CLC Blog

CLC Blog

Motion 506 - VOTE NO

The NDP in Alberta are up to their old tricks.

On October 21, federal election day, they have called for a vote on M506. M506 is a motion that attempts to pressure the current UCP government to support abortion in Alberta by removing barriers to abortion access in Alberta. This in practice means making abortion a critical 'health care' item, and forcing hospitals across the province to perform abortions.  

Truth be told, with the federal election happening the same day, many MLAs are likely to not be sitting in legislature. There are also several UCP MLAs who would support this motion, unless their constituents let them know that they shouldn’t. The UCP of late have ignored social issues to the point that it is obvious to many voters that they are being ignored, and it is small things like M506, that turn into big things. We need to cut this agenda of at its roots, before it grows into a towering weed.

CLC has created an Action Alert page to help Albertans contact their MLA's and urge them to vote no on Motion 506.

A doctor from Medecine Hat, Alberta, wrote the following letter to his MLA, explaining from an expert's point of view, why this is a costly and destructive plan, and why every MLA should be voting NO on M506.

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2019 Oct 17

Concerns re: Motion 506

Drew, please vote NO to Motion 506.

This bill may have a very detrimental effect on our local hospital.  Promoting increased access to abortion includes all forms, including surgical.  While it may be argued that abortion is legal and therefore must be available everywhere, in smaller centers such as ours it creates critical personnel issues.

For over 40 years Medicine Hat has NOT performed surgical abortions.  This is not because we are not a large enough center but reflects in large part the values of our caregivers.  There has always been, and continues to be a medical and moral opposition on the part of the medical and nursing staff, to participate in abortion.  Attempts have been made in the past to establish such a service here, but they continue to fail because of the personal or ethical values of the staff. There is a real fear among the staff that the Government will start mandating abortion services in centers like Medicine Hat because of our size and geographic isolation.

If mandated, administration will need to find a way to coerce staff into participating; something most are adamantly opposed to doing.  The usual argument is that only staff comfortable with such procedures would be asked to participate, but that quickly deteriorates.  It is logistically impossible to staff an OR with such overlapping demands. Those who oppose such procedures know that they will eventually have difficulty keeping their position if they are not available for every kind of case.  They may just lose hours and shifts by declining such involvement, but they risk losing their position completely. 

Over time there is an even more indolent process that surfaces. It is easier for administration to hire only those who philosophically agree with such procedures, thus eliminating scheduling problems.  This effectively denies Operating Room positions to other good and qualified staff that happen to be morally opposed to abortion.  Such processes of course are discriminatory, but easier to administer.

My other concern is more general, from the community perspective.  Abortion is a much more personal and intimidating choice for most pregnant women than just taking a pill!  We need much more support for anyone considering terminating a pregnancy. From my experience in community obstetric practice, I don't believe that women are adequately prepared or counselled regarding the long term physical and emotional aspects of abortion.  Proponents of easy abortion would have us believe it is a minor inconvenience that is quickly forgotten.  Women who have faced such a decision are often surprised at how deeply they are affected even long after the procedure is done.  Before we look at making this easier, we need to look at how we can better support women in such a position.

Thank you for the great work you do.  I hope this letter helps inform your position to vote NO to Motion 506.

Dr. G.D. Prince, MD, FCCFP, FAAFP