I have been wondering for a while now if we as tax payers fund abortions…now I know and I am sick in my stomach over this.
Note: For the facts/statistics from the 2007 page scroll down.
In Canada, almost all abortions are paid for by taxpayers. In British Columbia, Alberta, , Manitoba, Ontario, Quebec, and Newfoundland, abortion is paid for under the publicly funded system whether it is performed in a hospital or private clinic. In New Brunswick, hospital abortions are paid for by taxpayers but private clinic abortions are not. In Saskatchewan, the Northwest Territories, Nunavut, and Yukon hospital abortions are paid for by taxpayers but there are no private clinics. No abortions are performed in Prince Edward Island. The province does cover abortions performed elsewhere if they have been declared by a doctor to be medically necessary and have been pre-authorized and approved.
Under the Constitution, health care is a provincial responsibility. Provinces decide what services will be covered by the publicly funded health care system. In his March 2001 interim report on health care, Liberal Senator Michael Kirby, chairman of the Standing Senate Committee on Social Affairs, wrote that “the determination of what services meet the requirement of medical necessity is made in each province by the provincial government in conjunction with the medical profession.”
For provinces to receive funding from the federally-administered Canadian Health and Social Transfers, they must follow the guidelines of the Canada Health Act (CHA) which requires provinces to fund “medically necessary” services, but it does not define what those are and there is no list of specific services.
This was confirmed by Health Canada in response to an access to information request from MP Garry Breitkreuz. Health Canada replied: “This is further to your request under the Access to Information Act, dated August 1, 2001, for: documents, reports & correspondence in the department that provide evidence that abortions are ‘medically necessary’. I regret to inform you that after a thorough search of all likely record holdings, departmental officials have confirmed that they have no records relevant to your request.”
Politicians sometimes say they pay only for medically necessary abortions but most do not require any evidence of medical necessity. Physicians simply submit the bill to the health care system for reimbursement. Only Prince Edward Island requires a specific medical reason for abortion to be covered by taxpayers.
In 2001, the president of the Canadian Abortion Rights Action League argued before the House of Commons Finance Committee (October 31, 2001) that, “Women who make the decision to abort a child at a certain point in their lives do so for socio-economic reasons. Sometimes, it is a desire to complete their education and become financially independent. In many cases, couples with children wish to restrict their family size in order to provide them with adequate financial support.”
Almost all abortions performed in Canada are done because a pregnant woman chooses to end the pregnancy for personal reasons, not medical ones. Medical necessity is rarely part of the decision.
What have the courts said?
Until 2005, no court in Canada had ever ruled that abortions must be publicly funded. In 2005, Winnipeg judge Jeffrey Oliphant ruled that the failure to pay for private clinic abortions was a “gross violation” of women’s rights. The decision was overturned in 2006 by the province’s Court of Appeal because the judge had not heard any evidence on the issues involved. An appeal to the Supreme Court of Canada was refused. The provincial government had already begun paying for all abortions in 2005 but not as a result of the court case.
In 2006 a Quebec judge ordered the province to pay the full costs of private clinic abortions. The province had been covering a portion of these costs. The provincial government complied without appealing the decision.
What does it cost taxpayers?
Since no level of government has released cost figures for abortion, we can only estimate what the direct costs of abortion are. (These estimates exclude any indirect costs, that is, costs for follow-up procedures for immediate complications and side effects, and longer-term treatments for associated post-abortion problems. See Elizabeth Ring-Cassidy and Ian Gentles’ book Women’s Health After Abortion: The Medical and Psychological Evidence, The deVeber Institute for Bioethics and Social Research, 2002).
We use the figure of $75 million a year, based on an average cost of $800 per abortion for 93,750 abortions. In 2009, the Canadian Institute for Health Information reported 93,755 abortions performed in Canada on Canadian women (the 2010 figure is 64,641, but that excludes Quebec). They admit that this is “probably an underestimate of induced abortions done in the
Country” because of reporting problems from some provinces and private clinics. Also, Clinic data for British Columbia is incomplete, and data on abortions performed in an Ontario clinic on Canadian women who are not Ontario residents is not included, so the $75 million figure is already low for the 2009 year…to read more of this disgusting report, click HERE