First act of new Liberal government must be to save Clinic 554

For immediate release

The Abortion Rights Coalition of Canada is relieved that the Liberals have emerged victorious over the Conservative Party in yesterday’s federal election. The Conservatives would have implemented huge cuts to services and found ways to attack abortion rights and reduce access.

While Justin Trudeau’s previous government spoke out strongly for reproductive rights, and pledged generous funding for sexual and reproductive health around the globe, much remains to be done domestically. We hope that the NDP, Greens, and Bloc Québécois can work constructively with the new Liberal government, giving Canadians a majority of MPs in Parliament who will together advance progressive issues, including improved access to abortion.

A concise list of demands is contained in our Solidarity Support for Abortion Rights, signed by over 1,000 groups and individuals. The new government must enforce the Canada Health Act and work closely with all provinces and territories to make abortion care fully accessible throughout their regions, provide full funding for clinics and doctors’ practices, and increase availability of the abortion pill Mifegymiso. Canada also needs a universal Pharmacare program with full coverage of contraception.

It’s particularly urgent that the new government act immediately to require New Brunswick to fully fund Clinic 554, where only surgical abortions receive no reimbursement from the province. NB’s clear violation of the Canada Health Act means the clinic will close without prompt help. If New Brunswick remains pig-headed, we demand that the federal government immediately withhold transfer payments for the full amount the clinic has been denied since the clinic opened in 2015, and redirect these funds to Clinic 554.

While direct federal subsidization of provincial healthcare is unusual in Canada, this long-standing and unresolvable situation requires drastic action. The solution is a win-win for everyone because it:

  • Keeps the clinic open.
  • Would enable reimbursement to patients who’ve paid out of pocket since 2015.
  • Ensures that the citizens of New Brunswick are harmed as little as possible by the reductions in healthcare payments.
  • Delivers long-overdue punishment for the New Brunswick government for its brazen violation of federal law.

The Abortion Rights Coalition is grateful to our members and supporters for being active during the campaign to help ensure this important victory over the Conservative Party. Its candidates and MPs were largely anti-choice and would have attempted to interfere with the rights of women, transgender and non-binary people to have an abortion.

Media Contacts:

Joyce ArthurExecutive Director / Directrice generale, ARCC-CDAC, Vancouverjoyce@arcc-cdac.ca604-351-0867
Kathy DawsonAlberta Pro-Choice Coalition, Edmontonkathy@arcc-cdac.ca780-914-4695
Carolyn EganOntario Coalition for Abortion Clinics, Torontoc.egan@sympatico.ca416-806-7985
Robyn SchwarzLondon Pro-choice, London ONschwarzrobyne@gmail.com226-236-9095
Julie Lalonde
(parle français)
ARCC-CDAC, Ottawajulie.s.lalonde@gmail.com613-301-2697
Mariane Labrecque (parle français)Federation du Quebec pour le planning des naissances (FQPN), Montrealmlabrecque@fqpn.qc.ca514-543-1477
Christopher Kaposy, PhDEthicist, Memorial University / Éthicien, Universite Memorial, St. Johns NL / T.-N.christopher.kaposy@med.mun.ca709-864-3375 (w / bur.)
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