On October 21, Saskatchewan voters said “No’ to provincial funding of abortion.  The question “Should the government of Saskatchewan pay for abortion procedures?” was answered in the following way:

311,987 opposed, or 62.7 per cent

185,624 in favour, or 37.3 per cent

497,611 (out of some 530,000 voters)

At the same time, voters swept aside the nine-year-old PC government of Premier Grant Devine, which had put the plebiscite on the ballot.  They returned the NDP, traditionally a pro-abortion party, under Roy Romanow.

Saskatchewan election results 1982 – 1991

Seats won ’82 ’86 ‘91

New Democrats 8 25 55

Progressive Cons. 56 38 10

Liberals 0 1 1

Popular received

New Democrats 38% 45% 51%

Progressive Cons. 54% 45% 26%

Liberals 5% 10% 23%

Deputy Leader Ed Tchorzewski has stated that the incoming government will delay a decision regarding the funding of abortions.

In the face of a 63 per cent vote against funding abortion, he said, “We’re not going to make any quick decisions on any of these things keeping in mind that the plebiscite was put in place by the government knowing that it was not binding like a referendum.”

Premier Grant Devine has called upon Roy Romanow to honour the wishes of the Saskatchewan people, saying, “To ignore such an overwhelming demonstration of public will would be to disregard a fundamental element of democracy.”

The reaction of pro-life leaders was swift.  Speaking in Saskatoon the President of Campaign Life Coalition Saskatchewan, Denise Hounjet Roth expressed delight with the plebiscite result, stating, “Thank God Saskatchewan came out on the side of human life.  Now we must make a concerted effort to persuade Mr. Romanow to bow to the wishes of the people.”

Saskatchewan Pro-Life Association (SPLA) President Bernadette Mysko said the plebiscite gave Canadians their fist opportunity to speak out on the issue of paying for abortions.

Speaking in hopeful anticipation, a spokesman for Planned Parenthood Saskatoon, Fonda Willis, expressed surprise but not concern: “I am confident the NDP won’t cut on it.”

The plebiscite is a breakthrough not just for pro-lifers but also for other taxpayers who resent having to pay for abortion as birth control.