Group demands information on abortion rights

Pro-choice advocates say a lack of information is one of the reasons for P.E.I.'s low abortion rate.

Pro-choice advocates on P.E.I. say a lack of information is one of the reasons the province’s abortion rate is less than half the national average.

The national average shows that in 2008 for every 100 live births, there were 25 abortions. On P.E.I. the figure is just under 10. 

Abortion rates, 2008

BirthsInduced AbortionsAbortions per 100 births
Canada377,864  95,876   25.37
P.E.I.1,483  1439.64

Mothers 19 and under, 2008

BirthsMothers 0-19% Mothers 0-19
Canada377,886  15,704  4.16

    Statistics from Statistics Canada, the Canadian Institute for Health Information, Health P.E.I. and the Morgentaler Clinic.

The newly formed PEI Reproductive Rights Organization says women in the province need information on the options for an abortion.

"When you take away information, when you don't provide information you are you are not providing women with that choice," said Kandace Hagen. "You are limiting their reproductive rights."

The provincial government does not discuss abortion on its website. A local hotline run by an abortion rights group was disconnected three years ago.

The executive director of the Island Pregnancy Centre makes it clear the group’s only goal is to help women give birth.

"We are a faith-based agency, so if somebody comes to us seeking abortion, we let them know that they need to go to their family doctor," executive director Rinda Dean told CBC News on Monday.

Hagan says her group will ask Health Minister Doug Currie to make more information available to doctors and the public when it meets with him in the coming weeks.