New Brunswick’s Regulation 84-20 is in clear violation of the Canada Health Act. The 30-year old regulation limits funding of surgical abortions to hospitals, restricting access to urban-centred hospitals by forcing clinics in New Brunswick to pay the cost themselves or charge patients directly. Only one clinic, Clinic 554, is currently able to provide the medical service to patients.
Both Action Canada for Sexual Health and Rights and Clinic 554 are elated to finally see the federal government take action on the clear violation that restricts access to abortion in New Brunswick.
“On behalf of Clinic 554, and as a physician serving the people most effected by poor access in New Brunswick, we are happy that the federal government is doing everything they can to support pregnant patients,” says Dr Adrian Edgar, a physician at New Brunswick’s Clinic 554. Adding that, “In New Brunswick the burden is higher than every other region. Unlike every other province and territory, New Brunswick allows an illegal regulation from the 1980’s to continue to violate patient’s health rights.”
New Brunswick is the only place in Canada where abortions that are performed in the clinic are not covered by the province. The Government of New Brunswick is actively preventing barrier-free abortion services by forcing people to pay out of pocket to receive services in the one and only clinic in New Brunswick.
“Enough is enough,” says Sandeep Prasad, Executive Director of Action Canada for Sexual Health and Rights. “This is an unquestionable violation of the Canada Health Act and it’s high time New Brunswick do something to ensure all people have access to the medical service they are entitled too, no matter their postal code or income bracket.”
A change.org petition started by Clinic 554 has already been signed by nearly 20,000 people and over 300 people have sent a letter to the Premier through Action Canada’s letter writing campaign. Dr Edgar has also personally been writing on a monthly basis to New Brunswick’s Health Minister, Ted Fleming. Neither Dr Edgar nor Action Canada have received a response.
Tens of thousands of people across Canada and New Brunswick, including Dr Edgar and Action Canada, have addressed this problem to Premier Higgs and have gotten no response. It is promising to see the federal government intervening to help patients who need it most. Now we need an answer.
Action Canada for Sexual Health and Rights
613-241-4474 ext 7
Clinic 554 Clinic Manager
Contact Ani Colekessian for contact information
Dr. Adrian Edgar
Clinic 554 Physician