Pro-lifers in the Markham Stouffville area suffered a setback this past month in their bid to gain control of a local hospital board.

The building of the Markham-Stouffville Hospital is to be completed some time in 1988.  For the past three years, local pro-lifers have been attempting to gain control of the 27-member hospital board to ensure that no therapeutic abortion committee is established.

At the annual nomination meeting on June 5, however, none of the designated pro-life candidates managed to win any of the 11 positions up for renewal.  Instead, those already sitting on the board managed to elect a slate of their own candidates.

Of the 11 seats up for election, nine were for three-year terms, the remaining two, for two-year terms.  Nine seats will be up for renewal in 1987.

Peter Huizenga, president of the York-South Right to Life Association, was not surprised by the outcome.  He said that those on the board waged a very aggressive campaign to elect their own slate.  He also indicated that his group was disadvantaged by the fact that it did not have access to the membership list of the hospital association.  Only those on the membership list are allowed to vote for candidates.

Pro-lifers also voiced their opposition to a decision to raise the membership fee by 800 per cent.  This year’s fee of five dollars will be raised next year to $40.  According to Mr. Huizenga, the increase will exclude the elderly and the young from participating in future votes.

No doubt the final chapter on the Markham Stouffvile Hospital has yet to be written.  Pro-lifers do not give up easily.