Charlottetown. More than a thousand members attending the Annual General Meeting of Queen Elizabeth Hospital here on June 20, defeated a motion by the Canadian Abortion Rights Action League (CARAL) to grant abortion privileges to the doctors on the staff of Prince Edward Island’s largest hospital. The motion was defeated 874 to 70.
Three candidates who were nominated by CARAL for election to the hospital’s Board of Directors were defeated also.
The huge turnout was no surprise. In recent weeks, local newspapers have carried full-page listings of over 3000 Islanders declaring their opposition to abortion, an action taken in response to a CARAL ad with 165 signatures, calling for abortion services.
Conspicuously reading books and newspapers during the various committee reports and the pro-life remarks on the motion, CARAL members speaking to the motion and to the media insisted that the majority of Islanders are pro-choice, that the great majority of members were in attendance under duress by the Church, and that out of fear of social disapproval many people simply pretend to hold pro-life views.
Following the meeting which lasted until 11:00 p.m., CARAL organizers declared their intention of launching a court action against either the hospital or the provincial government, under sections 15 and 7 of the Canadian Charter. PEI Status of Women supports them fully in their stand, declaring “staunch anti-abortionists are in the minority in the province.”