PEI Reproductive Rights Organization is calling upon the Government of Prince Edward Island to fulfill its obligation to provide access to abortion services within the province. Currently, PEI is the only province in Canada that does not provide the service, a failure that is particularly harmful to low-income women and their health.
In 1988 the Supreme Court of Canada ruled that laws restricting access to abortion were unconstitutional. That same year, the government of Prince Edward Island instituted a ban on the procedure in the province. We consider this refusal of service to be illegal, given both the Supreme Court's ruling as well as provisions within the Canada Health Act that guarantee all Canadians equal access to primary health services.
Contrary to the provincial government's official position that the procedure is one of a number of medical services for which Islanders must travel out-of-province because of funding limitations, the PEI Reproductive Rights Organization hold that this omission is entirely political. The province is already equipped with the necessary resources to perform abortions, and requires only the political will to re-institute local provision of the procedure.
The government's failure to uphold its legal responsibility constitutes discrimination against all women, but particularly against low-income women, youth, and women with disabilities, for whom travel out-of-province may be especially burdensome.