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."