Legal Challenge Launched Against New Brunswick for Limiting Abortion Access

For immediate release

January 7, 2021

New Brunswick’s illegal payment regulation, which restricts funded abortions to hospitals, was hastily enacted in 1994 when Dr. Henry Morgentaler first opened the clinic which we now know as Clinic 554. This regulation has thus always been motivated by anti-choice views within the government.

Over 25 years later, New Brunswick still enforces this unethical regulation, despite being in violation of the Canada Health Act, denying New Brunswickers the equitable access to healthcare they are entitled to and discriminating against people who need abortion care. This regulation has caused great hardship and suffering for thousands of patients over the decades, not to mention clinic staff and volunteers.

We congratulate Clinic 554 and the Canadian Civil Liberties Association for launching a challenge to the provincial government’s long-standing violation of federal law and Charter equality rights.

Although it is disappointing that the province has forced this lawsuit, especially during a pandemic, the CCLA and Clinic 554 have the support of a majority of Canadians and hundreds of civil society groups, including the Abortion Rights Coalition of Canada.

We look forward to the day – hopefully within the year – when the court strikes down this illegal regulation, and New Brunswickers finally have the same access to essential reproductive health care as other Canadians.

Joyce ArthurExecutive Director / Directrice générale, 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.ca 416-806-7985
Tasia AlexopoulosARCC-CDAC, New Brunswicktasia@arcc-cdac.ca 
Christopher Kaposy, PhDEthicist, Memorial University / Éthicien, Université Memorial, St. Johns NL / T.-N.christopher.kaposy@med.mun.ca709-864-3375 (w / bur.)
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