Canada Health Act does not require provinces to pay for abortion

The Canada Health Act is silent on abortion. Nowhere is it mentioned in this Act that provinces must pay for abortion services. It says only that “medically necessary” services must be funded. The Canada Health Act does not list which services must be paid for by provincial health insurance plans. Provinces may determine which health services will receive public funding.

For example, the Liberal government of Dalton Mc Guinty decided in 2004 to delist optometry exams, physiotherapy and chiropractic services. This meant that these services would no longer be paid by the Ontario Health Insurance Plan (OHIP).  

Abortion is an elective procedure. For years, abortion advocates have spoken of abortion as a matter of choice, a choice they believe a woman has the right to make and one paid for by the taxpayer.

Canadian Physicians for Life wrote in 2001 that:

“The Canada Health Act states that provincial health insurance plans must cover “insured health services” which include “hospital services”. These hospital services are defined in Section 2 of the Act as services which are “medically necessary for the purpose of maintaining health, preventing disease, or diagnosing an injury, illness or disease.”

“Abortion is not an essential medical service. It is designated “medically necessary” for purely social and political, not medical, reasons. Pregnancy is not an “injury, illness or disease,” There is no proof that abortion improves health. In fact it disrupts a normal physiological process, poses a risk to the mother, and ends the life of her developing child. There is no “medical necessity” where no medical benefit or health risks exists.”

“The Canada Health Act (CHA) does not require that elective procedures be funded…To justify funding of a service, the medical necessity and therapeutic value of that service should be undisputed.”

 

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