National group launches legal action to increase abortion access in New Brunswick

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A national civil liberties group is launching a legal action against New Brunswick in order to increase abortion access in the province.

The Canadian Civil Liberties Association filed a statement of claim with the Court of Queen's Bench on Wednesday, seeking for a judge to declare a section of New Brunswick law unconstitutional.

That section of the Medical Services Payment Act prohibits state subsidies for abortions conducted outside an approved hospital.

New Brunswick's government subsidizes abortions at two hospitals in Moncton and one in Bathurst, but won't cover the cost of the procedure at a private clinic.

Fredericton's Clinic 554 has threatened to close a number of times in recent years but is still providing abortions and charging for the procedure.

When the association's lawsuit was proposed in October, a government spokesman had said the province does not comment on legal matters.