared of no-one,” he said.