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Fredericton abortion clinic to close, citing lack of government funding

FREDERICTON — The only abortion clinic in Fredericton says it’s closing due to a lack of funding.

Medical Director Adrian Edgar announced today that Clinic 554 cannot afford to stay open because the province refuses to cover abortion procedures that don’t take place in a hospital.

In a statement, he said many patients can’t pay the out-of-pocket costs for the procedure, and as a result the clinic is being put up for sale.

A rights organization says the closure highlights the barriers to access many Canadian women seeking an abortion still face.

Action Canada for Sexual Health and Rights and the clinic are calling on the next federal government to hold New Brunswick accountable under the Canada Health Act by immediately withholding health transfers until the province agrees to fund abortion care outside of hospital settings.

Health Canada has previously expressed concern over New Brunswick’s lack of coverage for private clinic abortions, citing the accessibility and comprehensiveness criteria of the Canada Health Act.

This report for The Canadian Press was first published Oct. 10, 2019

The Canadian Press