The essential question in determining whether the Ontario Government has the legal right to de-insure abortion is a straightforward one:
Who defines what is medically “necessary” under the Canada Health Act?
IT’S A FACT: Section 3 of the Canada Health Act states that…”The primary objective of Canadian health care policy is to protect, promote and restore the physical and mental well being of residents of Canada…”
IT’S A FACT: The Act provides that provincial health insurance plans must cover “insured health services” which include “hospital services.” These hospital services are defined in Section 2 of the Act as services which are “medically necessary for the purpose of maintaining health, preventing disease or diagnosing or treating an injury, illness or disease (1)”
IT’S A FACT: Former Justice Minister Kim Campbell stated that it was entirely the prerogative of the provincial government “to draw a distinction between abortions which are medically necessary and those which are not, and to fund only those which are medically necessary, drawing on their own criteria. (2) The current Health Minister, Diane Marleau, has clearly re-affirmed this principle. (7)
IT’S A FACT: The Ontario Provincial Government has the legal ability to remove abortion from public medical insurance.
Note: The Canada Health Act does not require that “elective procedures” be funded, nor has any Canadian court ever found a Constitutional right to publicly funded abortion.
Note: “It is the responsibility and the authority of the province, exclusively to determine what services will be insured.” (3)
IT’S A FACT: Ontario tax-payers funded 45,014 abortions in 1993 at an estimated cost of 25 million dollars. All abortions in the province are funded by Ontario Health Care (regardless of why they are performed).
Note: In 1988 Dr. Henry Morgentaler stated that fewer than one tenth of one percent of abortions are done for serious health emergencies.
Note: A recent study reviewing all available research on the reasons for abortion in Canada, concluded that, “as the procedure (abortion) is not therapeutic, and as there is mounting evidence that it is harmful to women’s health, funding by the government under health care cannot be justified.” (4)
IT’S A FACT: Abortionists are getting rich on performing abortions, with Ontario tax dollars funding the five “private” abortion facilities to the tune of an estimated 10 million in 1993.
IT’S A FACT: Removing public funding from abortion does not restrict access to abortion nor promote the rise of illegal abortions.
Note: Conclusive studies by U.S. Government Centers for Disease Control, show that in 39 states that have removed public funding, 80% of welfare-women who wanted abortions were able to obtain them through private funds. No states saw an increase in illegal abortion rates. (5)
IT’S A FACT: Free abortions mean more abortions.
Note: U.S. studies have shown that where public funding for abortion has been removed, both the pregnancy rate and the abortion rate have dropped significantly. According to one economist in the Wall Street Journal this is because, “people respond to the availability of (abortion) at public expense by using it in place of other means of birth control…” (6)
There are no legal impediments to prevent the Ontario Government from de-insuring elective abortion! Pregnancy is not a disease, injury or illness. Abortion is never medically necessary.
References: 1) Alliance for Life and Campaign Life Coalition, “A Brief to the Hon. Jake Epp, Federal Minister of Health, and Provincial Ministers of Health, Concerning Medicare Funding of Abortion” February 1988.
2) Hansard: November 21st 1989, Page 5966.
3) CBC Radio Noon Edition, July 28th, 1991, hosted by Barry Burgess, interview with Dr. Doug Geekle, Director of Communications, Canadian Medical Association.
4) Abortion funding Psychiatric Brief, Dr. R.M. Ferri, M.D. FRCP (C) (Psychiatry) September 1994.
5) Willard Gates, Jr. M.D. et al. “The Health Impact of Restricting Public Funds for Abortions,” October 10th 1977 – June 10th 1978, American Journal of Public Health. (September 1979)
6) Jacqueline R. Kasun Ph.D., “Cut off of Abortion Funds Doesn’t Deliver Welfare Babies,” Wall Street Journal, December 30th 1986.
7) Canadian Press story, January 11th 1995.
Prepared by Jakki Jeffs
Alliance for Life Ontario
Distributed by Campaign Life Coalition