Take Action for New Brunswick Women!
On April 10, the Morgentaler Clinic in Fredericton announced it
would have to close its doors in July for financial reasons. This is
a devastating blow for New Brunswick women, many of whom will no
longer be able to access abortion services unless for those with the
means to travel outside the province and pay for the procedure
themselves - at a total cost of at least $1000, beyond the reach of
too many women.
The government of New Brunswick is 100% to blame for the clinic's
closure. It enforces an unconstitutional and illegal payment
regulation that compels women to pay out of pocket for abortions at
For more information on why the clinic must close, please check
Closure of the Morgentaler Clinic and the Rule of Law in
New Brunswick, by Prof. Jula Hughes (UNB law). A
brilliant analysis explaining why the Province of NB is
acting unethically and illegally. Includes a history of the
1. Call or
write to the New Brunswick Health Minister and Premier to
urge them to repeal the payment regulation, and establish a
publicly-funded women's health clinic in New Brunswick that
offers comprehensive reproductive healthcare services:
Write a letter to your Member of Parliament (find
their contact info here) and to Health Minister Rona
Ambrose, urging the Federal Government to withhold
payments for healthcare to New Brunswick until they agree to
fund abortions performed at the Morgentaler Clinic, and
repeal the regulation.
- You can use this sample
letter drafted by a local activist and former
clinic volunteer (thanks to Gender Focus
for making this available online).
- If you have time, it's
better to rephrase the
letter in your own words so your MP knows
you care personally about this issue enough to take
the time to write.
3. Sign this
petition asking the New Brunswick government to
repeal the payment regulation and fund the clinic
(this is part of a campaign by several St. Thomas
University students). Even with the clinic closure,
the regulation MUST be repealed to facilitate and
expand access at hospitals, which is woefully
inadequate because the regulation also hinders and
limits access at hospitals.
Attend upcoming events:
- The main rally
in Fredericton on April 17, 12:30pm, Legislative
Building, 706 Queen St. Hosted by Fredericton Youth
- Toronto: Attend
Solidarity Rally in Toronto on Thursday April
17, at 5:30, Southeast corner of Yonge and Dundas.
Hosted by Ontario Coalition for Abortion Clinics.
- St. John’s NL: Celebration of
Choice. Friday, April 18, 9:15-10:30am. West
parking lot of the Health Sciences Centre.
- Halifax: Solidarity
gathering for our right to accessible abortion, Saturday
April 19, 1pm, Victoria Park.
- Ottawa: Ottawa
Solidarity Rally : New Brunswick Pro Choice /
Rassemblement en solidarité avec Pro Choix
Nouveau-Brunswick à Ottawa. Saturday, April 26, 2pm,
/ #NBProChoice : MTL EN SOLIDARITÉ. Saturday April
- Or, organize your own
local or online event and let us know about it at firstname.lastname@example.org
so we can add it here.
5. Tweet a message of
support using the #NBProChoice hashtag.
6. Join the following
7. Submit a picture of
yourself to this
blog with a message of solidarity.
Here's a selection of some of the best or most important
articles on the topic:
Brunswick Abortion Lawsuit Being Dropped, Canadian
Press, April 16. The family of Dr. Morgentaler is
discontinuing the old lawsuit began by him in 2002, which
has been dormant since 2009.
Letter to the Minister of Health (Rona Ambrose), from
Libby Davies, MP - NDP Deputy Leader and Health Critic; and
Niki Ashton, MP - NDP Critic for the Status of Women. (April
11, in English and français.)
Morgentaler Clinic Is Closing, And Here’s Why You Should
Care - a blog by The Belle Jar (April 10), who warns
that "Women are going to die..."
Status of Women Council Dismayed by Closure of Fredericton
press release (April 10), warning of the huge negative
impact the clinic closure will have on PEI women as well.
Brunswick's Anti-Abortion Law is an "Embarrassment" to
Canada (Jan 31, 2005 press release from
Pro-Choice Action Network), with background on the NB
regulation and why it is unconstitutional and illegal.
Please help the campaign to improve
abortion access in New Brunswick!
Any donation, large or small, would be gratefully accepted
and used to directly support grassroots efforts in New
Brunswick (coordinated by the group Reproductive Justice New
Brunswick). About 20% of the money would go towards national
efforts by ARCC, e.g., raising public awareness nationally,
lobbying federal MPs, events outside NB, etc.
click the Donate button (above and on the
right) to donate via Paypal. To donate by cheque
or major credit card, please print, complete and mail our Membership/Donation
form, using the "One-time Donation" section
on page 2.
Below are examples of what the money would be used for, but
first a few notes about our goals:
- The Morgentaler clinic
will definitely close at the end of July. This is a
firm decision by the owner and manager for financial
reasons. Our focus must shift to ensuring access for
women after the clinic closes.
- The province needs to
open a comprehensive women's reproductive healthcare
centre that will also do abortions and will be
regulations in the Medical Services Payment
Act must be repealed because they both violate
the Canada Health Act and severely limit
access. One requires women to get approval from two
doctors who certify that the abortion is “medically
required.” The other prohibits funding of any private
clinic, regardless if it does medically necessary
Example list of needs:
- Publicity, media,
communications: Printing and photocopying,
translation, web hosting, phone and postage costs,
media relations, sending press releases, etc.
- Lobbying / campaign
building: Costs associated with contacting and
meeting with government officials, medical groups and
doctors, healthcare institutions, labour unions, and
other policy-makers and stakeholder groups.
- Event costs: Venue
costs, sound system rental, speaker honorariums,
transportation, equipment costs, refreshments,
sign-making supplies, etc.
Thank you so much for your valuable support!