CANADA – Clinic 554, Fredericton, New Brunswick, closing

In May 2019, we reported that Clinic 554 (formerly the Morgenthaler Clinic) had receivedthe Peter Gillespie Social Justice Award, recognising their commitment to sexual and reproductive health and rights. It is the only freestanding abortion clinic in the province of New Brunswick, and also provides health care to much of the province’s transgender population. The clinic has previously relied on crowd-sourced donations to stay open, and staff would sometimes forgo payment from patients in order to provide services. Because of New Brunswick’s refusal to cover abortions performed outside of a hospital, which advocates say violates the Canada Health Act, clinic director Adrian Edgar said: “it is financially unsustainable for us to keep our doors open. The clinic has been placed for sale.” He is hoping the next federal government might intervene. “I am sad that during this federal election, our leaders have focused on whether or not they’ll ‘reopen the debate’ on abortion, rather than the real crisis at hand: access,” he said. As one of the clinic’s supporters said: “It is absolutely egregious that anybody in Canada, with our universal healthcare system, would have to crowdsource for their ability to have health care.”

SOURCES: Huffington Post Canada/PHOTO, by Maija Kappler, 11 October 2019 ; IHeart Radio, by Charles Renshaw, 10 October 2019 ; Campaign newsletter report, 10 May 2019