Fredericton – Reproductive Justice NB (RJNB) will be holding a “Naught-Aversary” on Nov. 26 to mark one year of community action and political inertia. All supporters are welcome to attend the event at the Blue Door (100 Regent St.) in downtown Fredericton at 5:00pm to 7:00pm.
The event marks the one-year anniversary of the change to a part of Regulation 84-20 of the Medical Services Payment Act that used to force people seeking abortions to get two doctors to certify that it was “medically necessary,” and to have the procedure performed in a hospital. RJNB celebrated the removal of the barrier but continued to called for the striking of another barrier, the one that does not allow medicare coverage for abortions done in clinics.
“We repeat: Luck and privilege does not equal access. We call on Premier Brian Gallant to remove the part of the Medical Services Payment Act that was only put there to stop the late Dr. Morgentaler from opening an abortion clinic in Fredericton,” says Jessi Taylor, RJNB spokesperson. “Because it’s 2015, every province in Canada that has abortion offers medicare-covered abortions in clinics. Clinic 554 is a welcomed part of Fredericton, providing essential health care like abortions and trans health care services. The government of New Brunswick should be doing everything in its power to support Clinic 554 and its patients.”
When Premier Gallant announced the removal of the “two doctor” rule on Nov. 26, 2014, he acknowledged that there were additional barriers that needed to be overcome, including “timeliness of access, availability of non-judgmental care, and capacity within the system to provide abortion services.”
“We’re still waiting for Gallant to made good on his promise. The amendment to Regulation 84-20 and the addition of services in one hospital have not changed the fact that abortion, pre- and post- abortion care are still inaccessible and inadequate in New Brunswick, especially for the most marginalized people in the province,” says Taylor.
Canada’s Minister of Health Jane Philpott recently acknowledged the lack of abortion access across the country in a statement to CBC News (Nov. 17): “We know that abortion services remain patchy in parts of the country, and that rural women in particular face barriers to access… Our government will examine ways to better equalize access for all Canadian women.”
“While we feel the weight of political inertia, RJNB continues to push the government to implement access to comprehensive reproductive health care for everyone,” says Taylor.
RJNB has launched a zine on abortion access in New Brunswick, which can be downloaded at rjnb.org