FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Wednesday, November 26, 2014
202.667.5881; 202.595.4395 (after hours/cell)
Positive Development in New Brunswick, but Further Steps Needed
Statement of Vicki Saporta, President and CEO of NAF Canada:
Today’s announcement by Premiere Gallant is an important step to ensuring that women in New Brunswick can access the abortion care they need. For far too long, New Brunswick has stood alone in subjecting women to the unjustified, unconstitutional restrictions of Regulation 84-20.
By removing the requirement that women seek approval from two doctors and obtain an abortion from an obstetrician-gynecologist in order to receive a publicly funded abortion, Premiere Gallant is moving New Brunswick in line with the rest of the country. We commend Premiere Gallant for his timely leadership to address this inequality and ensure that access to funded abortion care is provided in New Brunswick. We appreciate his recognition that abortion should be treated the same as any other medical care, and that women not be subject to pre-Morgentaler era policies that threaten their lives and health.
Now Premiere Gallant must work to ensure that abortion care is available throughout the province, and that there is a dedicated provincial program established in order to meet the needs of women in New Brunswick.
We further call on Premiere Gallant to lift New Brunswick’s objection to having abortion included in the Inter-provincial Billing Agreement. Abortion is the only time sensitive, medically necessary, and woman specific medical procedure not included in this Agreement, and it has been a major barrier for women’s access to abortion care from coast to coast. We also call on the Inter-provincial Health Insurance Agreements Coordinating Committee to convene a meeting to address this issue and finally include abortion care on the Inter-provincial Billing Agreement.
Today’s announcement is a very positive development, but further steps still need to be taken to ensure that women in New Brunswick can access the abortion care they need.
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The National Abortion Federation (NAF) is the professional association of abortion providers in North America. Our members include clinics, hospitals and physicians who together care for more than 80 percent of the women who choose abortion in Canada each year. NAF Canada works to ensure that abortion care is safe, legal, and accessible.