The New Brunswick Right to Life Association has launched an online counter-petition opposing one started by St. Thomas social work students calling on the government to fund the Morgentaler Clinic.
The petition was started on Mar. 15 and, as of Mar. 23, the association was seven signatures away from their goal of 5,000.
In a press release, executive director Peter Ryan said this petition was established to show that not everyone in the province wants the clinic to be funded.
The counter-petition caught on quickly, which Ryan expected.
“Poll after poll has shown that the public, not only in New Brunswick but across Canada, does not want to pay for unrestricted abortion,” said Ryan.
The petition also calls on the provincial government to investigate the clinic for health and safety standards, as well as establishing a service for women who have gone to the clinic for an abortion and left with complaints.
If the petition receives enough signatures, the association will present it to health minister Ted Flemming.
The petition to fund the Morgentaler Clinic was launched on Mar. 9 by STU social work students Vanessa Cormier, Kathleen Curtis, Allison Mee and Marina Opacic.
As of Mar. 23, the petition was 7,419 signatures away from their goal of 10,000.
In a statement given to The AQ by the students, the original petition was not created as a way to debate pro-choice versus pro-life, but to raise awareness on an issue that affects women.
“It is about accessibility for the women of New Brunswick to a medical service to which they are fundamentally entitled,” read the statement.
“Health Canada has deemed all abortions to be medically necessary whether done in hospitals or clinics, and women don’t need to state a reason for abortion in Canada. New Brunswick is the only province that still refuses to fund its abortion clinic.”
Even though the counter-petition caught on quickly, it has not deterred the group and they said they will still fight for the funding.
“As our petition reaches 2,500 signatures and continues to garner more, we will not cease to advocate for New Brunswick women to receive what is constitutionally theirs.”