It seems we haven't come a whole helluva long way since. In New Brunswick, women still need the permission of TWO doctors to obtain a medicare-paid abortion.
For years, the Morgentaler Clinic provided a pressure release valve, enabling at least those women who could pay to get the same medical care that most Canadians (except in poor PEI too) had fully funded.
After running at a loss since its opening, the clinic is closing this month.
The Government of New Brunswick -- which, by the way, does not need to change a law but merely a regulation to right this idiotic situation -- was warned months ago.
How did it respond? It sent women wanting information on abortion to fake clinics run by religious anti-abortion nuts.
Yep. In Canada. Not Louisiana or Kansas. In Canada.
The good people of NB are, as usual, light-years ahead of their government and have taken matters into their own hands.
This is how kickass feminists do things now.
They are crowdsourcing the first step -- ensuring that the lease on the building is funded.
Reproductive Justice NB has begun an effort to lease the existing Morgentaler Clinic in Fredericton. The collective is in discussion with the building’s owners to enter into a lease agreement and further explore options to encourage family practitioners who support a person’s right to full reproductive services, including the right to abortion. The estimate cost of the lease agreement is $100,000.
While securing a lease agreement is a bandaid solution and does not automatically mean New Brunswickers will have improved abortion access, it does give the people of New Brunswick a fighting chance to access their rights under the Charter of Rights and the Canada Health Act.
Please consider helping Reproductive Justice New Brunswick reach this important goal.
Every donation, however large or small, is one step closer to ensuring reproductive choice in New Brunswick. Unless this oppressive regulation is overturned, New Brunswickers will not have equal access to abortion services. If Reproductive Justice NB is unable to raise the full $100,000, all money raised will go towards renewed efforts to overturn the Medical Services Payment Act.
Fact sheet (pdf) here.
As a former kickass young feminist too poor to do anything but protest back then, I salute the newest generation and have donated a few bucks. If you can't, please help spread the word.
ADDED: The media release from Reproductive Justice New Brunswick.
ADDED: Media coverage. CBC.