The government of Prince Edward Island has a policy that no surgical abortions will be performed on the Island. As a result, PEI women have had no access to abortion in the province since 1982, and must travel to Nova Scotia or New Brunswick to access abortion. AAN PEI wants to change that.
Barriers to abortion care for PEI women: a difficult path.
On January 5, 2016, AAN PEI, with the support of the Women’s Legal Education and Action Fund (LEAF), gave notice of our intention to initiate a legal challenge against the Government of Prince Edward Island in respect of its abortion policy.
Through this legal challenge, AAN PEI seeks full and unrestricted access to on-Island, publicly-funded abortion services for PEI women, and argues that the government’s abortion policy is unlawful, discriminatory and offends the Charter rights of PEI women.
AAN PEI will be advancing constitutional and administrative law challenges to the PEI government’s abortion policy, arguing that:
a) PEI’s abortion policy violates the right of PEI women to equal access to health care services under section 15 of the Charter.
b) The policy unlawfully discriminates on the basis of sex because it excludes abortion – a basic health care service required by women – from the health care services offered in PEI.
c) PEI’s abortion policy perpetuates the historic disadvantage and stigma faced by women in relation to their reproductive health and decision-making.
d) PEI’s abortion policy violates section 7 of the Charter by creating barriers to women’s right to exercise control over decisions of fundamental personal importance.
e) PEI’s abortion policy harms the physical and psychological integrity of Island women by preventing abortion access or causing delays, uncertainty, and other hardships in accessing abortions, in a manner that violates sections 7 and 12 of the Charter.
f) By enforcing its abortion policy, the PEI government has administered its health care system in a manner contrary to its Provincial Health Plan.
You can read a copy of the draft Notice of Application which will be filed by AAN PEI here.
Your support is important to our success!
AAN PEI's abortion access litigation is supported by LEAF, which is fundraising to pay for disbursements (out of pocket expenses). Your donation is eligible for a tax receipt, and will help to ensure that this important litigation proceeds. AAN PEI is represented by Nijhawan McMillan Barristers, acting as pro bono counsel.
A list of media coverage of AAN PEI's legal challenge to the PEI abortion policy is available here.