Women hold up coat hangers as a reminder of the dangers of inaccessible abortions at the rally for accessible abortions at the NB Legislature in Fredericton on April 17, 2014. Photo by Tracy Glynn.
Fredericton – A rally for accessible abortions in New Brunswick organized by the Fredericton Youth Feminists drew about 600 people to the lawn of the NB Legislature in Fredericton on April 17.
The rally was organized within a week of the
announcement on April 10 that the Fredericton Morgentaler Abortion Clinic would be closing its doors by the end of July.
Due to restrictive
anti-choice legislation, New Brunswick already ranks next to the bottom in accessibility to abortions, just above Prince Edward Island, where there is no clinic and hospitals do not perform abortions.
Kathleen Pye, PhD student at the University of New Brunswick and Fredericton Morgentaler Abortion Clinic escort,
spoke as an escort clinic and demanded reproductive choice for all. Listen to Pye’s speech.
Colleen MacQuarrie, Associate Professor at the University of Prince Edward Island and researcher on accessibility to abortions.
Listen to MacQuarrie’s speech.
Pictures from the rally for accessible abortions at the New Brunswick Legislature in Fredericton on April 17, 2014.
Kathleen Pye, an escort at the Morgentaler Clinic in Fredericton, shares a personal story and demands reproductive rights. On women that clinic escort Kathleen Pye has seen at the Morgentaler Clinic: “And in them I saw what my birthmother lacked; the ability to choose abortion as an unrestricted, reproductive option, a legal right mandated by the Morgentaler Decision of 1988. And the procedure saved their job, their relationship, their financial situation, their family, their future plans, their education, their mental well-being, their physical health. It saved them in just the way they deserved to be saved.”
Colleen McQuarrie speaking at the rally for accessible abortions at the NB Legislature on April 17. She spoke of her experiences with women unable to access abortions in her province of Prince Edward Island. “We are medical refugees.. For the last 20 years, we have been searching for reproductive justice,” said MacQuarrie.
“We have the law, we need the access” was a chant heard and seen on signs at the rally for accessible abortions.
Amber Basque, a young feminist, reading from Jonathan Swift’s A Modest Proposal at the rally for accessible abortions.
The rally for accessible abortions demanded a repeal of Regulation 84.20, the two doctor rule, that forces women in New Brunswick to get two referrals from doctors in order to have a funded abortion in a hospital.
Brian Gallant, Liberal Party Leader in New Brunswick, said he would call for a review of the regulation at the rally for accessible abortion in Fredericton. He was met with heckling and shouts to do more and repeal the two doctor rule that restricts access to abortion.
Marie-Claude Blais, NB Minister responsible for Women’s Equality, was heckled for telling the crowd gathered at the rally for accessible abortions that she supported their democratic right to protest.
Marilyn Merritt-Gray, a nurse at the Morgentaler Clinic in Fredericton, demands accessible abortions in New Brunswick.
Sorcha Beirne, an organizer of the rally and member of the Fredericton Youth Feminists, demands access to abortions in the province of New Brunswick.
Women who have fought the fight for accessible abortions for decades were thanked at the rally. Here are some of those women standing in front of the younger generation demanding our right to choose.
The rally for accessible abortions in Fredericton was colourful with many signs demanding access to abortions now.
Rally goers for accessible abortion wore red.
About 500 people rallied for accessible abortions at the New Brunswick Legislature in Fredericton on April 17, 2014.