Island women part of contingent protesting N.B. abortion clinic closure

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P.E.I. Abortion Rights Network calling for action in region to support women's reproductive choice

Google streetview image of the Morgentaler Clinic in Fredericton, N.B.

Several members of the P.E.I. Abortion Rights Network have travelled to New Brunswick today to join with a rally calling for women's reproductive rights and access to abortion services.

The rally is taking place in Fredericton, where the Morgentaler Clinic announced last week it will close at the end of July because it is losing money. The P.E.I. Abortion Rights Network says about half the Island women who get abortions do so at the Fredericton clinic.

"Year after year, about half the women on P.E.I. who need abortions have chosen to go to the Fredericton Morgentaler Clinic. When the clinic closes, their only remaining route will be to go to the QEII Hospital in Halifax," Colleen MacQuarrie said in a news release. "It is not acceptable for this to be the only way to access a simple medical procedure that could be offered in Island hospitals."

MacQuarrie, who was one of the members who travelled to Fredericton today, said, "It is important to us to stand with our sisters in New Brunswick, where access to abortion services are severely limited. We also want to share our Prince Edward Island story of barriers to access."

"The announcement that the Morgentaler Clinic in Fredericton will close and stop providing surgical abortion services this summer highlights how precarious women's access is to abortion, a basic women's health service," says Abortion Rights Network member Ann Wheatley. "This is a matter of women's health and women's rights."

The Abortion Rights Network is calling on the Prince Edward Island government and health officials to ensure access to surgical abortions in Prince Edward Island hospitals.

"P.E.I. and New Brunswick governments' refusal to pay for abortions in clinics have directly led to the need to close the Morgentaler Clinic in Fredericton. They have made women and charitable individuals pay for health care that should be part of the public health system under the Canada Health Act," said Wheatlety. "It's past time for government to take responsibility to protect women's health and choices."

Organizations: P.E.I. Abortion Rights Network, Fredericton Morgentaler Clinic, QEII Hospital

Geographic location: Fredericton, New Brunswick, Prince Edward Island Halifax Canada

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Recent comments

  • vick
    April 18, 2014 - 18:38

    WOW….I cannot beleive the views and comments of you who think every women who gets pregnant should have to deliver ????? So tell a women who has no interest in carrying that baby that she has too…she is going to continue drinking, smoking, doing drugs etc….now thats a great human being brought into society,,,,,another addict on the social system……better yet a young girl who took every precaution and still edded up pregnant ..a life of study ahead of her but lets carry that baby and go on the social system because I cant get an education i need to raise this child………..how about the women who was forced into sex and now is pregnant …have a child from a father who is a criminal dirt bag???? You folks that judge those who decide to do whats best for them and their body are the ones who should be judged….start doing something for the living and stop telling women they cant abort for the most part if done early enough an egg york! We have no problem eating eggs? For god sakes when will women be looked at as having a mind of their own and as much rights as every other on this planet!

    • Whoa
      April 18, 2014 - 21:42

      Are you saying that women who have abortions are of such bad character that they should not be allowed to have kids anyway? And if you think that if one gets pregnant that they have taken every precaution then think again. Pregnancy does not happen by itself. If one is pregnant, there is at least one option they didn't take. And abortion has nothing with eating eggs, any more than burger love has to do with human genocide. How come pro-aborts can't give logic arguments, and have to resort to such rhetoric. If this is the level of thought you put into stuff, I can see how you can get pregnant and them claim there was nothing you could have done to prevent it. It makes about as much sense as a man blaming the woman for getting pregnant as if he had nothing to do with it.

  • The law
    April 18, 2014 - 17:27

    The charter gives me the right to hold a religious view and to speak my mind. Just because my mind comes to a different conclusion that yours does not make it hate. If you can't see that a disagreement can happen without hate being involved, I'd have to question how "tolerant" you actually are. Toleration is allowing someone to disagree without taking negative action, not a requirement to conform with the politically correct view. I tolerate pro-choicers. Unfortunately, they are seem not to tolerate anyone else. I'll just check in later to see how long it takes a before this becomes "proof" of being a bigot.

    • To the Law
      April 20, 2014 - 08:47

      No. In this case you cannot disagree without hate. There is no middle ground with bigotry. Either you fully support government funded abortion on demand, or you are a bigot that hates women, There is no third option. I don't care what stupid reason you have for not supporting this, as there is no valid reason. This issue is black and white. There is no grey. There is no perspective. There is no nuance. You either support or you hate. It is the same as saying that you don't dislike blacks but you are going to support slavery anyways, or that all people are equal but you don't want a black person to be allowed to eat at the same restaurant or use the same washroom. Christianity has made it so that right wing bigots can hold these positions as reasonable because their God likes slavery and genocide and condones rape and says that he has taken the punishment for "sins" so they don't have to worry about consequences for harming other people. That, combined with the lower educational standards in rural areas, is a good reason why we are seeing that abortion is available everywhere except PEI which is mostly an uneducated rural population. You folks need to get with the program. The world is more than 6000 years old. There was not a worldwide flood where one guy took every single animal species onto a big wooden boat. There is no invisible bearded guy in the sky watching your every move. Anything that does not aid in providing free abortion services is hate. Get over it

    • To charter guy
      April 20, 2014 - 09:04

      The charter does not give you the right to practice hate. It is the same as homophobia. The charter does not give you the right to press gay people, although Christians think it does. Islanders seem to think the only place for women is barefoot and pregnant in the kitchen. It must really make you angry when you go to a business and see a woman working there, being out of the house and unimpregnated.

    • The law
      April 21, 2014 - 09:50

      To the Law, that type of response is why I cannot take your cause seriously. You have no desire to have an intelligent conversation. You want what you want because you want it. And you have to have it now and for free with no responsibility at all. I think that is a bit spoiled. I have no intention of changing my mind on this because you threw a temper tantrum. Grow up.

  • Spud
    April 18, 2014 - 16:57

    I believe it is the woman's right to determine whether to carry a pregnancy to term. Right to life are wrong to force a pregnancy to term. Only the woman knows what is best for her. I don't agree it should be used as a birth control but it is still her right to decide

    • intobed
      April 18, 2014 - 19:47

      I see your point, if the woman got pregnant all by herself. But usually a man has something to do with pregnancy too. So why don't we do it this way, to be fair: if the woman wants the baby, but the father doesn't, the mother is responsible for all the costs of raising the child to age eighteen. If the father wants the baby but mom doesn't, he is responsible for raising the child and all the bills to age eighteen. If they both do not want the baby, they can decide upon abortion. If they both want the child, they agree to split the raising and costs to age eighteen. The current system is horribly sexist, and biased strongly against men.

  • Ponder this!
    April 18, 2014 - 16:23

    For the “it’s legal and that ends discussion” crowd here is something to ponder. There can be a vast chasm between what is legal and what is moral. Following are some practices that were (or are) legal in the 20th century to present: Female genital mutilation, public whipping for women who dare show their face in public, honor killing, the extermination of Jews, foot binding and of course abortion. With the exception of abortion, all responding to this article would condemn these practices, and since they happen(ed) in far off lands or at an earlier time, discount their relevance. The reason they are relevant is they illustrate the stark reality that there is a very real separation between what is legal and what is moral and further illustrates that those who value morals have a right to be heard if immoral acts become the law of the land. Morality can not be reshaped to suit ones whims!!

  • Yvan Deslauriers
    April 18, 2014 - 13:59

    Help for young mothers, adoption, holding the fathers accountable - these things are what is needed. Murdering an unborn child should never be an option.

    • No way
      April 18, 2014 - 17:30

      You can't "murder" something that had no rights.

    • Double standard
      April 18, 2014 - 18:50

      The pre born have no legal rights if the killer is paid to kill and is a licensed doctor. If one kills a pregnant mother and, as a result, kills the preborn child they can be charged with a double homicide. Kind of sick when viewed in these terms!!

  • Reality of PEI Live
    April 18, 2014 - 11:12

    It would be so wonderful if every pregnant woman felt it was an option to have their baby but that is far from the reality on PEI. You commenters have such great concern for the unborn but absolutely no regard for the child after it is born, the pregnant mother or that mother's family situation. Take a look at the number of children living in poverty on PEI... and it is everywhere. No treatment for addictions and mental disorders is playing a huge part in this and the 3 MILLION unspent dollars would have gone a long way to helping. I scratch my head when I read your comments because I know a lot of people like you commenters. Funny I never see you at the rallys trying to get support for treatment and I sure as heck never hear of you dropping off groceries for some poor struggling young family. No you want to blame them for their situation and complain that your tax dollars should be going to help them...blah, blah, blah. I believe in God with every fibre of my being... and he is looking down at you people who condemn some poor pregnant woman who had made a very, very difficult decision and it doesn't make one tiny bit of difference how she got pregnant... NO woman wants to have an abortion. God is shaking his head thinking why you aren't helping these pregnant women and why you aren't demanding that social, addiction and mental health programs are adequately funded so that woman feels she would get enough support to carry on with her pregnancy and not have to bring her child up in poverty. Look at the number of children in foster care on PEI. If you really are so concerned about the unborn, you have to show concern for those that are born and live on PEI. That's when abortion rates will drop.

    • God's laws
      April 18, 2014 - 16:35

      If you 'believe in god with every fiber of your being' you must also be familiar with his commandments. "Though shalt not kill" is prominent among them and did not come with an asterisk leading to a list of situations where killing is called for. An abortion stops a beating heart and ends life. Time to revaluate your "fibers"!!

    • To reality
      April 21, 2014 - 17:55

      What exactly do you do to take care of the children of those mothers who actually have the baby? Do you do anything, or just whine that others don't? Or is your so,union to you not doing anything to have the kid killed so you don't have to? Or are you like the abortion advocates that papered over the sign to the centre that did do that with the address of their association?

  • Lets compare
    April 18, 2014 - 10:36

    To lets see. It boggles my mind that Canada after ceasing capital punishment for even the most heinous of murderers would, at a later date, bestow the Order of Canada medal on an individual that routinely ended the lives of more Canadian pre-born children each month, than all that received capital punishment from Confederation to date.

  • Janet
    April 17, 2014 - 18:38

    I don't understand how anyone can believe this is not murder. Just snuff out the next generation because they are a nuisance for us?

    • Randy
      April 18, 2014 - 10:27

      The majority of Canadians, including the Supreme Court of Canada have long ago determined it isn't "murder." There are a number of good reasons for this. The first that comes to mind is as soon as you give legal rights to a foetus, you deprive pregnant woman of their right to self-determination. Time and time again, courts have been unequivocally unwilling to create a situation where they have "supervise" pregnant women. We don't get to tell a grown adult what to do with their body just because they are pregnant. We don't get to control what a pregnant woman does just because she is pregnant. Until the baby is living outside another human's body - it is up to ONLY the body/life that it's living in to determine what happens. So, while I agree that "ending a life is murder" is generally a true statement... Our world is more complicated than that, and thankfully the Supreme Court of Canada and a majority of Canadians are able to see the complexity, and consider all the competing interests.

    • To Randy
      April 18, 2014 - 22:08

      The actual ruling was not about whether abortion was ok. It was about the process used to approve, ie a hospital board. Best case, this is elective surgery, if it is not life threatening. As such, it is less important than a heart problem which is more likely to kill. If I have a knee injury, which severely hinders my ability to walk, I do not have the right to demand the government give me knee surgery immediately. I wait until they find a knee surgeon and wait until he feels he wants to do the procedure. It could take years of pain and perhaps not being able to work. I don't see any one calling people bigots for not advocating for faster knee surgery.

  • maybe a possibilty
    April 17, 2014 - 18:37

    If you don't want to have a kid then tie your tubes or keep your damn legs closed, if it's life threatening to the mother or if it's a case of sexual harassment it's different

  • Lets see
    April 17, 2014 - 18:13

    Lets see how long it takes for the redneck fundamentalist bigots to show up.

    • typical leftist
      April 18, 2014 - 13:40

      and let's see how long it takes for the radical left to start calling everyone who doesn't agree with their views a bigot...

    • But
      April 18, 2014 - 15:16

      There is no such thing as the radical left. That is just a myth for right wingers to whine about not being able to be as hateful as possible and pat themselves on the back about how they can keep the world in a state of racist bigoted darkness. Anyone who is not pro-abortion should ask their sky fairy to forgive them, but since that it part of the problem it won't happen. The court has ruled. Once a court has ruled, your opinion does not matter and should be kept to yourself.

    • in the end
      April 18, 2014 - 18:45

      yes and the courts have a lot of morals behind them....go back to your hippy tree and take another drag