NDP willing to withhold health funding to provinces with abortion barriers
2019-06-16 from cbc.ca
The NDP says it's willing to withhold federal healthcare funding for provinces with barriers to abortion.
"In order for the provinces to get money they need to comply with the Canada Health Act," said party spokesperson Melanie Richer.
"The NDP will enforce the Canada's Health Act to make sure that the provinces make medical and surgical abortion available in all parts of the country, without barriers."
The pledge came out of the NDP's 2019 election platform, released on Sunday during the Ontario NDP's convention in Hamilton.
While abortion is legal in Canada, accessing the service in a timely matter isn't always easy.
Under the Canada Health Act, abortion services are insured in all provinces and territories. But some provinces have placed limits on funding for the procedure. Ontario does not fund abortions at every clinic, while New Brunswick does not fund abortions at clinics at all, only in hospitals. In its 2016-2017 annual report, Health Canada said New Brunswick's lack of coverage "remains a concern."
"Only one hospital in six offers abortion, and some provinces refuse to cover the cost of surgical abortion outside hospitals. Lack of access is even worse for people in rural areas and the North," notes the NDP's platform.
"It's not enough for elected officials to say that they won't reopen the abortion debate – we need leaders to take action to improve access to services."
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