CCLA has been advocating for reproductive justice for decades, including an intervention alongside Dr. Henry Morgentaler in 1975 – more than a decade before the eventual landmark pro-choice decision of the Supreme Court in 1988.
We have launched a lawsuit against the province of New Brunswick over a regulation that restricts women’s access to abortion unless done in approved hospitals, even though this restriction is not medically necessary or justified.
CCLA is grateful for the support and pro bono contribution of our excellent litigation team and their firm: Andrew Bernstein, Gillian Dingle and Emily Sherkey (Torys LLP). CCLA is also grateful to our outstanding advisor Prof. Kerri Froc (UNB Law).
On October 14, 2020 we sent a letter to New Brunswick Premier Higgs and Health Minister Dorothy Shepherd demanding that New Brunswick amend the regulation that restricts access to abortion. We indicated our hope that they would do this willingly, as the regulation is unconstitutional and negatively impacts women’s healthcare in New Brunswick. We told them that if they did not heed our warning, we would commence a lawsuit that would force them to amend it.
The Government of New Brunswick did not accede to CCLA’s demand, and has not repealed the problematic part of the regulation. On October 29, 2020, we issued formal notice to the office of New Brunswick’s Attorney General, letting them know that we were preparing to commence a lawsuit against the province, and would be asking the court to declare the relevant part of the regulation unconstitutional. We also reminded them of the urgency of providing for access to abortion for women, girls and trans individuals in New Brunswick, and asked them to waive the two-month notice period.
CCLA, along with many other local and community women’s groups and advocates for reproductive justice in New Brunswick, have demanded that the government fix the problem of lack of access to abortion in the province. They did not. CCLA told NB to do the right thing or we will see them in court.