Sole private abortion clinic in New Brunswick to close

Pregnancy Test Credit Flickr Ernesto Andrade  CNA Ernesto Andrade via Flickr

Clinic 554, the only private abortion clinic in the Canadian province of New Brunswick, is closing because of financial instability, its director announced Thursday.

The Fredericton clinic is a family practice that, according to its website, believes "patients have a right to self-affirming services. We are committed to sex-positive, gender-celebratory care, anti-racist and feminist practices, and full-scope reproductive care, including abortions."

The clinic notes that "the breadth of services offered by our family practice includes all scopes of medicine, from pediatrics to geriatrics with a focus on reproductive, trans*, LGBT/Queer, and HIV care."

Clinic 554's medical director is Dr. Adrian Edgar.

In an Oct. 10 statement Edgar said the clinic is closing because "the province of New Brunswick unilaterally refuses to allow Medicare to cover the cost of a patient who sees me for an abortion procedure."

"The province either offloads that fee onto the patient or myself and our loving team of nurses and allied providers … As a direct result, it is financially unsustainable for us to keep our doors open, and the clinic has been placed for sale."

Bruce Macfarlane, spokesperson for the province's health department, said that "abortions are available in publicly-funded hospitals" in the province. "The Department of Health, in accordance with the Canada Health Act, does not fund private healthcare services."

Abortions are covered by the provincial government at two hospitals in Moncton, and one in Bathurst.

New Brunswick is governed by the center-right Progressive-Conservative Party.

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