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Fredericton s Morgentaler abortion clinic will close in less than two months and pro-choice supporters are worried about what will happen to women after the facility shuts its doors.
A panel discussion was held at the University of New Brunswick on Sunday to discuss access to abortion services in the region.
Roughly 500 women from New Brunswick and Prince Edward Island used the clinic every year.
Wendy Robbins, an organizer of the panel discussion, said she wants the provincial government to come up with a plan to help women after the clinic closes.
Women simply need to know when that clinic closes in July, what happens next. I know from speaking to people that you can wait up to 10 weeks for a procedure in hospital right now,” she said.
The Department of Health does not pay for abortions at the private clinic in Fredericton. It only funds hospital abortions if a woman received approval from two doctors who certify the procedure is medically necessary.
This policy was created in the 1990s and has not been changed.
Liberal Leader Brian Gallant said in April that he would like an independent review of the province’s access to abortion services.
Gallant said at the time the existing two-doctor policy may be too restrictive.
Liberal MP Dr. Carolyn Bennett spoke at the UNB meeting about state of access to abortion in New Brunswick.
“The women of New Brunswick are being denied a service that is necessary, it s legal, and it s within the framework of the Canada Health Act,” she said.
The Morgentaler clinic said its decision to close was made for financial reasons.
The clinic said in April it has never been able to meet its expenses and financial shortfalls were covered by Dr. Henry Morgentaler, who died nearly a year ago.
The Morgentaler clinic opened in June 1994 and has provided abortion services to more than 10,000 women.
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