Finally, New Brunswick is being sued for unlawful restrictions on abortion access

by Martha Paynter  
Jan 18, 2021

On January 7, the Canadian Civil Liberties Association filed a lawsuit against the Higgs government in New Brunswick, challenging the constitutionality of the province’s restrictions to publicly-insured abortion services. Section 2.a.1 of Regulation 84-20 of the N.B. Medical Services Payment Act, enacted in 1984, states that abortion is “deemed not to be entitled services” for provincial payment unless it is provided in an approved hospital facility. Other services similarly banned from public payment include cosmetic surgery and breast augmentation. The regulation effectively excludes abortion care provided by Clinic 554, the former Morgentaler Clinic in Fredericton, from public coverage. The federal government has reprimanded New Brunswick for being the only province in the country that refuses to fund clinic-based abortion, a move that violates the Canada Health Act.

As a registered nurse working in abortion care and research, I recognize there are many potential advantages to going to a clinic for abortion care, such as a welcoming environment; more specialized staff; and reduced travel time, since many clinics also provide related services like ultrasounds and bloodwork collection. But in New Brunswick there are two additional, critical benefits.


New Manitoba health minister not responsible for reproductive health, despite holding purse strings

Past PC health ministers deferred all questions about abortion to minister for status of women

Marina von Stackelberg · CBC News
Posted: Jan 13, 2021

Manitoba's Department of Health may be in charge of the funding, but the Progressive Conservative government has decided talking about reproductive health — including abortion — remains a women's issue.

The office for newly appointed Health Minister Heather Stefanson confirmed she'll continue the PC government's practice of sending questions about reproductive health care to the minister for the status of women.


Experts believe pandemic contributing to increase in abortions

Posted Jan 12, 2021

VANCOUVER (NEWS 1130) – Professionals in the
field of reproductive health are seeing an increase in the number of abortions
and requests for information and services related to abortions.

The National Abortion Federation (NAF) — which helps women who face barriers in
accessing abortion care — says it got almost four times the amount of calls in
Canada in 2020 compared to the previous year.


Canada: activists sue province over refusal to fund abortions in private clinics

Lawsuit argues that New Brunswick’s refusal violates both the law and the Charter of Rights and Freedoms

Brooklyn Connolly in Truro, The Guardian (UK)
Fri 8 Jan 2021

Human rights activists in Canada have filed a lawsuit against the province of New Brunswick for its refusal to fund abortion services in private clinics – as they are in the rest of the country.

The lawsuit suit filed by the Canadian Civil Liberties Association (CCLA) argues that the refusal violates both the law and the Charter of Rights and Freedoms – Canada’s constitution.


Canada – New Brunswick being sued over abortion access

Lawsuit filed by civil liberties group seeks to force government to fund abortion services in private clinics

Jacques Poitras · CBC News
Posted: Jan 07, 2021

A national civil liberties group has officially launched a lawsuit aimed at forcing the New Brunswick government to fund abortion services in private clinics.

The Canadian Civil Liberties Association filed the constitutional challenge in Court of Queen's Bench in Fredericton. "The province is violating women's, girls' and trans people's fundamental right to make their own choices, their right to privacy, to safety and, of course, to equality," Noa Mendelsohn Aviv, the CCLA's director of equality programs, told reporters.


Canada – Why Are We Still Talking About Abortion?

Abortion is one of the most polarizing topics at play around the world.

By Melissa Parker
December 23, 2020

Politicians, lawmakers, scientists, the healthcare industry and women in particular, and humanity as a whole, have a stake in the legalities surrounding abortion and the right to choose them.  Here in Canada, abortion is legal, safe and covered through our health care infrastructure – though, difficult to find in some rural communities.  Current legislation allows Canadian women have the right to access abortion procedures up to 24 weeks of pregnancy with medical emergency abortions available after that window.  These late-term abortions, while legal, are rare and based on necessity but may require travel to another province or the USA.

In Canadian politics, Erin O’Toole, the new Conservative leader, has publicly
announced that he would not allow his party to open the discussion on abortion
law in our country.  This is a far cry
from the previous leader, Andrew Scheer who slyly skirted the conversation
indicating that “he” wouldn’t reopen the discussion but his MPPs were free
to.  Under Scheer, more than 40
conservative leaders across the country openly shared their agendas to make
abortion illegal again, including MPP Sam Oosterhoff – it will be interesting
to see how open they will be under new leadership and too early to say when the
topic will arise again.


Canada – Officials mum on how much Bank of China, anti-abortion groups got in wage subsidy

By Amanda Connolly , Global News
Posted December 22, 2020

The federal government isn’t saying how much money several Chinese state-owned enterprises and anti-abortion groups got through the wage subsidy.

The Canada Revenue Agency on Monday released a searchable registry of the 339,938 businesses, charities and non-profits that have applied for and received the wage subsidy so far.


Save Clinic 554 and provide abortion access for all

Elisa Do
December 7, 2020

In March 2020, roughly $140,000 was deducted from New Brunswick’s annual health transfer payments by the Canadian federal government. Yet in April, the temporary reimbursement of the same amount was provided to the province due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The initial decision to deduct money was a result of the province not subsidizing out-of-hospital abortions. The province has been criticized for not providing adequate abortion access.


Canada – Politicians, activists trying to stop display and distribution of graphic anti-abortion images

One petition is going to city politicians, another will be presented in the provincial legislature

Kate Dubinski · CBC News
Posted: Oct 26, 2020

A battle in London against graphic abortion images displayed and distributed by a Calgary-based group is being fought on several fronts, including counter-protests and petitions to municipal and provincial politicians.

NDP MPP Terence Kernaghan has one petition on his website, calling for a provincial injunction against the Canadian Centre for Bioethical Reform (CCBR) and its flyers which show aborted fetuses.


What the Overturning of Roe v. Wade in the U.S. Could Mean For Canada

Do Canadians need to worry about their reproductive rights?

By Corrina Allen
October 22, 2020

As if we weren’t already living through a pandemic-induced dystopian nightmare this year, Republicans south of the border are attempting to push through the confirmation of an anti-choice Supreme Court justice candidate who once served as a “handmaid” in a hierarchical male-dominated religious community and, in 2006, signed a public letter in favour of overturning “barbaric” Roe v. Wade, the legal foundation for access to reproductive healthcare rights in the U.S.

The appointment of Judge Amy Coney Barrett to Justice Ruth Bader Ginsberg’s seat on the highest court in the United States would tip the scales in favour of anti-choice organizations that have been chipping away at abortion rights for decades. Already, 90% of American counties lack their own clinic and 21 states stand poised to severely limit or outright ban abortions should Roe be struck down by a reconstituted, conservative-dominated court. American women are and should be scared that their access to safe abortion could largely disappear.