St. John’s Newfoundland
Elizabeth House, a home for unwed mothers in St. John’s, was opened in 1980 when a two-story house was donated to the local Right to Life Association by the Sisters of Mercy. The facility has accommodated about 20 expectant mothers every year since it’s opening. They are limited to five mothers at a time by local housing by-laws.
Elizabeth House is located midtown, within easy access of both medical and social services. The centre offers residents prenatal medical care, legal aid and instruction in various areas such as household financial management and parenting skills. It is also the site of the Pregnancy Distress Service (PDS), which provides emergency telephone counseling for anyone needing support with a pregnancy. This office also performs pregnancy tests, and distributes baby clothing and furniture. The usual fee is $20 per day, depending on ability to pay, but no one is refused admittance because of lack of finances.
Information may be obtained by calling the Pregnancy Distress Service at (709) 726-0732 or 722-1050
No abortions have been performed in the last year at MSA General Hospital, which serves the Abbotsford region of British Columbia. However, against the wishes of the medical staff which was overruled by the hospital board, the Therapeutic Abortion Committee continues to function.
The medical staff led by president, Dr. James Swanney believes the TAC “has been taking up too much time and effort in debate and concern.” Board chairman, Jeff Granger, feels that the absence of abortion in the last year is simply because “the committee is taking a more correct medical model of the definition of health.” He said that the committee is not stopping people from having abortions. “If people want an abortion there are many other hospitals they can go to.”
Pro-life candidates were unsuccessful in their attempts to gain control of the Lions Gate Hospital Board as four pro-abortion candidates, three incumbents and one newcomer, were elected to sit for two-year terms. The loss virtually assures the maintenance of the LGH’s current abortion policy, with only four of the twelve board members supporting the pro-life stance.
Ross Labrie, president of the North Shore Pro-Life Society attributed the loss to a strong campaign waged by the other side “to scare the community into believing that the hospital would be less efficiently run if taken over by a special-interest group.”
Labrie also put part of the blame on the apathy of pro-lifers who neglected to show up at the annual meeting to cast their vote. Of the 3578 eligible voters, 2107 actually cast their ballots.
A former social worker who has fired from her job after refusing to sign a form for a client’s abortion expenses is appealing a B.C. Supreme Court ruling dismissing her claim to be reinstated to her job with the Ministry of Human Resources (MHR)
Cecilia Moore claims that she was fired for refusing an order from a superior which, according to Moore, amounted to aiding and abetting an illegal abortion.
Justice Lander, in dismissing Moore’s claim for reinstatement, said that evidence to support her claim was insufficient and that the court had no jurisdiction in this area.
Moore says she will be appealing the case, which she feels is a Charter issue and not, as Justice Lander suggested, an issue to be dealt with under the Human Rights Act.
A Montreal abortionist has been placed under a six-month suspension and has been refused a new hearing by the Professional Corporation of Physicians of Quebec.
Abortionist, Hichem Babay, was suspended by the Corporation’s disciplinary committee when a woman lost her uterus, one kidney and part of her colon following an abortion. According to the committee, Babay failed to take the necessary precautions required in an advanced pregnancy. The woman was 18 weeks pregnant.
Babay is appealing to his suspension and, as such, is allowed to continue practicing medicine until such time as the appeal is heard.
Pro-life activist Reggie Chartrand has succeeded in his attempt to charge a Montreal doctor with illegally performing an abortion. Abortionist Yvan Machabee is charged with committing the offence on November 5, 1982, at his abortuary in the north end of Montreal.
Machabee is the first abortionist to have been charged since the Morgentaler acquittal in the 1970s. it is also the first abortion-related charge since the Parti Quebecois, first elected in 1976, refused to prosecute those performing abortions outside the law.
With the defeat of the PQ by Robert Bourassa’s Liberal Government, many abortion advocates are now fearing a crackdown. Already the Liberal Government has decreased the amount of Medicare coverage for abortion, forcing many Quebec health centres to reduce the number of abortions performed.
According to Norma Scarborough , president of the Canadian Abortion Rights Action League, Ontario doctors are now charging as much as $400 to perform abortions despite the fact that the OHIP rate is only $75.60. She said that technically doctors are still charging the OHIP rate for the actual abortion itself but are now also charging hundreds of dollars for related services.
However, those seeking abortions at either of the two illegal abortuaries in Toronto may find themselves paying an even heftier fee. Both abortuaries charge up to $450 with an additional $80 for those not covered by OHIP. Both abortuaries ask ford cash in advance.
In vitro fertilization programmes have been hard hit by the passage of Bill 94, which forbids doctors to bill over and above OHIP rates.
Doctors at Toronto General Hospital’s Reproductive Biological Unit say the in vitro programme will be unable to continue. The OHIP rate of approximately $220 per procedure, they say, does not adequately cover the actual cost of maintaining the programme. Prior to the ban on extra billing doctors at TGH charged patients a maximum of $700.
According to Dr. Allan Schewchuk, director of the TGH’s test tube baby research programme, “In the time it takes me to do an hour long egg removal (at OHIP rate of $126.40), I could do eight therapeutic abortions (at OHIP rate of $75.60) without breaking out in a sweat.”
“But,” he added, “I’m not that kind of a person. This work is my life.”