Please write to protest lack of abortion services in New Brunswick

Wednesday, July 28 2010

Could you please take a moment and write a letter or two, to protest the lack of abortion services in New Brunswick?  We learned on Tuesday that the Dr. Everett Chalmers Hospital in Fredericton, which is the only New Brunswick hospital doing abortions, will stop performing all abortions as of June 30. All three doctors are quitting - one for health reasons but the other two for personal/political reasons.  As you may know, the New Brunswick government is strongly anti-choice and has created a repressive atmosphere for abortion providers.

This leaves only the Morgentaler Clinic in Fredericton for which women have to pay about $600 out-of-pocket, so NB will be violating the Canada Health Act more flagrantly than ever before, as women in NB, especially poor women and marginalized women, will have NO access to abortions at all.  The provincial government has consistently maintained that access is not a problem because hospital access is adequate. Obviously this is no longer the case!

The Abortion Rights Coalition of Canada / Coalition pour le Droit à l'Avortement au Canada (ARCC-CDAC) wants the government to take immediate action to ensure that providers are found and encouraged, and hospital abortion services re-instated and made available throughout the province. We also want them to immediately repeal their unconstitutional and discriminatory regulation that forces women to obtain the approval of two doctors before they can get a funded hospital abortion, as repeal of this law would allow the clinic to be funded, among other benefits. (For more info on the many ways this Regulation is illegal, see (New Brunswick's Anti-Abortion Law an "Embarassment" to Canada)

ARCC sent out a press release today on the issue of NB's only hospital stopping abortions. We are also putting pressure on the federal Health Minister Tony Clement, and the NB health minister Brad Green.

Your letters to Tony Clement and Brad Green would be appreciated!  To focus your letters correctly: please note that only the NB provincial gov't has the power to actually fund abortions, the most important role of the Federal Health Minister right now is to continue and prioritize the Dispute-Avoidance Resolution Process that former Health Minister Ujjal Dosanjh started with NB, to get NB to obey the Canada Health Act (which they are currently violating because they refuse to fund the clinic there - but Health Canada considers all abortions to be "medically required" under the Canada Health Act whether performed in hospitals or clinics). So please focus your letters to Clement on that aspect while highlighting the now urgent situation in NB.  For Green, please request that he immediately reinstate abortion services at hospitals, and also repeal NB's regulation so that clinic abortions are also funded. Here is the contact info:

The Honourable Tony Clement
Federal Health Minister
House of Commons
Ottawa, Ontario
K1A 0A6
Phone: 613-944-7740
Fax: 613-992-5092

The Honourable Brad Green
Minister of Health
Carleton Place
P. O. Box 5100
Fredericton,  NB
E3B 5G8
Phone: 506-457-4800
Fax: 506-453-5243

Thanks very much!
Joyce Arthur
Abortion Rights Coalition of Canada (ARCC-CDAC)
POB 2663, Station Main
Vancouver, BC, V6B 3W3

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