By Cody McEachern
Oct. 28, 2015
Dozens of pro-life supporters rallied in front of the Province House protesting abortion rights in Charlottetown Sunday, Oct.25.
Protesters gathered around the fountain in front of the Province House, holding signs with slogans against abortion, and sharing their message with passersby. With slogans such as “Choose life not abortion” and “It’s a child not a choice,” the members of the protest began walking up University Avenue.
Earlier this year, P.E.I. implemented a system to allow women to receive an abortion without a doctor’s referral or medical office signature. Arrangements have been made with Moncton Hospital to accept women from P.E.I. for the abortion procedure, which is covered by Medicare.
Ann Marie Tomlins, a pro-life supporter at the rally, said the removal of doctor restrictions in the abortion process is harmful to women, as they can go to anyone who offers abortion services without a referral from a doctor. When doctors make referrals, they usually refer the patient to a specialist that has a good track record, but if women just go to whoever offers the procedure, they run the risk of infection, a botched abortion, or worse, she said.
With easier access to abortion services, women are more likely to worry about prevention or the consequences that follow, Tomlins said.
“Less than three per cent of abortions are life, health of the mother, rape or incest. The rest of them are for socio-economic reasons.”
Tomlins said there are many issues that can arise from abortion, and believes it is bad for society.
“Abortion ends the life of a child, but it also causes physical and sometimes emotional issues for women.”
The protest is held twice a year, once in the spring, and once in the fall, and takes place throughout the world, Tomlins said.
“I was president of the P.E.I. Right to Life Association back in the 1980s when we sent the message loud and clear to our government that we did not want abortions on P.E.I., and majority of the people on the island still feel that way.”