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Photo: Abortion Access Now PEI, Facebook

Timeline of abortion access in P.E.I.

By Angela Mombourquette

For 35 years, P.E.I. did not provide access to abortions. Here's a look at how that came to be.

1869 — First Canadian criminal law against abortion.

1969 — The Criminal Code is amended to allow abortion in hospital if approved by a therapeutic abortion committee (TAC).

1981 — Catholic and Protestant hospitals in Charlottetown amalgamate to form the Queen Elizabeth Hospital; membership votes against establishing a TAC at the new facility.

1982 — The last abortion in P.E.I. is approved (until 2017).

1986 — Summerside’s Prince County Hospital dissolves the Island’s only remaining TAC.

1988 — The “Morgentaler decision” at the Supreme Court of Canada
in January decriminalizes abortion. The P.E.I. legislative assembly passes Resolution 17, which says the Island
“oppose(s) the performing of abortions.”

1995 — P.E.I. begins paying for abortions for Islanders at the QEII Health Sciences Centre in Halifax.

2010 — University of PEI’s Colleen MacQuarrie begins a research project on abortion access.

2014 — MacQuarrie organizes Canada’s first international conference on abortion in Charlottetown.

2015 — P.E.I. allows women to self-refer to New Brunswick’s Moncton Hospital.

2016 — In January, Abortion Access Now serves the P.E.I. government with notice of a lawsuit. Nearly 90 days later, the province announces it will not oppose the legal challenge.

Jan. 31, 2017 — Abortion services return to P.E.I.  

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