We must expand, not remove, abortion options in New Brunswick and beyond

New Brunswick refuses to fund surgical abortions outside of hospital settings, forcing community abortion clinics to close and increasing travel barriers for residents. 

Everyone, regardless of where they live or how much money they have in their bank accounts, has the right to make decisions about their lives and their health—including their sexual and reproductive health.  

Community abortion clinics are an important part of ensuring everyone can access the sexual and reproductive healthcare they need. They provide options for people who can't travel to a hospital clinic, or who have trauma related to hospital settings.  

Unfortunately, the Government of New Brunswick has been withholding funding from community abortion clinics for years, which means that those clinics either have to ask people to pay out of pocket, or absorb the cost themselves, resulting in clinic closures.  

"By withholding funding from community abortion clinics, the Government of New Brunswick is forcing some of its residents to travel to another city to access a surgical abortion in a hospital," says Frederique Chabot, Acting Executive Director for Action Canada for Sexual Health and Rights. "Abortion is essential healthcare, protected by the Canada Health Act, and access to it should not depend on your ability to pay for travel." 

By withholding funding from community abortion clinics, New Brunswick is removing a safe, accessible, and effective option for abortion. The Government of New Brunswick is also in direct violation of: 

  • The Canada Health Act 

  • Decisions from the Supreme Court of Canada 

  • The Supreme Court of New Brunswick 

  • Every person's right to health, safety, and non-discrimination 

What about Medical Abortion? 

In 2017, medical abortion (aka Mifegymiso, aka the "abortion pill" became available in Canada, which created new opportunities for primary care providers to expand abortion access in their communities, including across New Brunswick. This milestone and its impact shows that having more options for abortion means that more people can access the care they need. In order to ensure equal access to abortion for everyone, we need to expand—not remove—access to both surgical and medical abortion in both hospital and community settings. 

Community abortion clinics provide essential services  for people who experience severe barriers to the healthcare system, including trans people, unhoused people, people without medical insurance, and people experiencing challenges relating to mental health, addiction, or gender-based violence. When we support and expand options for abortion care, everyone has better access to overall health and wellbeing.  

In the face of attacks on our sexual and reproductive rights, we are steadfast in our fight for a world where everyone has access to the resources they need to make decisions about their body and live safe, fulfilling lives in their communities—in New Brunswick, Canada, and the world. 

If you are in need of abortion care in New Brunswick, you can call the Medical Abortion Network at 1-844-806-9205. If you need assistance travelling to access abortion care, call our Access Line at 1‑888‑642‑2725. 

Posted on 2024-02-02
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