The Canadian Civil Liberties Association has filed a constitutional challenge in New Brunswick to force the province to fund abortions in private clinics.
According to the CCLA, the current state of abortion access in the maritime province is hurting “women, girls and trans people”.
A New Brunswick regulation restricts access to abortion unless done in approved hospitals, even though this restriction is not medically necessary or justified. The New Brunswick law has creates a serious issue for New Brunswick women, girls and trans people who need access to abortion, a basic form of health care.
As reported by CBC,
“The province is violating women's, girls' and trans people's fundamental right to make their own choices, their right to privacy, to safety and, of course, to equality,” Noa Mendelsohn Aviv, the CCLA's director of equality programs, told reporters.
“Today we are marking the beginning of the end.”
The lawsuit asks the court to strike down part of Regulation 84-20, which includes non-hospital abortions on a list of services not funded by medicare.
CCLA's statement of claim notes that right now, expectant mothers can only abort their children in either Moncton or Bathurst:
As of January 2021, there are only three approved hospitals in the entire province that perform surgical abortions – one in the small city of Bathurst, NB, that only accepts patients from the Bathurst area, and two in Moncton, a city of 70,000 people. “With those three hospitals in two cities, 90% of New Brunswickers do not have adequate access to abortion services in their community”, explains Noa Mendelsohn Aviv, CCLA’s Equality Director.
The only private clinic offering abortions in New Brunswick is Clinic 554, located in Fredericton.
Clinic 554 describes their business as a “family practice devoted to patient-driven healthcare”, offering “self-affirming services”:
We are committed to sex-positive, gender-celebratory care, anti-racist and feminist practices, and full-scope reproductive care, including abortions.
The lawsuit states that Clinic 554 has performed more than 1,000 abortions since 2015.
Aborting your child at Clinic 554 costs between $750 to $800.