The schizophrenia in the Ontario health-care system has never been more apparent than now with revelations that the abortion clinics are receiving millions of dollars annually while the province is making drastic cuts in its overall health budget, jeopardizing the quality of services available to seriously ill people.
What it takes from some groups, the NDP government gives to others; it all depends on how close the group is to the centre of power in the province.
Testimony by abortion clinic operators recently made public includes revelations about the vast sums of money they receive from the provincial New Democrats.
Henry Morgentaler, the most public abortionist in the country, receives in the neighbourhood of $1.5 million every year from his Toronto abortuary. The Choice in Health Clinic, run by Nikki Colodny gets about $1.2 million annually. The Scott Clinic receives in excess of $1 million, and the Cabbagetown Clinic gets approximately $600,000. These grants are on top of the money which the abortionists charge OHIP for each abortion performed. On top of this money, the province also forked out over $450,000 to the Morgentaler Clinic for security needs.
The information was made public as a result of cross-examination of the abortionists as the Attorney General of Ontario tries to get a temporary injunction banning pro-life activity from 23 sites across the province.
The money provided by the province is based on the number of abortions annually at the clinics, the testimony reveals. It is used, say the abortionists, to cover capital costs such as security measures and property improvement.
Since 1991 the government has used the Independent Health Facilities Act to justify the funding the funding. In addition, the Ontario Health Insurance pays for all abortions at the clinics except for those women who do not have OHIP coverage such as refugees, immigrants and non-residents.
Morgentaler testified he charges $450 for first trimester abortions and up to $650 for later abortions to women who are not covered by OHIP. This is many times more than he is allowed to charge OHIP for abortions. Testimony also reveals that one woman who was four weeks pregnant paid $800 cash at the Cabbagetown Clinic for an abortion. Volunteers at Aid to Women estimate a late-term abortion at the Cabbagetown Clinic is close to $1,200.
In 1992 there were 5,854 abortions at the Morgentaler Clinic, 2,491 at the Scott Clinic, 2,448 at the Cabbagetown Clinic and 2,013 at the Choice in Health Clinic. The Toronto Right to Life calculates that the average cost to OHIP per abortion is in the neighbourhood of $175 which means that Morgentaler is taking in close to $1.02 million by performing abortions every year on top of the $1.5 million block funding.
Added to his one-time grant of $450,000 after the arson at his clinic, he received at least $3 million in 1992. The total for the four abortion clinics would be in the neighbourhood of $7.2 million in 1992. All this money comes directly from the taxpayer.
On top of all this taxpayer money, the government has spared no expense in its efforts to obtain an injunction against pro-life activity in the province, including hiring a private detective to spy on the movement at a public conference in Toronto in 1992.
The Attorney General Marion Boyd has refused to answer the question of whether the province is paying the legal costs for the abortion clinics’ intervention in the case but according to David Brown and Peter Jervis, the lawyers representing the pro-lifers, “It appears likely that the funding of the clinics’ intervention in these proceedings is being fully funded by the Ontario government as are other aspects of the clinics’ operations.”
The news of the seemingly endless resources provided by the New Democrats for the abortionists, comes at the same time as daily reports of cut backs to health care in the province. These cut backs include:
- News in April from Finance Minister Floyd Laughren that “everybody has to share the pain” as he announced a plan which would slash health funding. It would force the poor and seniors to pay for their drugs, restrict services to refugee claimants, and charge fees to those on social assistance. The government is also considering cutting some OHIP services, such as annual checkups and some surgical procedures.
- The closing within three years of the Oxford Regional Centre which cares for 244 disabled residents.
- Reports that women had to travel to northern Ontario to get crucial treatment for breast cancer.
- Reports that some cancer patients faced the prospect of becoming incurable after being put on waiting lists to receive radiation treatment. Patients needing radiation for breast, cervix, larynx, lung and prostate cancer were facing delays twice as long as they were a decade ago, doctors reported.
- An exodus of doctors to the U.S. who complain of the decline in health services at hospitals brought on by the social-contract legislation.
One mother who was directly affected by the health cuts is furious about the money which goes to fund abortions while people like her severely impaired son lose out. She echoes the frustration that men in the province feel about the political nature of the allocation of health funds.
“It makes me so angry that our tax money is going to pay for abortions yet my son can’t get any help,” says Nicky Moore from her home in Carleton Place Ontario, where she takes care of her 24-year-old son who was permanently disabled with head injuries after a 1992 car accident. “Why should we pay for that kind of stuff.”
Moore and her husband have fought long and hard for help for their son who just recently emerged from a coma. In a letter last year to Premier Bob Rae the Moores set out their grievance against his government.
“It is painfully obvious that this government is determined to reduce the deficit by denying vital health care to the disabled and the senior citizens,” they wrote. “This is a simple case of the strong prevailing and the weak perishing.”
Just recently the family was told that a fund which was set up to help with home renovations for the disabled has run dry and the Moores will have to look elsewhere for help.