On Tuesday, word broke that Ottawa's mayor Jim Watson had signed a proclamation declaring today, May 12, as "Respect For Life Day." This was to honour the annual "March For Life" anti-choice/anti-abortion march that is taking place today.
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In April, The Morgentaler Clinic in Fredericton, New Brunswick -- the only private clinic in New Brunswick to offer abortions -- announced it would be closing due to lack of funding from New Brunswick's provincial government. This prompted a large backlash from abortion rights activists who turned to the public for support, which culminated in numerous articles on reprodutive choice in Canada, protests and a Save the Clinic crowdfunding initiative.
The Morgentaler Clinic used to operate once a week and has provided abortion services to more than 10,000 women. However, the clinic was never profitable said Simone Leibovitch, manager of the clinic.
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Justin Trudeau's statement that any new candidate for the Liberal Party must agree to vote pro-choice on any bills is positive and entirely appropriate. It stirred up a surprising amount of criticism and confusion in the media, however, in addition to the expected histrionics from anti-choice and religious communities.
After 20 years of providing uncompromised abortion services to women in New Brunswick, and from PEI, the Morgentaler Clinic is being forced to close its doors due to funding shortfalls.
It is shameful that Canada now has two provinces that refuse to uphold a woman's right to choose, and provide necessary medical procedures free of cost to women. The federal government must enforce the Canada Health Act to ensure that all Canadian women have equivalent access to abortion services across Canada.
The Morgentaler Clinic in Fredericton, New Brunswick has announced it will close its doors in July, striking a huge blow to reproductive choice in Canada.
The clinic opened in June 1994 with the mandate to provide access to safe abortion care and "that no woman would be turned away regardless of [their] ability to pay." Since its opening, the clinic has provided abortion services to more than 10,000 women.
The closure is due to a lack of funding because New Brunswick governments have continued to uphold the anti-choice agenda of former Premier Frank McKenna and block access to abortion. The main obstacle is Regulation 84-20, Schedule 2(a.1), which decides which abortions will be covered by medicare.