Fredericton’s Clinic 554 will continue providing abortion care -- for now
It was slated to close pending the sale of the building, but Clinic 554 in downtown Fredericton will continue offering abortion services for the foreseeable future, despite the building being successfully sold.
In a social media post, clinic administrators confirmed the building sold last month, but the new owners “will allow some of their space to be used for abortion care until they convert the building to affordable housing.”
Dr. Adrian Edgar confirmed in an email to CTV Atlantic that he’s hoping to be able to provide abortions one day per week, up to 16 weeks. Fees for the service, which range from $700 to $850, remain.
A former Dr. Henry Morgentaler clinic, the building was put up for sale despite pleas from supporters for the New Brunswick government to change the Medical Service Payment Act and allow abortion services in clinics, so that they can be covered by Medicare.
Currently, abortion care in New Brunswick is only covered while in a hospital setting, and three hospitals -- in Moncton and Bathurst -- are the only ones in the province that provide the service.
“The Medical Service Payment Act restricts coverage to hospitals which results in people with uteruses facing unattainable travel distances, long wait times, problems accessing an abortion when they reach 13 weeks, and having to pay for an abortion,” said Clinic 554 in the post on social media.
It’s unclear how long the clinic will remain operating.
Hayes lives close to the hospital in Yarmouth, but she says that twice in the past month, her son has been taken by ambulance to the emergency room there, only to be left waiting.
After the COVID-19 pandemic plagued the past few years, people are travelling again and businesses on Cape Breton Island are busier than ever.
“I've been waiting for surgery now for the last two years, and I’m told it will be another 18 months. It's not acceptable that I have to be waiting that long,” said Brenda Walsh, who has a prolapsed bladder and has been living in pain for quite a while.