Ottawa hospitals performed over 4,370 abortions in 1991 and there is a freestanding abortuary in nearby Hull, Quebec. Yet the Ottawa Pro-Choice Network claims that approximately 40 women per month must seek abortions outside the area. To rectify this “problem,” Henry Morgentaler is demanding public money to establish an abortuary in the nation’s capital.
When Morgentaler applied for a publicly funded facility in 1991, he was told by the Ottawa-Carleton District Health Council that he would have to wait for the conclusions of a two-year study looking into the “need” for a freestanding clinic.
Morgentaler’s latest attempt to expand his business interests was immediately assailed by Action Life and Ottawa Sun columnist Peter Stockland.
In a statement released to the press on September 17, Action Life stated that figures released by the Regional Health Unit for Eastern Ontario show that 141 women from outside Eastern Ontario came to the area in 1991 to have their babies aborted.
Action Life also asked why public money should be given to abortionists while so many people with a real need for medical services are being denied. For instance, the Ottawa General Hospital recently cut 54 jobs and the Ottawa Montfort Hospital closed 27 beds, due to lack of funds. The cancer clinic at the Ottawa Civic Hospital is chronically under-funded. Patients there must endure long waiting lists for such basic anti-cancer treatments as chemotherapy.
Peter Stockland, a columnist well known for his consistent pro-life stand, noted the conflict of interest in Morgentaler’s lobbying of Ontario’s Health Minister Frances Lankin.
Such lobbying by a medical doctor who stands to profit from a positive government response, Stockland said, “is equivalent to stakeholders in logging companies taking to the streets to pressure the minister of forests into granting clear-cutting permits before the appropriate environmental studies are done.”
“It is undeniable” Stockland said, “that what he (Morgentaler) now proposes to do is franchise abortions the way Col. Sanders franchises fried chicken.”
On October 1 a letter by Ottawa doctor Jean Leduc in the Ottawa Citizen asked why, in a time of recession, $250,000 should be given to perform approximately 500 abortions a year, when the food distribution committee for Ottawa’s Dalhousie ward only gets $30,000 per year. When the doctor put that question to the panelists of the Pro-Choice Network’s September 16 public meeting, one “suggested that with more abortion clinics the food banks would not be necessary.” Incensed at such an inhuman statement, Dr. Leduc said, “I leave it to you to estimate the intelligence level of those feminists.”
On October 17 Morgentaler delivered a speech on the steps of the Supreme Court in support of his abortuary. Two hundred pro-abortionists walked for two hours through downtown Ottawa on October 18 chanting, “Keep your rosaries off our ovaries!” When Morgentaler’s new abortuary was announced over a year ago, Ottawa-Carleton “Youth for Life” collected the names of 8,000 people that they presented to the Ottawa-Carleton District Health Council.
The Council hasn’t indicated when its report will be completed. It is under pressure not only from Morgentaler and the Ottawa Pro-Choice Network, but also from pro-abortion activist Judy Rebick, president of the National Action Committee on the Status of Women.