Hon. Rona Ambrose
Minister of Health
House of Commons
April 10, 2014
Dear Minister Ambrose,
As you are likely aware, the Morgentaler Clinic in New Brunswick will be shutting its door at the end of July. The clinic has provided safe abortion services to women for over twenty years, but the New Brunswick government has refused to fund abortions performed at the clinic under its healthcare insurance plan. The closure of this clinic will mean that women will have to turn to an onerous and limited hospital process to access abortion services in New Brunswick.
Under the Canada Health Act, the provincial and territorial health insurance plans are required to provide coverage to their residents for all medically necessary hospital and physician services, on uniform terms and services. Abortion services have been determined to be medically necessary by all provincial and territorial health insurance plans.
The Canadian government must work with the provinces to ensure universal access to abortion services for women. Facilities like the non-profit Morgentaler clinic in New Brunswick play an important role in improving access to services for women seeking abortion.
The right to choose means more than the absence of legislation restricting access to abortion – it means that abortion services must be accessible for all Canadian women, regardless of income, region, or province.
We ask that you intervene directly to enforce the Canada Health Act to ensure that women in New Brunswick have equal access to abortion services as in the rest of Canada.
Libby Davies, MP
NDP Deputy Leader and Health Critic
Niki Ashton, MP
NDP Critic for the Status of Women