[ View the story "Canadian abortion clinic closes its doors" on Storify] Canadian abortion clinic closes its doors Private facility loses twenty-year battle with New Brunswick government over public funding for abortions.
The Stream· Thu, Apr 10 2014 09:24:24
“Had the province provided funding for clinic abortions, or paid for abortions for women without ability to pay, the clinic would not be closing. To make matters worse, Regulation 84-20 makes it impossible for the majority of New Brunswick women to access an abortion in one of the two hospitals where the service is provided.”cbc.ca
The clinic was named after prominent abortion defender
Dr. Henry Morgentaler
, who won the Canadian Supreme Court decision that legalised nationwide abortion in 1988. New Brunswick, however, still requires approval from two doctors in order for a woman to qualify for publicly-funded abortions. The province only
abortion care provided by obstetricians or gynecologists in designated hospitals unlike the rest of Canada where abortion can be carried out by family physicians.
For many years the clinic could not meet its expenses and was subsidised by Dr. Morgentaler himself, who
in May of last year. This March, a group of students started a
petition calling for public funding for the clinic. Gathering over 3,000 signatures, they argued the New Brunswick government acted unconstitutionally by violating the
Canada Health Act
and the 1988 Supreme Court ruling.
Over 60% of NB women needing abortions are forced to pay out of pocket for abortion care at the Morgentaler Clinic in Fredericton, because hospital access is inadequate. The cost for the procedure at this clinic ranges from $700-$850 for women that are up to 16 weeks in their pregnancies. This discriminates against all women, (especially those of lower socio-economic status, as well as women who are sexually assaulted).change.org
In response, a group of pro-life activists started their own
urging the New Brunswick Minister of Health to oppose funding for abortion on demand. The petition gathered more than 6,000 signatures.
Abortion on demand does not pass the legal test of "medical necessity" required by Medicare. No Canadian law or court has established that a woman has a constitutional right to abortion on demand, or that a province has a legal duty to fund abortion on demand.citizengo.org
New Brunswick can be rightly proud to be the only province which does not publicly fund its private abortion facility. This is not something to be ashamed of, though some people may be.citizengo.org
, numerous Canadians protested the closing. The hashtag was used more than
The loss of the only private provider of abortion services in NB is a step backwards and will only hurt the women in Atl Canada #nbprochoiceStefanie B
I hope the Fredericton Morgentaler Clinic closing turns our anger to action. NB has been in precarious situation for too long. #NBProchoicePeggy Cooke
This is brutal and heart wrenching. NB has failed those who need access to sexual and reproductive healthcare over and over #nbprochoiceJean Ketterling
Shame on the @Gov_NB @NBHealth for refusing to fund the Morgentaler Clinic, letting it close @PremierNB #NBProchoice
Are we a federation or not? Are rights national or provincial? Ignoring small jurisdictions weakens our case nation-wide! #NBProchoiceBrenna Clarke Gray
I'm so mortified by the closure of the Fredericton Morgentaler clinic. Abortion should be safe, free, and legal! #NBProchoice #NBpoliD. Stackhouse
Many called for action against the closure.
Abortion rights supporters in front of Fredericton's Morgentaler clinic, which says it will close in July. #NB
#Morgentaler Clinic remains open until end of July to help Maritime women. We need to keep the fight going! #nbprochoiceAllison Webster
MLAs are sitting in #Fredericton today - let them know what you think about reproductive rights in NB #NBProchoice #Reprojustice #nbpoliMegan Mitton
Alright friends. Now is the time to rally. I know we're all frantically texting/messaging, let's get organized. #nbpoli #NBProchoiceKate
Wondering, just because I'm just finding out, would it be possible to donate to keep the clinic open? #grassroots #nbpoliBronwyn
Follow #NBProchoice for updates and reactions to #Morgentaler clinic closure and lack of funding for abortion in NB. #ReproRights #nbpoliMegan Mitton
.@CabinetPM_NB regarding the Morgentaler closure. What will you be doing to help women's reproductive rights? #NBProchoice #nbpoliJesse Edge
Others remembered Dr. Morgentaler and his efforts to support the clinic.
Why is Morgentaler a hero? Because he funded 100,000 of his own money to provide procedures to women. He saved lives. #NBProchoiceKathleen Pye
Thank you Henry Morgentaler for all your efforts, you will never be forgotten. I'm sorry your dream did not come true. #NBProchoice #nbpoliJesse Edge
Dr. Morgentaler's death last year was seen as a
to the clinic and a lawsuit he filed against the New Brunswick government in 2003. The lawsuit was an attempt to force the provincial government's medicare to pay for abortions at the clinic. CBC reporter,
live-tweeted the clinic's announcement:
Clinic has spent $100,000 covering abortions here for women who couldn't afford $700 fee. Morgentaler paid himself. #NBJacques Poitras
Morgentaler himself was plaintiff in 2003 court action because no woman patient would come forward. Same difficulty now, Hughes says. #NBJacques Poitras
The government, however, maintains that it's acting constitutionally, releasing a
after the clinic announced it's closure.
Through the media, the Department of Health has been made aware of the closure of the Morgentaler Clinic in Fredericton. Women will continue to have access to medically-necessary abortions in the province with the approval of two physicians. As this matter is still before the courts, the department has no further comment.www2.gnb.ca