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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
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,
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.”
Rally to #SavetheClinic today, July 18th! If you are in Fredericton, your presence at the rally will help demonstrate how important the clinic is to New Brunswickers.
If you are unable to attend the rally, you can still show your support! Tweet using the #SavetheClinic and #NBProchoice hashtags and let Premier David Alward (@PremierNB) know what you think about his inaction. Demand the repeal of regulation 84-20. Tell the government of NB that we shouldn’t be doing their job for them! Take a photo of yourself holding a message of solidarity! Tweet your photos and submit them to the tumblr. If you are able, make a donation to the #SavetheClinic fund.
The rally takes place from noon to 2pm Atlantic time. If you’d like to concentrate your tweets/statuses/photos to coincide with the rally, remember to adjust for time differences!
THANK YOU EVERYONE FOR ALL YOUR SUPPORT
Check out RJNB’s video detailing the situation in New Brunswick, the closure of the clinic and the fundraising campaign. Please watch and share!
You can still donate here.