Groups pleased with Charlottetown abortion rally

Pro-choice and anti-abortion groups say they're pleased with the success of their peaceful demonstration Saturday in Charlottetown.

Pro-choice and anti-abortion groups on Prince Edward Island say they're pleased with the success of their peaceful demonstration Saturday, which saw more than 350 people attend the event at Province House.

Both sides say things are just getting started.

The PEI Reproductive Rights Organization was rallying for equal access to abortions on P.E.I. — the only province where the procedure is not available.

About 150 anti-abortion demonstrators went to Saturday's rally. (Ryan Hicks/CBC)
The province will pay for hospital abortions, which sends women to Halifax or Fredericton to have them performed.

"I feel like this is something that people have wanted a voice for, for a very long time and now that that's finally coming together we're seeing all kinds of support coming out of the woodworks," said organization spokeswoman Kate McKenna.

Members of the P.E.I. Right to Life group were standing in silent protest, many holding signs such as "Moms need our support, not abortion."

But Ann Marie Tomlins with P.E.I. Right To Life said more Islanders came out to support their side.

"This is traditionally a very pro-life place and I don't think that's changed. There are people out there who are not on our side in this issue, but I just think because of the nature of the Island, we certainly hold the majority," said Tomlins.

Green Party leader Sharon Labchuk spoke at Saturday's rally. After attending, she tweeted "Can we bring P.E.I. into the 21st Century?"

An estimated 200 pro-life supporters stood in front of Province House. (Ryan Hicks/CBC)
Both pro-choice and anti-abortion groups say their work is far from over. Both plan to speak with government officials this week.

The PEI Reproductive Rights Organization said if the province doesn't change its policy, pro-choice advocates might bring the issue to court.