Screen Shot 2016-03-31 at 3.34.22 PMAnne of Green Gables goes radical in the @iamkarats campaign, which you should definitely follow on Twitter and Instagram. Photo credit: @iamkarats, via Instagram.

34 years.

34 YEARS.

THIRTY FOUR FUCKING YEARS.

The last surgical abortion performed on Prince Edward Island was in 1982. For more than three decades, Islanders have had to travel to either New Brunswick or Nova Scotia to receive health care because their province has the dubious distinction of being the only one in Canada that does not provide surgical abortion services. P.E.I. will pay for out-of-province procedures, but not the costs associated.

So, that’s 34 years of gas money, hotel funds, and bridge tolls.

That’s 34 years of shame, of lost wages, and of political opposition.

It’s only now, in the face of a lawsuit spearheaded by activists from Abortion Access Now PEI, that the government admits the current policies are probably unconstitutional.

You think?

In a press release, premier Wade MacLachlan said that the province would not oppose the challenge, because they probably couldn’t win. According to the premier, the province’s policy on abortion access is likely in violation of the Charter of Rights and Freedoms.

“We recognize that Islanders, including Members of the Legislative Assembly, have strong personal beliefs on this issue; we also recognize our obligation to provide timely and professional health care, without discrimination.”

That’s all well and good, and I congratulate MacLachlan and his government for finally seeing the light. I’m ecstatic that a women’s health clinic will be built in Charlottetown, offering abortion and other desperately-needed services.

But 34 years.

You knew it was wrong. You knew you were blocking access for 34 years. You knew.

And only when you tallied up the legal fees and the time in court did you relent.

Why did it have to come down to this?

 

*Women and all other people who may require abortion services.