A new reproductive rights group demanding improved abortion access in New Brunswick announced its formation today, in front of the provincial legislature. Reproductive Justice NB is a collective of women and men from across New Brunswick calling on the provincial government to fulfill its constitutional and health care obligations to support women’s equality and reproductive choices.
“In light of the imminent closure of the Fredericton Morgentaler Clinic due to a lack of public funding, New Brunswick women are at a crisis point,” said Kathleen Pye, chair of Reproductive Justice NB. “We urge the government to repeal its outdated and unjust abortion rules and to ensure New Brunswick women have the same access to health care services as women in the rest of Canada.”
For 20 years, the Fredericton Morgentaler Clinic has been a critical option for many women seeking abortion under the province’s restrictive abortion rules. Currently, for the procedure to be publicly funded, NB Regulation 84-20, Schedule 2 (a.1) of the Medical Services Payment Act requires two doctors to sign off that the procedure is “medically required”, and it must be performed in a hospital by an OBGYN.
The not-for-profit clinic in Fredericton, however, offers self-referral, more timely access, and a supportive environment, but it must charge for the service under the current regulations. Without regulatory change and new funding, the clinic will close at the end of July, leaving many women with limited autonomy over their own bodies and lives. The Abortion Rights Coalition of Canada (ARCC) warns that “the closure of New Brunswick’s only abortion clinic will have devastating and potentially tragic consequences for women in that province.”
“Our collective is advocating for a publicly funded and comprehensive reproductive health system that includes abortion services,” Pye said. “And this means full abortion access on a self- referral basis in all regions of New Brunswick and in both official languages.”
Reproductive Justice NB will focus its efforts on public information campaigns, public rallies, and government lobbying. For more information, please see attached Fact Sheet or visit our website at: http://www.choixnbchoice.org
Reproductive Justice NB is distributing this Fact Sheet.