Poll tells different tale about abortion funding

Letters to the Editor, Daily Gleaner | March 21, 2015 In recent months the provincial government has made major changes in the province’s abortion policy. A key part was overhauling the Medicare funding regulation. We at New Brunswick Right to Life commissioned a study to see if the public supported the funding change. What is the change? It is not just about reducing the number of approving doctors needed for a hospital abortion from two to one. As stated by the premier, the ultimate goal of the policy changes was to remove “all barriers” to a woman’s charter right to free choice (we disagree such a right exists). Free choice means a woman can obtain an abortion because her pregnancy is unwanted; no need to justify medical necessity. The government’s goal in making the medicare change was to fund pregnancy termination on the basis of unwantedness. No limit was set. When asked in the legislature about a late-term abortion, the health minister replied that was between a woman and her doctor. Translation: we are prepared to fund it. The new policy amounts to what many call“tax-funded abortion on demand.” A Corporate Research Associates poll carried out Feb. 12-March 22 asked 401 New Brunswickers about public funding of abortions. The survey found 24 per cent support unrestricted funding. The vast majority – 71 per cent – took a different view. The largest number – 53 per cent – expressed support for public funding“only in medical emergencies such as a threat to the mother’s life or in case of rape or incest.”Fifteen per cent said paying for an abortion should be an individual’s responsibility. Three per cent opposed abortion funding under any circumstances. The survey suggests most New Brunswickers do not endorse the province’s policy of unrestricted funding of abortions. The poll margin of error is 4.9 per cent 95 times out of 100. Peter Ryan New Brunswick Right to Life Association

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