(Charlottetown PE – 15 November 2012) Health PEI recently held their second annual general meeting, and when asked during the question period about local access to abortion services, the board stated that this issue is ‘political’ and that Premier Robert Ghiz holds final say in allowing this primary health service in-province.
The NDP on Prince Edward Island respects the Canada Health Act which deems abortion to be a medically necessary procedure and states that political decisions should avoid compromising women’s health. “While there are more complex medical procedures that need to be done off-Island, our physicians have the equipment for abortions right here in our hospitals” states Mike Redmond, NDP PEI Leader. “Forcing women to leave PEI for a health service due to a political agenda is endangering lives and further isolates low-income women.”
The PEI Reproductive Rights Organization (PRRO) asked the interim CEO of Health PEI about the current status of making abortion services available on Prince Edward Island, stating it would align with Health PEI’s stated objective of keeping safe, high quality medical services within our communities. Dr. Richard Wedge responded that if a physician on Prince Edward Island wanted to perform the service there are no barriers, but Premier Robert Ghiz would rather “keep the status quo.”
“There were no elected officials on the panel to answer as to why a health service was being denied due to political reasons.” says Redmond. Health & Wellness Minister Doug Currie was notably absent from the open questions from Islanders about health care issues in their communities. “This is unacceptable from a Government which is claiming transparency and talks about prioritizing access to safe and quality health care.”
The NDP has continually supported local women and their right to have a safe abortion, while Premier Ghiz and the Island Liberals have yet to move beyond denying access and come forward with a decisive stance on the issue.
For further information, contact:
NDP PEI Leader