FREDERICTON, NB, August 28, 2014 – Reproductive Justice NB is calling on organizations and media outlets hosting leaders’ debates during the New Brunswick election to include questions about abortion access. As a leading healthcare issue facing the province, leaders must make their positions clear on how they would rectify the lack of safe, equitable and accessible reproductive health care for all New Brunswickers.
“Since the closure of the Morgentaler clinic in Fredericton just over a month ago, our group has received countless calls and emails from New Brunswickers who are, quite frankly, terrified,” said Kathleen Pye, Chair of Reproductive Justice NB (RJNB). “A doctor shortage and personal financial restrictions given the current economic climate in the Province make the current two-doctor regulation particularly dangerous. Some will be fortunate enough to have the funding to be able to travel out-of-province to have a self-referred abortion. Others will be forced into desperate measures. It is the health, well being, and safety of all New Brunswickers on the line. Legislators must answer to this crisis. Now.”
Since announcing the clinic closure in April, there has been a groundswell of provincial and national support for New Brunswick’s restrictive abortion rules to change. An RJNB-led campaign to raise $100,000 to work to secure a lease for the clinic and recruit healthcare professionals with a pro-choice mandate reached its goal in less than two weeks. And on the eve of a provincial election, voters have taken to social media to express their concerns about lack of access.
“We encourage every voter who wants reproductive justice in the form of province-wide access to abortion services to speak to every candidate who knocks on their door,” said Pye. “This is our opportunity to demand answers and action from our provincial leaders.”
The provincial leaders running for office in the New Brunswick election have all answered questions about abortion access to some degree via media interviews. The various leaders’ debates (televised or not) will provide an opportunity for leaders to be clear on their stance on this critical health care issue that must be addressed.