The province of Alberta has been hit with a wave of budget-cutting fever and a local group is attempting to ride this wave to remove abortion from the federal rolls.
The Committee to End Tax-Funded Abortions, an Edmonton-based group, plans to organize a media and lobbying campaign to raise public awareness.
“We are convinced that the majority of Albertans feel that abortions are not an essential service and that they should not have to pay for them,” said Committee director Patty Nixon.
The group is independent of the pro-life movement and Nixon says that their goal is not to “eliminate abortions…but simply to remove funding for them under Alberta Health Care.”
The group has conducted a poll which found that 70 per cent of Albertans were opposed to abortion funding. This number coincides with a 1991 Saskatchewan plebiscite which found than 71 per cent of that province’s voters were against using tax-payers’ money to pay for abortions.
The main problem facing the group is getting around the Canada Health Care Act which compels provinces to provide and fund all medically necessary medical procedures. Since abortion is classified as a medically necessary procedure, the provincial governments have all been forced to pay for them.
However, the group’s lawyers believe that if the provincial government reclassifies abortion as a “medically unnecessary” procedure, (e.g. Plastic surgery) the government will no longer be forced to pay for it. The committee maintains that the move will save government over $4 million per year.