NDP MHA proposing amendments to abortion bill
The NDP Critic for the Justice and the Status of Women is very supportive of government legislation providing safer access to abortion services, but she says some minor changes would make the legislation even better. In Question Period today, St. John’s Centre MHA Gerry Rogers highlighted her amendments.
“Government’s Bill 43 to create safe access zones for abortion services is a good and bold piece of legislation, but falls short of providing equal protection for the entire team providing the service, Rogers said today.
“I ask the Minister will he reconsider and amend his Bill to extend the same protection to all service providers, and not just doctors?”
This province’s legislation is based on British Columbia’s. In that province, doctors have been the target of sometimes horrific attacks in their homes and in public places. In this province, the abortion clinic operator, who is not a doctor, has been similarly targeted. Under the legislation, she would have to apply for special protection.
“History has shown that all service providers – doctors, nurses, counsellors and others – have been targets for harassment and intimidation in their work of providing abortion services,” Rogers said.
“I ask the Minister, why does his legislation create two categories of protection for service providers?”
Rogers also says that because abortion services are only provided in St. John’s, women from across the province must often travel great distances at great expense to access the service. She wants to know if the Minister of Health and Community Services has plans to address this shortage of health care services for the women of the province.