Pol­i­tics de­cides is­sue

The Guardian (Charlottetown) - - EDITORIAL -

Premier Wade MacLauch­lan con­cedes that P.E.I.’s po­si­tion on abor­tion is based on pol­i­tics and re­flects what he de­ter­mines are the views of a ma­jor­ity of Is­lan­ders. In his yearend in­ter­view with The Guardian, the premier ad­mit­ted he is try­ing to bal­ance many views on the con­tro­ver­sial is­sue and de­fends the de­ci­sion to keep P.E.I. the only prov­ince in Canada where women do not have ac­cess to in-prov­ince abor­tion ser­vices.

The gov­ern­ment did make some con­ces­sions last year to make it eas­ier for Is­land women to ac­cess abor­tion ser­vices in Monc­ton. The “di­vided views of Is­lan­ders” are pre­vent­ing the log­i­cal next step, or more ac­cu­rately, the di­vided views of the provin­cial gov­ern­ment.

As Is­lan­der’s view­points soften on abor­tion, gov­ern­ment will move grad­u­ally to­wards al­low­ing full ac­cess on the Is­land. The fact re­mains that Is­land women must deal with road­blocks not faced by women in other prov­inces which makes the gov­ern­ment’s stance dis­crim­i­na­tory.

Prime Min­is­ter Justin Trudeau is strongly prochoice. His party passed a res­o­lu­tion three years ago to deny trans­fers to prov­inces that do not “en­sure com­plete ac­cess to (abor­tion) ser­vices.” At the time, the party couldn't do more than pay lip ser­vice to that res­o­lu­tion. Now it’s in power.

Ot­tawa will keep push­ing the Is­land gov­ern­ment to of­fer Is­land women a ser­vice avail­able in ev­ery other prov­ince and P.E.I. will have to con­cede – di­vided views or no di­vided views.

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