Abortion Rights Groups Call on New Brunswick to Enact Security Measures to Protect Abortion Providers, Clinics, and their PatientsWednesday, July 28 2010
The National Abortion Federation (NAF), New Brunswick Advisory Council on the Status of Women (ACSW) and the Abortion Rights Coalition of Canada (ARCC) are calling on Attorney General and Minister of Justice and Consumer Affairs, Hon. Thomas J. Burke, Q.C., to introduce legislation to establish an access zone around facilities providing abortion services, residences of doctors and service providers, and doctors’ offices in New Brunswick.
Similar legislation has already been enacted in British Columbia which created an access zone around the boundaries of abortion clinics.
Abortion clinics and providers in Canada have been targeted for violence and harassment by anti-abortion extremists,” said Vicki Saporta, President and CEO of NAF. “We urge New Brunswick to follow the lead of British Columbia and enact legislation to protect patients, providers and the communities in which they live.”
Establishing an access zone is extremely important for the Morgentaler Clinic in Fredericton, where there is no patient parking on site. Patients must park across the street in a parking lot and walk to the clinic.
“On days abortion services are provided, protestors march outside the clinic carrying signs designed to discourage women from entering. Our patients have made their choice and do not deserve to be intimidated or harassed,“ said Simone Leibovitch, Manager of the Fredericton Morgentaler Clinic and member of ARCC. “Volunteer escorts are recruited to assist women as they enter and leave the Clinic.”
Although protesters are not allowed on private property, there was recently an incident with protesters when the police had to be called when protesters have come onto the clinic’s property.
"If New Brunswick had access zone protection, anti-choice demonstrators could not continue their unacceptable interference. Women who access this legal health care service and the staff who provide it must be treated with respect for their dignity and privacy," affirmed Ginette Petitpas-Taylor, ACSW Chairperson.
The National Abortion Federation is the professional association of abortion providers in Canada and the United States. NAF‘s mission is to ensure safe, legal, and accessible abortion care to promote health and justice for women. NAF members include health care professionals at clinics, doctors' offices, and hospitals, who together care for more than half the women who choose abortion each year. For more information, visit their website at www.prochoice.org
New Brunswick Advisory Council on the Status of Women (ACSW) works at promoting equality of opportunity, freedom from discrimination, equal treatment, equal benefit, equal status, equality of results - as well as respect of differences - between women and men in all sectors of New Brunswick society. For more information, visit their website at http://www.acswcccf.nb.ca .
The Abortion Rights Coalition of Canada (ARCC) is a national political pro-choice group devoted to ensuring abortion rights and access for women. For more information, visit their website at www.arcc-cdac.ca