Twitter Campaign: Week Two

The first week of our #NBProchoice twitter campaign has come and gone and we are getting ready to begin on week two today.

Hundreds of tweets were sent out to MLAs and Premier Alward. ZERO responses were sent back. ZERO. Let that sink in for a moment. These public servants openly attended an event celebrating the status quo and/or further restriction of reproductive healthcare and bodily autonomy, not to mention flat-out endorsing NB’s violation of the Canada Health Act, Charter of Rights and Freedoms, and UN human rights standards.

Two months have gone by with absolutely no response from the sitting government. We send messages to them every single day through letters, emails, tweets and phone calls. We are here, we want to talk, and no one cares.

This movement cannot lose steam. We need to show that we are not going anywhere, this issue is NOT going away, it WILL be an election issue, and we WILL remember every single minute of silence.

#NBProchoice #ProchoixNB

week two



Twitter Campaign

The annual New Brunswick March For Life anti-choice rally took place on May 15th of this year, starting at the Legislative Building and continuing on down to the Women’s Care Centre which neighbours the closing Morgentaler Clinic in Fredericton (see CBC article here).

So far we have counted and named twenty three New Brunswick MLAs in attendance at this rally, an alarming number to be sure, but let’s allow this to help us fuel our fight. We know what we’re up against, because they showed up in public to support the status quo.

We have been writing, emailing and calling our representatives with little to no response. Twitter is a public avenue for these MLAs to connect with their citizens. Let’s see if they continue to ignore us.

We have created a schedule that starts on Tuesday May 20th and continues each workday until we’ve run out of MLAs with active twitter accounts who were in attendance.

twitter campaign

For a schedule with active links, use this:

May 20th @billfrasermla (spoke at the rally)
May 21st @jodycarr_mla (spoke at the rally)
May 22nd @troylifford
May 23rd @brucefitchmla

May 26th @pamlynchnb
May 27th @jakestewartmla
May 28th @jackcarr_mla
May 29th @carlkillen
May 30th @ryanriordon

Don’t forget to add the premier @PremierNB to your tweet each day as well.

In order to ensure the maximum number of people see your tweets, make sure you have at least one character before directly addressing someone on twitter. You can phrase your tweet so their handle is inside your statement:

“Hey @billfrasermla, I can make my own medical decisions! #NBProchoice”.
Or you can add a period before their handle: “.@jodycarr_mla thinks his opinion should shape the course of my life #NBProchoice”

Just keep in mind that Tweets addressed to someone (“@whoever followed by your statement”) get put in your “replies” and don’t get as many views!

Let’s write messages, re-tweet each other, and keep it focused on law/politics. Every person deserves full, uncompromising autonomy over their own body. Regulation 84-20 endangers lives and infringes on our human rights.

While we want to publicly address this on twitter we think it is also important to name every MLA in attendance, and so we have done so by listing their email addresses here:

Those without Twitter:

Those on the Twitter list:

And here is the entire list in an easy to mass email form:,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,, Jack.Carr@gnb.c,,

For a detailed history of this important issue, check out this piece by Professor Jula Hughes (UNB law), or this article by Joyce Arthur, Executive Director of the Abortion Rights Coalition of Canada.

Hedy Fry: An Open Letter to the Minister of Health

Hon. Rona Ambrose, P.C., M.P.
Minister of Health
Health Canada
Brooke Claxton Building, Tunney’s Pasture
Postal Locator: 0906C
Ottawa, Ontario

May 14, 2014

Dear Minister,

We write to inform you of a likely contravention of the accessibility principle ‎of the Canada Health Act (CHA) by the New Brunswick government and to request that you send a letter forthwith invoking the Dispute and Resolution process (DAR) in order to address the issue.

As you are aware, ‎the Fredericton Morgentaler clinic will be forced to close its doors at the end of July due to lack of public funding. At the same time, provincial regulation limits access to pregnancy termination to two hospitals with the required approval of two physicians.

There is already an unacceptable waiting list of as long as two weeks for some women requesting termination. With the closure of the Morgentaler clinic, this waiting list will lengthen.‎

As you are aware, there is a time line after which a termination of pregnancy is no longer‎ clinically appropriate and increases the risk to the pregnant woman. This means that many New Brunswick women may be denied access to safe, timely, legal abortion based on provincial residency.

Furthermore, many women many not have the financial means to travel to a neighbouring province in order to access a safe procedure in a timely manner. Those who can afford to do so will place a greater cost and wait times burden on neighbouring provinces.

The principle of accessibility in the Canada Health Act requires provinces to provide access to medically necessary services regardless of where they live or their ability to pay.

Moreover, access to safe timely abortion is legal in Canada.

We hope to have a speedy response to this letter, Minister. The medical needs of New Brunswick women depend on it.


Hon. Dr. Hedy Fry, P.C., M.P.
Vancouver Centre
Liberal Health Critic

Hon. Carolyn Bennett, MD, M.P.
St Paul’s Chair,
Liberal Women’s Caucus

Hon. Dominic Leblanc, P.C., M.P.
Liberal House Leader

L’hon. Rona Ambrose, C.P., députée
Ministre de la Santé
Santé Canada
Édifice Brooke Claxton Building, Pré Tunney
Indice de l’adresse : 0906C
Ottawa (Ontario)
K1A 0K9

Le 14 mai 2014

Madame la ministre,

Nous vous informons par la présente d’une atteinte probable au principe d’accessibilité de la Loi canadienne sur la santé de la part du gouvernement du Nouveau-Brunswick et vous demandons d’envoyer tout de suite à ce sujet une lettre invoquant le mécanisme de prévention et de règlement des différends.

Comme vous le savez, la clinique Morgentaler de Fredericton sera forcée de fermer ses portes à la fin de juillet faute de financement public. D’autre part, la réglementation provinciale n’autorise l’interruption de grossesse que dans deux hôpitaux moyennant l’approbation de deux médecins.

Certaines femmes doivent attendre jusqu’à deux semaines avant d’obtenir une interruption de grossesse. Après la fermeture de la clinique Morgentaler, la liste d’attente déjà inacceptable s’allongera forcément.

Comme vous le savez, passé un certain délai, l’interruption de grossesse devient cliniquement contre-indiquée et entraîne un risque accru pour la femme. Il s’ensuit qu’un grand nombre de Néo-Brunswickoises risquent de ne pas pouvoir se faire avorter légalement sans risque et dans les délais voulus d’après leur province de résidence.

Par ailleurs, beaucoup de femmes n’ont pas les moyens de se rendre dans une province voisine pour se faire opérer sans risque dans les délais voulus. Quant à celles qui en ont les moyens, elles vont augmenter les coûts et allonger la liste d’attente des provinces voisines.

Le principe d’accessibilité de la Loi canadienne sur la santé oblige les provinces à fournir aux assurés les services médicalement nécessaires sans égard à leur lieu de résidence ou à leurs moyens financiers.

En outre, il est légal au Canada de se faire avorter sans risque et dans les délais voulus.

Nous espérons recevoir bientôt votre réponse. Le bien-être des Néo-Brunswickoises en dépend.

Veuillez agréer, Madame la ministre, l’expression de nos sentiments distingués.

L’hon. Hedy Fry, C.P.
Députée de Vancouver-Centre
Porte-parole libérale en matière de santé

L’hon. Carolyn Bennett, M.D.
Députée de St. Paul’s
Présidente, Caucus des femmes libérales

L’hon. Dominic Leblanc, C.P.
Député de Beauséjour
Leader à la Chambre du Parti libéral


Communiqué : Le RFNB salue la création d’un nouveau groupe pro-choix

Pour diffusion immédiate
14 mai 2014

Création de Reproductive Justice NB :
Le RFNB salue la création d’un nouveau groupe pro-choix

MONCTON – Le Regroupement féministe du Nouveau-Brunswick (RFNB) souhaite entretenir une relation de collaboration avec le nouveau groupe Reproductive Justice NB.

« Le droit des femmes de prendre ses propres décisions en matière de procréation est un des principes fondateurs du RFNB. C’est donc avec joie que nous accueillons la création du groupe Reproductive Justice NB. Nous félicitions les personnes impliquées et souhaitons longue vie au nouveau groupe! », explique Sylvie Morin, présidente du RFNB.

L’objectif global de ce nouveau groupe rejoint celui du RFNB en ce qui à trait au droit à l’avortement, soit de travailler pour une plus grande accessibilité pour les femmes du Nouveau-Brunswick. À cause de l’annonce de la fermeture de la clinique Morgentaler de Fredericton, les femmes du Nouveau-Brunswick se trouvent dans une situation encore plus précaire en ce qui a trait à l’accès à l’avortement dans la province. Seulement 2 hôpitaux dans la province offrent le service, il nécessite l’approbation de 2 médecins et doit être offert par un spécialiste.

« Nous continuons à faire appel au gouvernement et aux chefs des partis politiques afin d’obtenir l’abrogation du règlement 84-20 qui limite l’accès à l’avortement dans la province. Il est encourageant de voir qu’un groupe de plus se mobilise autour de cet enjeu et nous souhaitons entretenir une relation de collaboration avec eux », explique Madeleine Arseneau, porte-parole en matière de droits reproductifs du RFNB.


Pour plus d’information ou une demande d’entrevue
Madeleine Arseneau, porte-parole en matière de droits reproductifs
Regroupement féministe du Nouveau-Brunswick
(506) 233-0311


Twitter Bomb!

Help make our voices viral! Below are ready-made tweets to help us spread the word. We encourage you to send these several times a day in order to show your support for #NBProchoice/#ProchoixNB!

We’ll be updating these frequently so please check back as often as you can.

Thank you for the solidarity!

Justin Trudeau (Head Federal Lib Party):

.@justintrudeau Your father spoke for abortion access in 1969. #NB needs you to speak up now #NBProchoice/#ProchoixNB

.@justintrudeau in 2015 we don’t need a status quo PM. Stand up for #NB reproductive rights #NBProchoice/#ProchoixNB

.@justintrudeau a strong fed. government ensures fed. laws are respected in every province #NBProchoice/#ProchoixNB

Brian Gallant (Head NB Lib Party):

.@BrianGallantNB and @JustinTrudeau must work together in order to secure #NB human rights http:// #NBProchoice/#ProchoixNB

.@BrianGallantNB we have the law, we need the access. Strike down Regulation 84-20 in 2014 #NBProchoice/#ProchoixNB

Kellie Leitch (Min. Status of Women):

.@KellieLeitch a strong fed. government ensures fed. laws are respected in every province #NBProchoice/#ProchoixNB

.@KellieLeitch we need a voice in Ottawa because @PremierNB isn’t listening #NBProchoice/#ProchoixNB

Peter MacKay (Min of Justice):

.@MinPeterMacKay: @PremierNB is not following the law. We demand reproductive justice in #NB #NBProchoice/#ProchoixNB

.@MinPeterMacKay: a strong fed. government ensures fed. laws are respected in every province #NBProchoice/#ProchoixNB

Rona Ambrose (Min of Health):

.@MinRonaAmbrose abortion access improves health of #NB. We need fed. support #NBProchoice/#ProchoixNB

.@MinRonaAmbrose #NB and #PEI are heart of confederation. Why deny our reproductive rights? #NBProchoice/#ProchoixNB

Ted Flemming (NB Min Health and Attorney General):

.@tedflemming abortion access improves health of #NB. We demand a health province #NBProchoice/#ProchoixNB

.@tedflemming we have the law, we need the access. Support our reproductive rights #NBProchoice/#ProchoixNB

.@tedflemming this isn’t an issue that has come&gone, we will not back down #NBprochoice/#ProchoixNB

David Alward (Premier NB):

.@PremierNB #NB can only thrive when all its citizens are healthy. Abortion ensures health #NBProchoice/#ProchoixNB

.@PremierNB Don’t make #NB a national embarrassment. Uphold the law. Ensure abortion access. #NBProchoice/#ProchoixNB

NBProchoice/ProchoixNB focused tweets:

I make all decisions regarding my pregnancy.

I have the right to an abortion without facing intimidation and harassment. #NBProchoice/#ProchoixNB


Niki Ashton: In Solidarity with the New Brunswick Pro Choice National Day of Action

April 26th, 2014 – 7:37pm

Today I shared this message with the rallies happening across the country in solidarity with New Brunswick Pro-Choice advocates.

On behalf of my proudly pro-choice caucus members, I want to thank you for being on the Hill today in solidarity with the women of New Brunswick, the women of Prince Edward Island and the women all across this country who cannot access their legal right to choose.

Merci pour votre lutte et pour votre solidarité avec les femmes du Nouveau Brunswick, de l’ile du Prince Édouard et de partout au pays.

Today we are clear that the right to choose means that abortion services must be accessible for all Canadian women, regardless of income, region, or province.

Prime Minister Harper has told us that he won’t reopen the issue of abortion. But we know from the US that the way these Conservatives choose to erode abortion rights is to deny women fair access.

The Harper Government’s attack on choice has been long standing. They have attacked Planned Parenthood, cut funding to sexual health clinics and services, and implemented a vehemently anti-choice agenda at the international level. Here in Parliament, a Conservative backbencher puts forward his anti-choice agenda every few weeks. And despite his pronouncements, this Prime Minister has gone as far as appointing an anti-choice Minister of Status of Women who is now the Minister of Health.

But Canadian women and men are clear. The right to choose is a woman’s right. And women’s rights are human rights.

And YOU have been clear – we are not prepared to roll the clock back on Canadian women. Because of your pressure, together, we have stopped anti-choice efforts in Parliament time and time again.

But we must continue to fight back. Minister Ambrose and her Government are all too happy to sit by while regressive governments in New Brunswick and PEI deny women their right to abortion services.

Today, I am asking you to help us bring this fight to the Federal Government. It is the duty of Minister Ambrose, the Minister of Health to intervene immediately to ensure that the Canada Health Act is enforced in the province of New Brunswick and the Province of PEI.

Ainsi, nous demandons à la ministre de la Santé d’intervenir directement en appliquant la Loi canadienne sur la santé et en collaborant avec les provinces afin de faire en sorte que toutes les Canadiennes aient accès à des services d’avortement.

Exigeons que le gouvernement fédéral garantisse un accès sûr aux services d’avortement pour les femmes de partout au pays. Envoyons des letter, des tweet à la Ministre. Signez la petition qui se partage sur la colline aujourd’hui.

Let’s let the Minister of Health know that we demand immediate Federal action. Send her letters. Send her tweets. And sign the petition that’s being shared on the Hill today.

We will not stop. And we cannot stop until it is clear that all Canadian women, no matter who they are or where they live have access to their rights, including their right to choose.

Thank you. Merci.

In solidarity,

Niki Ashton
NDP MP for Churchill
Critic for the Status of Women

Regional Committees in Solidarity with New Brunswick

Organizers around the issue are forming regional committees to plan actions in solidarity with those on the ground in New Brunswick. To get involved in your city, contact:

Toronto: Peggy Cooke – pedgehog [at] gmail [dot] com

Montreal: Julie Michaud – julie [dot] l [dot] michaud [at] gmail [dot] com

PEI: Colleen MacQuarrie – cmacquarrie [at] upei [dot] ca

Halifax/NS: Martha Paynter – martha [dot] paynter [at] gmail [dot] com

If your city isn’t listed and you’d like to head up a committee, contact us at choixprochoice [at] gmail [dot] com


No, Shame on YOU, New Brunswick!

by Melanie Mackenzie

Abortions weren’t completely legal in Canada until 1988, but my Grandmother had hers in the early fifties. We’re not sure when and we can only guess at her reasons, but we do know she survived an illegal abortion and was able to have two children afterwards. For that, we know she was very lucky.

Soon, some women in Atlantic Canada may not be so fortunate.

The Morgentaler abortion clinic in Fredericton was opened, funded and operated by Dr. Henry Morgentaler, a Holocaust survivor and a champion of women’s rights. It is the only private abortion facility east of Montreal and due to a lack of government funding, it is closing this year. This is important to the women of Atlantic Canada because New Brunswick has some of the most restrictive laws in the country regarding women’s right to choose. (And PEI won’t perform abortions at all.)

With the closing of the clinic, women who are faced with an unwanted pregnancy will meet extreme challenges, not unlike those of my Grandmother. Grandma might have had it easier, even. She did not need to find and convince two doctors (in a province with an extreme doctor shortage) to write permission slips deeming her abortion “medically necessary.” She did not need to travel for hours and cross provincial lines to obtain an abortion and while she might have had to pay an exorbitant amount, she was lucky enough to have those resources at her disposal. Without the two doctors’ notes, New Brunswick hospitals charge between 700-850 dollars; an amount that for many woman, can seem practically impossible to obtain.
My Grandmother was lucky. So was I.

An abortion in Nova Scotia is covered by our tax dollars. You have to get an ultrasound and endure being pregnant for about two months, but all I had to say to my doctor was, “I’m pregnant and I don’t want to be,” and it was done. I didn’t have to explain my reasons to her, nor do I have to explain them to you, dear reader.

My body is none of your goddamn business.

The abortion itself was unbelievably uncomfortable, but relatively painless. The nurses were gentle, compassionate and thorough. (And they deserve everything they ask for, Premier McNeil.) They allowed me to squeeze their hand to the point of breaking and smiled gently as they saw through my weak attempts at humour when I tried to make light of a situation that felt very heavy.

Being pregnant is a funny thing, especially if you don’t want to be. Even more so if you’ve decided to terminate it. Not much changes. You still smoke, even though your body abhors it. You drink just as much, more even, hoping for a whiskey-miscarriage, and you continue not to shop for cribs and baby blankets and tiny things, just like before. The only thing that really changes is your view of the world because you begin to understand how the world will now view you. You have a secret that a lot of people will hate you for. Your opportunities and choices are illegal in a large part of the world and you know that doctors who perform abortions are being murdered and that people are willing to kill, just so that you produce a life. Not so that you can, but so that you will.

I have never regretted my decision to abort. Even as I lay in that hospital room, I knew I was making the right choice. You might argue that abortion kills a life, but in my opinion, it saved two; mine and the one I wouldn’t have been able to properly care for. I will admit, however, that being pro-choice in no way prepared me for actually making the choice. To say those two months were hard would be a gross understatement.

After months of reflection, I’ve realised that it wasn’t the abortion that upset me so much; it was this shadow of shame I was now supposed to live under that made me cry. In my small, sheltered and privileged view of the world, an abortion wasn’t supposed to happen to me. I hadn’t been close with anyone who had one before and even though I was confident in my decision to terminate the pregnancy, part of me was stubbornly refusing to admit that having ‘Abortion’ on my life’s resume was ok. It was, I thought, something to be ashamed of.
After confiding to a few friends about my ’delicate condition,’ I was shocked to find out that almost everyone knew someone who had at least one abortion. I didn’t feel it would be polite to approach these women and say, “Hey, lady! I heard you had an abortion! I’m scheduled for the 22nd, what’s the deal?” But I wish that I could have.

Abortions used to be a ‘back-alley’ procedure and in a way, they still are. We are not allowed to talk about them, except for back-alley whispers and the silence that surrounds women’s experiences is just another form of oppression that we encounter. By not being able to talk about our abortions, we are saying that we are ashamed of them. By staying silent, we are encouraging the systematic disgrace that makes it possible for wonderful institutions like The Morgentaler abortion clinic to not get the funding they need.

I am no longer ashamed of my abortion but I am angry that some of you expect me to be. My abortion happened about a week before Canada Day, and I have never been so proud to be Canadian. I cried and proudly sang my national anthem, grateful to live in a place where I had a right to bodily autonomy. My abortion was free, safe and legal. My choices for how I live my life were not impeded by misogynistic laws that attempt to control women’s bodies and lives.
I say attempt, because the government can only stop safe abortions. They cannot and will never be able to make a determined woman have a child she does not want. Do they want women resorting to coat hangers again? A once commonly used method to stop unwanted pregnancies was to pump Lysol into a woman’s womb. Is this the direction New Brunswick had in mind when they chose to uphold Regulation 84-20, Schedule 2? That’s the Medical Care Act that defines whether a procedure is entitled to be funded by tax dollars or not. This act shoves abortions into the same category as correcting an inverted nipple or being fitted for contact lenses. (It is interesting to note that the reversal of vasectomies is also considered unworthy of your tax dollars, but vasectomies are.)

This hypocritical system that says not only is it ok for men to never want children, but the choice will be his own and the tax payer will fund it. I hate to grasp at moot straws, but I think if men were able to become pregnant every time they had sex, abortions would have been free, rampant and legal long ago.

New Brunswick and PEI are using archaic mentalities in the running of their provinces and both provincial governments should be ashamed at themselves for their illegal, discriminatory and completely outrageous treatment of their citizens.

Whether a woman chooses to abort because she is in an unstable time in her life, her partner is abusive, it was a result of rape or simply she doesn’t want to be a mom, it is none of your business. NB’s Official Opposition Liberal leader Brian Gallant says that he’s pro-choice. Great. Good for him. But it doesn’t fucking matter. Governments are elected by the people with expectations that they will uphold the law and ABORTION IS LEGAL. Canada’s Charter of Rights and Freedoms states that if women’s capacity to reproduce is to be subject not to her own control, but to that of the state, it would be a breach of the woman’s right to security of person. The Supreme Court ruled in 1988 (thanks to R. Vs. Morgentaler; there he is again, God, I love that man) that to force a woman to carry a fetus unless she meets certain criteria unrelated to her own priorities and aspirations is unconstitutional.

When an arrogant radio talk show host was recently asked why abortion was legal in the first place, he replied, ‘It’s legal because the Supreme Court ruled it so.’ He missed the point. Abortion is legal because the Supreme Court recognized women as people, not vessels. Women do not have to be mothers. We can be anything we want to be, whether that is an astronaut, a sex worker, a stay-at-home mom or single. Despite all our gains, women are still mentally stuck in my Grandmothers generation, “Be polite and don’t talk about certain things in polite company.“
Well, I will be kind, but I will no longer be silent.

If my abortion offends you, then don’t have one. I won’t make you, I promise. I won’t stand outside your maternity ward with signs saying that you will go to hell. I won’t judge your decision and I won’t intimidate you or make you feel guilty. I just want you to feel happy and secure in the choices you make and expect that you would have the same respect for me.


Melanie Mackenzie would have not done this without the love and support from her friends, her man, her family and all the incredible women around her who have given her strength. (Their love is stronger than your hate.)​

Call out for abortion stories

A national media outlet has approached Simone, the Director of the Fredericton Morgentaler Clinic, with a request for women to share their experiences accessing abortion services at the Fredericton Morgentaler Clinic. They have assured her that anyone doing so would remain anonymous, and only their stories and an anonymized picture would be used for an upcoming story.

Simone and Kathleen, a member of ChoixNBChoice, are asking that anyone interested to contact them for a brief discussion before committing to be interviewed. This is obviously a sensitive subject, and we want to ensure that anyone volunteering has all the information about the process and is prepared for any questions that might arise.

If interested, please email Simone at (506) 451-9060 or or Kathleen at

#NBProChoice Rallies!

Rallies being held in solidarity with New Brunswick this week:


Fredericton, NB – Thursday, April 17 at 12:30pm

Legislative building, 706 Queen St.

RSVP on Facebook


Toronto, ON – Thursday, April 17 at 5:30pm

Yonge-Dundas Square

RSVP on Facebook


St. John’s, NFLD – Friday, April 18 at 9:00am

Health Sciences Centre

RSVP on Facebook


Halifax, NS – Saturday, April 19 at 1:00pm

Victoria Park

RSVP on Facebook


Ottawa, ON – Saturday, April 26 at 2:00pm

Parliament Hill

RSVP on Facebook


Montreal, QC – Saturday, April 26 at 2:00pm

Place Émilie-Gamelin (Berri Square)

RSVP on Facebook


Charlottetown, PEI – Thursday, May 8 at 1:00pm

Province House

RSVP on Facebook



Any others? Share in comments or email