Province won’t confirm abortion numbers

Dear Editor, Re: "Province won’t confirm abortion numbers," Telegraph Journal, Oct. 16. Ron Jussulat is exactly right in the abortion figures he provides for provincial hospitals. We released these same statistics to the public in May, having obtained them from the Department of Health via the Legislature. Two regional hospitals (Bathurst, Georges Dumont in Moncton) perform almost all hospital abortions in New Brunswick: 360 of 364 in 2009-2010. Four others (Saint John, Miramichi, Campbellton, the Moncton Hospital) did none, while the other two (Fredericton, Edmundston) did a total of four. The Health Department official cited in the article should have been more open about where abortions take place. Since the public pays for them, the public has a right to know. The figures raise the question: why so many at two hospitals, so few at the others? Here Mr. Jessulat is also correct: provincial policy is abused at those two sites. We are convinced that abortions frequently are done because of unwanted pregnancy, rather than being truly medically necessary as required by the law on Medicare coverage. The Department official is right on one thing: no hospital authority or doctor has to do abortions. In our view, the Chaleur and Dumont Hospitals and their obstetricians-gynecologists should follow the example of other hospitals and doctors, respecting the lives of unborn babies and mothers. Should they not do so, the Health Minister should intervene to ensure compliance with the law. Peter Ryan Executive Director New Brunswick Right to Life Association

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