Media/Link Roundup – August 18

Privileging Infertility over Abortion in New Brunswick – Impact Ethics blog

Reproductive restrictions highlight grey zone of rights – The Star

Pro-choice supporters hold counter-rally in Halifax – Global TV

Abortion Access in New Brunswick – New Website from Abortion Rights Coalition of Canada

Democracy on Trial: The Morgentaler Affair – Facebook Event for Film Screening in Fredericton (Sept 5)

National Day of Action for Reproductive Justice – Facebook Event, Various Cities (Sept 20)

#AbortionPEI

Abortion: The Unfinished Revolution International Conference takes place Aug. 7 and 8 at the University of Prince Edward Island.

Follow the #AbortionPEI and #NBProchoice hashtags on twitter to get live updates from the conference!

Abortion conference protested with disturbing images – CBC

“It’s hard to study abortion without being an activist” – Article on the Conference from Activehistory.ca

Abortion: The Unfinished Revolution Website

abortionpei

Media Coverage Roundup – August 6

Efforts aimed at reopening the Morgentaler Clinic – Global

Activists continue fight for better access to abortion in New Brunswick – Rabble.ca

Survey shows the majority of adult Canadians polled (59%) say they are “fine” with no law restricting abortion – Angus Reid Global

N.B. abortion access prompts St. John’s demonstration – CBC

Despite being legal, abortions still not accessible for all Canadians – The Globe and Mail

Abortion conference coming to UPEI – The Guardian

 

Travel and Access to Abortion

Excellent paper on the topic of access in the Maritimes and creating barriers to access by forcing pregnant people to travel for abortion care:

On July 18th, the Morgentaler Clinic in Fredericton performed its last abortion. Without government funding, and the generous support of Dr. Henry Morgentaler, the clinic is no longer sustainable financially. The closure of this clinic is a reminder that although abortion is legal in Canada, there are still significant disparities in timely access to abortion services. The closure of the clinic is part of a long history of women’s access to abortion services at the local level before and after the legalization of abortion in 1969 and the decriminalization of abortion in 1988. The lack of access at the local level has a major impact on obtaining an abortion in much wider contexts because women have tended to travel to other jurisdictions for pregnancy termination. Travel is one of the main barriers to access to abortion. Yet travel is often the only way women can access abortion services.

Via Activehistory.ca, article by Nancy Janovicek, Christabelle Sethna, Beth Palmer, and Katrina Ackerman

Thank You / Current Access Info

An open letter from Reproductive Justice NB to our supporters:

The words “thank you” do not feel big enough to express the gratitude we’ve felt over the last month as we surpassed our original fundraising goal of $100,000 in the #SaveTheClinic campaign. Our work would not be possible without your generosity and continued support!

The donation site will remain up and running past the July 31st deadline as we are still looking to finance equipment for the clinic and fund our advocacy work. Unequal access to reproductive services is a problem 20 years in the making in this province and any additional support goes a long way to help us eradicate these archaic healthcare practices… Read more

How to Access Abortion in New Brunswick / Services d’avortement à l’heure actuelle

Télé-soins ou Télé-saints ? // Tele-care or Dial-a-prayer?

Excellent piece by Rosella Melanson on government operated telecare hotline directing callers to ‘pro-life’ organizations when they request abortion information/services.

In English

In French

“What about that code of ethics? What does the profession have to say about having to read a political script? You have a health question? Here’s political propaganda. You want a health procedure? Here’s a number for a political-religious procedure.”

“Télé-soins manque à sa responsabilité. Bonjour, ici Télé-saints. Tu as des rhumatismes? Essaye une prière à Saint-Jacques le Majeur. Tu es anémique et tu contemples une transfusion sanguine ? Voici le numéro des Témoins de Jéhovah.”

Media Coverage Roundup – July 28

 

As Morgentaler Clinic closes, New Brunswick abortion-rights group turns to crowdfunding – The Globe and Mail

Abortion in New Brunswick: The vise tightens, and activists push back – The Globe and Mail

Last Abortion Clinic in Canadian Province to Close – Ms. Magazine

Social conservatism’s last stronghold: New Brunswick clings to traditional values on the wane in rest of Canada – National Post

Lack of abortion services upholds NB as a “drive-through” province – NB Media Co-op

New Brunswick Liberals accused of stonewalling on abortion funding – The Globe and Mail

Medical society calls for clarification of N.B. abortion policy – Global

Morgentaler Clinic closure puts ‘increased pressure’ on N.S. system – CBC

 

Open Letter for Abortion Access, Because Oppression Wears on Our Bodies

Oppression (on the basis of class, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity, race, and a whole host of other factors) is one of the most prominent underlying reasons why I see patients in the hospital. That may seem like a wildly unfounded statement to some nurses. There are nurses who would argue with me, and would say that diseases and risk factors and lifestyle choices are what bring most people into the hospital. They’re entitled to that thinking, but in my experience it is almost always marginalization and structural violence that brings people into the hospital in one way or another. Especially in New Brunswick, where most people have no money. And especially for New Brunswick women, who usually have even less money and limited access to services when compared to other areas. I meet people who are in the hospital because they have a specific disease—sure—but what led to their hospitalization is also that they don’t currently have enough money to feed, clothe, and house themselves all at the same time. Or that they have experienced gender-based violence. The list of contributing factors goes on.

A nurse researcher named Elizabeth McGibbon (2012) calls oppression “the causes of the causes” in her book Oppression: A Social Determinant of Health. I take her to mean, here, that oppression is what underwrites the causes of the health problems we see so frequently as nurses. This is not to say, of course, that we can always trace a simple trajectory from racism, sexism, cissexism, and all of the other harmful -isms to cancer and other diseases. I am saying, though, that if tracked back far enough oppression can be often be found at the root of too many issues. I am also saying that the daily assaults that so often make up oppression wear on people’s body, and while it may not be the name of the disease that makes them sick it is the cause of the cause of the cause of the cause of that disease. It’s in there somewhere, whether it be inadequate access to food that contributes to poor diabetes control or gender-based violence that factors into the development of heart disease for women. Oppression wears on the body. The daily struggle for food wears on the body if there just isn’t enough to go around—this struggle makes it harder and harder to stay well. The daily cat-calls, slut-shaming, airbrushed media portrayals, and underpayment for services wears on women’s bodies—makes it harder and harder to stay well as a woman in this province.

And so this is a plea for abortion access in New Brunswick, from a nursing student who is tired of putting band-aids on structural problems. The evidence exists that can help us understand how lack of access is rooted in oppression, and how that lack of access will lead to admissions to the hospital for people who have tried to self-abort. But this is not just a plea for those humans who will need abortions once the Morgentaler clinic closes. It is also plea for those of us who may never even end up pregnant, on whom the daily assault on our ability to decide for ourselves what to do with our bodies wears so heavily. An assault on choice wears on women’s bodies, and it just one of the many aspects of oppression that is making us sick in New Brunswick.

Yours in struggle,
Tricia Morris

A Message from the NDP

JULY 17, 2014

MINISTER OF HEALTH MUST ACT TO PROTECT WOMEN’S RIGHTS

OTTAWA – With the Morgentaler Clinic closing tomorrow. New Democrats urge the Minister of Health to work directly with her provincial counterparts in New Brunswick to ensure that safe access to abortion services is publicly available.

“It is disturbing and deeply concerning to know that women ‎in New Brunswick have a lack of access to safe abortions,” said NDP Health critic Libby Davies (Vancouver East). “This is an issue that the federal Minister of Health must act upon immediately, to ensure that women’s reproductive rights are upheld.”

New Democrats believe that there should be no place in Canada where a woman’s health is compromised because of a failure to provide access. Pro-choice activists nationwide have come together to support local initiatives in New Brunswick to save the Morgentaler Clinic, as well as to call attention to the lack of access to abortion services across Canada.

“Women in Canada have the right to choose – wherever they live,” said Status of Women critic Niki Ashton (Churchill). “This clinic served women in New Brunswick and PEI. Now these women no longer have access to health services that other Canadians have access to. It is time to address the gender inequality that exists when it comes to health care services available in Canada.”