The announcement today that New Brunswick Premier Brian Gallant is removing Regulation 84-20 comes as no surprise. Regulation 84-20 requires that only medically necessary abortions be funded with tax dollars. Mr. Gallant made a commitment that if elected he would act swiftly to remove all remaining safeguards for women seeking to end the life of their pre-born child.
Taking a page out of federal Liberal leader Justin Trudeau’s playbook, Mr. Gallant continues to misinterpret the law. This morning Premier Gallant was quoted as saying that he is eliminating Regulation 84-20 “in order to respect our legal obligations under the Supreme Court of Canada ruling and the Canada Health Act.”
But Mr. Gallant is misinformed. The Supreme Court has never ruled that it is illegal for the provinces to implement safeguards and regulations for medical procedures.
In addition to misinterpreting the law, Mr. Gallant is also willfully putting vulnerable women at risk. Lowering the standards and safeguards by, for example, removing the requirement for a specialist to perform the procedure, cannot be considered ‘pro-woman’.
The Canada Health Act R.S.C., 1985, c. C-6 only requires that medically necessary services performed by a physician be provincially funded. Prior to today’s announcement the government of New Brunswick had restricted the use of taxpayer dollars for the purposes of abortion. Abortion is an elective surgery, and thus medically unnecessary – hence the moniker “pro-choice”. Abortion is one choice of many available to women with unplanned pregnancies.
Weakening the requirements whereby an abortion can be carried out will increase the likelihood of abuse by unscrupulous doctors who might approve an abortion on the basis of patient request rather than true medical necessity.