In sharp contrast to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, Conservative leader Erin O’Toole says if he becomes Prime Minister, he would leave it up to the New Brunswick government to decide how to fund abortion services.

Earlier this week, Trudeau said his government will be withholding healthcare transfers to New Brunswick because he claims the province is limiting access to abortion.

The provincial government subsidizes abortions at two hospitals in Moncton and one in Bathurst, but says it will not cover the cost of the procedure at the privately-owned Clinic 554 in Fredericton.

While in Fredericton on Friday, O’Toole said Trudeau’s decision to withhold healthcare transfers to the province is for “political gain and to divide Canadians.”

“How the provinces run their health care systems is not what the federal government should be interfering with,” O’Toole said.

According to Trudeau, the New Brunswick government has not lived up to its obligations under the Canada Health Act because it continues to make it difficult for women to access abortions.

“Making sure that every woman across this country has access to reliable reproductive services is extremely important to us, and that’s why we’ve continued … to impress strongly upon the government of New Brunswick how it needs to keep up its obligations under the Canada Health Act,” Trudeau told reporters in Moncton on Tuesday.

Pro-life advocacy group RightNow co-founder Alissa Golob sharply criticized Trudeau’s decision to withhold healthcare transfers to New Brunswick.

“Justin Trudeau is such an extremist on the abortion issue, he would rather withhold taxpayer dollars (without taxpayer consent) during a pandemic, than follow the Canada Health Act and let provinces decide funding decisions themselves,” Golob told True North.

“In Trudeau’s twisted mind, killing children supersedes life-threatening medical conditions. Let that sink in.”

Despite O’Toole’s pro-choice stance, the Conservative leader has allowed his MPs to vote on abortion-related bills according to their conscience. 

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