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While we cannot be with you in person, the Canadian Civil Liberties Association is with you in spirit today to support the call for reproductive justice in New Brunswick.

We would like to thank and commend the organizers of this important event and the many activists who have worked to promote access to abortion in this province.

The Canadian Civil Liberties is a national, independent organization that fights for the rights and freedoms of all people in Canada. As such, choice and access to abortion have been areas of longstanding concern for us at CCLA.

After all, the right to healthcare is a fundamental human right that belongs to all people. And abortion is a basic, critical form of healthcare that must be available, publicly funded, and accessible to women, girls, and trans individuals.

And yet in 2020, contrary to legal precedent and good policy, women, girls and LGBTQ+ individuals still face blatant discrimination through Regulation 84-20 of the Medical Services Payment Act, which  denies funding for abortion outside of hospitals (and these exist in 2 cities), making abortion either inaccessible or entirely unavailable in most parts of New Brunswick.

This anti-Choice regulation has operated in the province for far too long, and it is high time for the government to repeal it.

The role of the government is to protect the health of its citizens. It is not to erect barriers that hurt vulnerable women, girls, and trans folks, or to interfere with their rights.

By maintaining the anti-Choice Regulation:

Girls, women, and trans individuals who are unable to access safe, affordable abortions may seek unsafe options at great risk to their health and safety, or end up with unwanted pregnancies – causing serious personal and societal harms; and

Clinic 554 will almost certainly close, which will deprive vulnerable and marginalized minority groups of a crucial safe space, abortion healthcare, and other sensitive treatments that may be difficult to obtain elsewhere for impecunious and marginalized individuals who may need it most.

It is no answer to say – as the government has tried to do – that the province does not fund private clinics. This is simply false. New Brunswick can and does fund healthcare provided at doctors’ offices and clinics across the province.

Indeed, there is no justification at all for denying women, girls and trans folks the right to choose, and the ability to access abortion – a basic form of healthcare.

That is why we are speaking out today. Together with you and the many reproductive justice activists across New Brunswick, we demand, as a matter of law and conscience, that the anti-choice regulation restricting abortion funding must be repealed immediately.

About the Canadian Civil Liberties Association

The CCLA is an independent, non-profit organization with supporters from across the country. Founded in 1964, the CCLA is a national human rights organization committed to defending the rights, dignity, safety, and freedoms of all people in Canada.

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