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Like everywhere else in Canada, P.E.I has been touched by the Morgentaler fever. At the beginning of January, Morgentaler announced that he intends to open an abortion clinic in every province. However, a report in the Island’s newspaper The Guardian (January 12) indicates that he would be in unfriendly country if he tried it in P.E.I. “I would shudder to think of the reaction,” says Wayne Carew, executive director of Prince County Hospital, the only hospital with an approved therapeutic abortion committee.
Abortions at Prince County Hospital dropped from 60 in 1978 to 26 in 1982. There have been no abortions performed on the Island since 1982. In 1981, pro-life supporters managed to prevent the new Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Charlottetown from establishing a therapeutic abortion committee and in 1984 they came within a handful of votes of winning the two-thirds majority needed to abolish the committee at Prince County.
Right to Life president, Leo Cannon of Charlottetown, Alliance for Life member, Judy Chaisson of Rollo Bay, Sister Mary Power, executive director of Catholic Family Services and Dr. Gordon Bec, president of Physicians for Life, all agree that an abortion clinic seems out of the question. Nevertheless, they are aware that the public must continue to be educated on medical research showing that life begins at conception and on its moral responsibility. Also, local pro-lifers support Martha Residence, a home for new single mothers operated by Catholic Family Services.
But much remains to be done as local women do leave the Island to obtain abortions elsewhere.