It was Health PEI that set up a working group to potentially establish an abortion clinic on the Island, the provincial government has confirmed.

What is the Provincial Medical Advisory Committee?

While it is established under Health PEI bylaws, the Provincial Medical Advisory Committee is an independent body. It has 11 members: six of those are elected by the province's doctors, dentists, and nurse practitioners; the other five serve as part of their jobs, the executive director of medical affairs for Health PEI, the medical directors of the two main Island hospitals, and two network medical directors appointed by Health PEI.

The committee is meant to provide advice to Health PEI on the operations of health services in the province.

Health PEI confirms it started the process after being contacted by a Nova Scotia doctor who said she would be interested in travelling to the Island to perform occasional abortion services.

"Dr [Robyn] MacQuarrie approached Health PEI and offered to provide abortion services.  Any time there is a request to expand services a business case would need to be developed," said a representative of Health PEI in a written statement.

"As part of that process discussions would take place with appropriate stakeholders."

As the first step in the process Health PEI convened a working group, which reached out to the National Abortion Federation for technical expertise. This consultation included several conference calls and meetings. Eleven people with Health PEI were involved. Two non-Health PEI people were as well. The work took place over four months. Health PEI costed out the plan developed by the working group.

The plan was presented to the Provincial Medical Advisory Committee, which recommended the proposal in February this year. The proposal, however, was stopped at the executive level of Health PEI, who noted it was not in line with current government policies.