The new government advisory agency on women’s issues in New Brunswick, the Voices of New Brunswick Women, is calling on the province to immediately repeal the regulation that they say places barriers on access to abortion.

Their announcement comes just two months after the closure of the Morgentaler abortion clinic in Fredericton was announced.

New Brunswick requires that two doctors agree an abortion is medically necessary and that it be performed by a gynecologist in a hospital setting.

In 1988, the Supreme Court of Canada ruled that the Criminal Code section on abortion violated a woman’s right to security of the person.

hl-abortion protest

New Brunswick Right to Life staged its 15th annual March for Life rally in Fredericton in May. (Catherine Harrop / CBC)

In a media release, Voices of New Brunswick Women said that only New Brunswick and P.E.I. do not abide by the court’s ruling and continue to impose restrictions to abortion services, 26 years later.

“It is offensive to women of this province that we do not have the same equality rights as other women in Canada,” said Kim Nash-McKinley, co chair of the group’s Consensus-Building Forum in the release. 

“We fought this battle in the 1980s and we won. We should not be forced to fight the same battles all over again,” she said.

The release said the impending closure of the Morgentaler Clinic in Fredericton will further limit the already restricted access to abortion services in New Brunswick. 

The Morgentaler abortion clinic in Fredericton will close at the end of July following a 20-year fight with the New Brunswick government over funding.

The Morgentaler clinic opened in June 1994 and has provided abortion services to more than 10,000 women.

“We are concerned that with fewer options, some women might harm themselves by choosing dangerous means to end a pregnancy,” said Phylomène Zangio, co-chair of the Forum, in the release.

“For this reason, it is urgent that the province change its policy and take the necessary measures to ensure that abortion services are made available to women everywhere in the province.”