Nova Scotia Association for Sexual Health

May 1, 2014


Buttons for, a pro-choice campaign by The South House and the Halifax Sexual Health Centre

The Nova Scotia Association for Sexual Health (NSASH) stands in solidarity with the Mogentaler Clinic in Fredericton, as wells with the many pro-choice activists who are working to change the laws in New Brunswick that make access to abortion difficult.

The clinic is closing because the government’s continued refusal to fund abortions at private clinics has left them operating at a deficit. However, demand for the clinic’s services is overwhelming. According to the Canadian Institute for Health Information, 627 abortions were performed in private clinics in New Brunswick in 2010, while 471 were performed in hospital. Those who are seeking an abortion in one of the two hospitals in New Brunswick that offers them must have referrals from two doctors. This regulation makes it very hard for people to access abortions through hospitals, and means that the clinic will remain an integral health care service until New Brunswick’s government makes it easier to access care in hospitals.

In Nova Scotia we are fortunate to have a number of hospitals that are able to provide abortions, as well as seven sexual health centres that can help individuals navigate the medical system. However, the need for quality pro-choice services is immense. NSASH is concerned that lack of funding for sexual and reproductive health services across the Maritimes is having a negative effect on residents.

The closure of the Morgentaler clinic will have a significant impact on New Brunswickers and Prince Edward Islanders (where there are no abortion services). Lack of access to affordable and safe abortion is a human rights issue. Not being able to access these services will mean that people’s lives will be put in danger and people will die.

Therefore, NSASH echoes pro choice activists in New Brunswick, and calls on the government to fund abortions in private clinics until such a time that the provincial hospitals can meet the demand. We also call on the government to repeal Regulation 84-20, Schedule 2(a.1), which forces those seeking abortion to get referrals from two doctors. Further, we call on the government of New Brunswick to strengthen and expand it’s sexual health education programs, which has been shown to reduce STI transmission rates as well as rates of unplanned pregnancy.

NSASH encourages Nova Scotians to stand in solidarity with pro-choice organizers in New Brunswick. There are several ways that you can help:

  1. Attend the solidarity rally on Thursday, May 29 at 12:00pm at the Grand Parade in Halifax.
  2. Follow #NBProchoice on Twitter, and add your statements of solidarity.
  3. Send a letter to the following Members of the Legislative Assembly in New Brunswick. A full list can be found here.


Jean Ketterling
Executive Director
Sexual Health Centre Lunenburg County
902 527 2868

Nova Scotia Association for Sexual Health

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