Abortion restriction in New Brunswick lifted but access still a problem

“In failing to apply reproductive health best practices by refusing to fund services outside of hospitals, New Brunswick continues to be in violation of the Canada Health Act,” says Jessi Taylor with RJNB.

“People are sometimes treated in a punitive way when they access abortions in some hospitals. There are also confidentiality problems when abortions are provided in a hospital,” says Taylor.

Her concerns are shared by the New Brunswick College of Family Physicians and Surgeons in their reaction to the news that more hospitals in New Brunswick may be doing abortions. They liken accessing the service in a hospital to going to an airport: “lots of people, no real privacy.”

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RJNB Press Release / Communiqué de Presse de JRNB

Fredericton, NB, November 26, 2014 – Today’s announcement of the repeal of abortion restrictions in regulation 84-20 is an important first step in bringing the law of New Brunswick in line with the Canadian Constitution, the Charter and the Canada Health Act.

Nous remercions le gouvernement du Nouveau-Brunswick pour l’abolition de cette politique restrictive. Nous soulignons et nous désirons mettre en évidence le travail incessant des militantes et militants de toutes les communautés du Nouveau-Brunswick depuis des décennies. Ce changement annoncé par le gouvernement peut entraîner, en théorie, une amélioration de l’accès aux services de santé essentiels qui sont légaux au Canada depuis 1969 et reconnus par la Cour suprême du Canada comme une composante essentielle des soins de santé publics.

However, the removal of a legislative barrier does not necessarily guarantee access to abortion. From the announcement, it is apparent that access will still be restricted to a hospital. “In failing to apply reproductive health best practices by refusing to fund services outside of hospitals, New Brunswick continues to be in violation of the Canada Health Act. In addition, clinics are the most fiscally responsible model for a province with limited resources like New Brunswick” says RJNB spokesperson Jessi Taylor.

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New Brunswick abortion restriction lifted by Premier Brian Gallant

Gallant said the new regulation will no longer require two physicians to certify the procedure is medically necessary, effective on Jan. 1.

This will put reproductive health procedures in the same category as any insured medical procedure, according to the government.

“We have identified the barriers and are proceeding to eliminate them in order to respect our legal obligations under the Supreme Court of Canada ruling and the Canada Health Act regarding a woman’s* right to choose,” Gallant said in the statement.

(*Abortion access does not just affect women)

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Days of Inaction/Jours d’Inaction Twitter Campaign

Disappointed with the new NB Liberal government’s lack of action on abortion access? Us too!  It has been 45 days (and counting!) since cabinet was formed. We’re going to let Premier Brian Gallant (who is also the Minister responsible for women’s equality) and Health Minister Victor Boudreau know we expect them to act swiftly, as promised.

@BrianGallantNB / premier@gnb.ca or premierministre@gnb.ca / (506) 453 2144

@VictorBoudreau / victor.boudreau@gnb.ca / (506) 457 4800

Follow @ReproJusticeNB for inspiration and use the hashtags #ActNow and #Agissez!

As predicted by activists and healthcare providers, clinics in Montreal and Maine have seen a significant increase in patients travelling from New Brunswick after the closure of the Morgentaler clinic.  It is unacceptable that an essential, safe, life-saving medical procedure is so difficult to acquire in one’s home province. And that goes double for Prince Edward Island.

The course of action is obvious: repeal any and all legislation that prevents a person from receiving a self-referred, government funded abortion at the hospital or clinic of their choosing.

We demand repeal. We demand change. We demand reproductive freedom and bodily autonomy.

#NBProchoice #ProchoixNB

Transgender Day of Remembrance


Transgender Day of Remembrance is observed every November 20th to bring attention to transphobia and memorialize all who have been killed as a result of transphobic acts of violence.  Many cities are hosting vigils to honour those who are no longer with us and denounce violence against trans people.

Fredericton Vigil

Moncton Vigil

If you are unable to attend a vigil, you can still participate by reading about the history of oppression faced by trans people and add your voice and heart in solidarity with those fighting to uplift and support every person who lives with transphobia still.

Learn more about TDoR

DoR: 226 trans people have been killed in the past year – Pink News

Transgender Day of Remembrance: A Call to Action for Trans People and Our Allies Alike – Huffington Post

Remembering Us When We’re Gone, Ignoring Us While We’re Here: Trans Women Deserve More – Auto Straddle

Canadian Pro-Choice Groups Unite To Advance Reproductive Rights

“I think that there is a need and we are filling that need … for a stronger voice nationally on sexual and reproductive health and rights issues, and we feel that now is a good time for that voice to be emerging,” said Sandeep Prasad, the executive director of the new organization.

“Abortion is one of the issues for sure, but it’s a broad range of issues within that sexual and reproductive health and rights continuum: access to contraception, comprehensive sexuality education, just even looking at issues of sexuality,” Prasad said.

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