At a time when health care cutback have resulted in many Ontario obstetricians refusing to deliver babies, public funds continue to pour into a program to train even more abortionists to practise their dubious art.

An advertisement in the August edition of Canadian Family Physician has drawn the fire of those who believe that the Ontario Ministry of Health’s priorities are severely challenged.

The ad states that The Bay centre for Birth Control and The Morgantaler Clinic are jointly offering a “two week training program for licensed physicians … in providing abortion services under general and local anaesthesia.” The training money is $50,000 a year and is in addition to the hundreds of thousands which Morgantaler already bills OHIP for actually performing abortions.

Rev. Ken Campbell, President of Choose Life Canada believes that by funding this program, the Ontario government of Premier Mike Harris is ignoring both of its pre-election commitments: To open no new abortion clinics and to provide independent counselling for women in crisis pregnancies. Rev, Campbell wonders where the newly trained abortionists will set up shop and how the government can possibly consider the counselling that Morgantaler provides is “independent.”

Lilly Weedon, Media Liaison for the Ontario Ministry of Health argues that the program is not a new one – but was initiated in 1993 under the Rae government. She says the program is “necessary” since abortion training is not a part of the family practice Residency Program in most medical schools.”

Weedon rationalizes that the Canada Health Act stipulates “abortion as a medically necessary service” and as such, requires public funding.

Doug Geekie, past Director of Communications for the Canadian Medical Association disagrees. He says that it’s the “responsibility and authority of the provinces exclusively to determine what will be insured.”

Jakki Jeffs, Director of Alliance for Life (Ontario) argues that there’s no way abortion can be considered medically necessary.

“Abortion is elective surgery, therefore, by definition, it can’t be necessary,” she said.

“Funding abortions is one thing” said Rev. Campbell, “but there is nothing that requires the government to subsidize abortionist training programs.” CMA agrees, calling the funding “highly unusual. Abortion training is a routine part of obstetrical training” she adds.

Also highly unusual is that when contacted, The Bay Centre for Birth Control (as advertised in the ad) answered the phone –“Women’s Health Centre.” At one point, they hung up on media inquiries, and the program’s Director, A Dr. Dunn, did not return calls, telling her receptionist she was suspicious because “anti-abortionists often call for information and then twist it out of proportion,” Given the fact that in Ontario today, doctors willing to deliver babies are in short supply, while doctors willing to kill them are in dime a dozen, it appears that there’s no twisting required.