New Brunswick is the only province in Canada that does not fund abortions performed at private abortion clinics. Abortion rights activists have continually tried to pressure the New Brunswick government to change this policy, recently making it an election issue. The pro-abortion Trudeau government has also tried to use financial pressure to force a policy change. The New Brunswick government, however, remains firm in their stance that there is no need to fund privately performed abortions. They are now going to court to defend this, and we are excited to share that we have been granted intervenor status to make arguments in the case.
The Canadian Civil Liberties Association has brought forward a legal challenge against the province of New Brunswick, asking the courts to find the province in violation of the Canada Health Act and the Charter. But this is a misuse of the Canada Health Act, which solely relates to financial transfers from the federal government and can’t be used to strike down regulations. And despite repeated claims by pro-abortion groups, there is no Charter right to abortion and certainly not to a publicly funded abortion.
It’s fantastic to see a provincial government in Canada stepping up to argue basic truths about abortion that we work hard to educate the public about. In their statement of defence filed with the court, New Brunswick said, “the Province denies that abortion is a constitutionally protected right. The Province puts the Plaintiff to the strict proof of this allegation.” That’s a line we wholeheartedly agree with.
It is that point – that there is no Charter right to abortion – that is central to our efforts to pass a law that would protect pre-born children. Any law that gets passed is vulnerable to being challenged in our courts, meaning it’s essential that this court rules accurately on this point. That is why We Need a Law, through its parent organization ARPA Canada, is intervening in this case. This means we have status to provide arguments along with the Canadian Civil Liberties Association and the Province of New Brunswick. Our arguments will focus on the legal issues around abortion in Canada’s law and how it relates to New Brunswick’s jurisdiction over healthcare.
We don’t have a date for the hearing of this case yet, but we will keep you informed as we proceed. In the meantime, we will continue to work to advocate for legal protection for pre-born children here in Canada. After all, abortion isn’t a Charter right, but life is.