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.
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.
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.
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.
Province is asked to repeal law that prevents funding outside hospitals
Mia Urquhart · CBC News
Posted: Oct 16, 2020
Citizens shouldn't have to sue their own government to ensure the right to health-care services, says the doctor who runs Fredericton's abortion clinic.
"In a perfect world, you don't have to sue your government to either respect the Canada Health Act or simply provide equal access to health care," said Dr. Adrian Edgar.
By Karla Renic, Global News
Posted September 30, 2020
On Tuesday, 36 senators from across Canada signed a call for access to reproductive rights in New Brunswick after Premier Blaine Higgs said funding Clinic 554 would be a “slippery slope.”
Fredericton’s Clinic 554, which serves as an abortion clinic, a family practice and a resource for LGBTQ2+ patients across the province, is set to close at the end of the month as a result of the lack of funding.
by Tegwyn Hughes
Posted on August 17, 2020
This article is the first in a two-part series about Clinic 554 and health care in New Brunswick.
In the Greater Toronto Area, there are nine locations where someone can access abortion services. In the entire province of New Brunswick, there are only four. Come September, that number could shrink to three, worsening the already poor access to abortion care in the province.
Clinic 554, New Brunswick’s only independent clinic that offers abortions—as well as family medicine, trans-inclusive care, and contraception counselling—is set to close permanently at the end of September. Advocates for the Fredericton, N.B. clinic, as well as former patients, are urging the provincial government to save it, but the Progressive Conservative leadership hasn’t budged.
By Silas Brown, Global News
Posted August 11, 2020
(video at link)
A class-action lawsuit could be brought against the New Brunswick government for allegedly limiting abortion access in the province.
Dr. Adrian Edgar is the current owner of Clinic 554, the only clinic that performs out-of-hospital abortions in the province and one of the only providers of specialty LGBTQ2 care.
New Brunswick directing women to receive abortions at hospitals dealing with COVID-19
By Alexander Quon and Megan Yamoah, Global News
Posted April 9, 2020
In the midst of a global pandemic, women in New Brunswick are being instructed to access abortion services at the same hospitals used to treat those who are ill from COVID-19.
The directions are a result of the provincial health department’s decision to only fund abortions at two hospitals in Moncton and one in Bathurst.
Abortion Is An Essential Service, But The Pandemic Is Making It Harder To Access
Travelling for abortion care is even harder when the coronavirus has shut everything down.
By Maija Kappler
Canada’s provincial and territorial governments have deemed abortion an essential medical service, and one that continues to be available during the COVID-19 pandemic. But reproductive health advocates say existing barriers to abortion access have become even more significant now.
Calls to a 24-hour info line provided by Action Canada for Sexual Health and Rights increased by 30 per cent in the last two weeks of March, according to communications director Laura Neidhart.