Alberta Premier Danielle Smith appears to be giving pro-life residents a reason not to endorse her government, according to a pro-life public policy group.
"A UCP government under my leadership will not delist any medical services or prescriptions now covered by Alberta health insurance. No exceptions," said Smith at a press conference on April 11.
"What does this have to do with abortion, you ask? It means that approximately 12,000 babies will [die] by abortion in Alberta [this year] — 12,000 babies, every year in Alberta, at taxpayers' expense," Richard Dur, Executive Director of Prolife Alberta, told the Western Standard.
On Tuesday, Smith said the UCP's Public Health Guarantee is committed to Albertans and Alberta's publicly-funded healthcare system. She clarified that no Albertan would ever pay for a doctor out of pocket, condemning the ongoing "fear and smear politics" by the NDP opposition.
"She's worried that the NDP will attack her on healthcare and that she'll lose the provincial election," said Dur.
"It means that the status quo of publicly funded, abortion-on-demand will continue unabated in our province for years to come. It means that the immoral status-quo of abortion-on-demand during all nine months of pregnancy — fully paid for with your tax dollars — will remain unchanged."
"Those who don't trust Smith on healthcare won't ever trust her — no matter what she says," continued Dur, adding that abortion is not healthcare.
"Unfortunately, Smith's statements make an enemy of her friends in the pro-life movement," he said, adding that sacrificing the preborn for political power is not "worth the price."
Dur worried Tuesday's announcement would leave preborn babies and their moms alone "to fend for themselves."
"Abortion in Alberta is publicly funded, yet it's mostly privately delivered and for-profit. Yet somehow, it's acceptable to kill babies in the womb [in 2023] for profit in a private clinic at public expense," he continued.
"Albertans shouldn't be footing the bill for an elective — and highly unregulated — procedure," said Dur.
According to the Canadian Institute for Health Information (CIHI), new data released in March uncovered women aged 18-24 (20,825) and over 35 (20,208) accessed abortion the most in 2021. Canadian doctors performed 87,485 abortions that year.
The Institute also implemented changes to enhance data accuracy where past reports omitted physician billing data. Through the Freedom of Information Act (FOI), pro-life researcher Patricia Maloney accessed doctor billing codes to procure abortion totals.
The Institute acknowledged in the report that underreporting of total abortions performed remains an ongoing concern, as documented in previous years. Maloney said they underreported 18,278 abortions performed in Ontario in 2019.
Based on region, Ontario performed the most abortions (34,988) nationwide. The report did not include data from Alberta.
The Institute report also updated the number of abortions performed in 2020 — going from 74,155 to 91,551 procedures that year. However, it did not include the gestation period of the aborted fetuses.