After many years of fighting for provincial funding for private abortions in New Brunswick, Clinic 554 announced that it is officially closing its doors.
Dr. Adrian Edgar, the owner of Clinic 554, has made the clinic a hub for activists in Canada who see abortion access as a right of sorts. New Brunswick is the only province in Canada that does not fund private abortions, though they do fund abortions in hospitals as well as abortion pill prescriptions. Edgar and his supporters claim that his need to provide free abortions because of a lack of government funding is part of what makes his clinic financially unsustainable. He has threatened to close the clinic multiple times over the past number of years, but has never followed through.
Clinic 554 offered services besides abortion, some of which were funded through provincial health care funding, so it’s hard to believe the motivations of this clinic are purely financial, not mainly political. The clinic has exerted immense pressure on Premier Higgs to fund abortions done in private clinics. When that failed, they appealed to the federal government, who chastised the province and threatened to withhold federal health care funding from the province. Despite these pressures, New Brunswick has continued to refuse funding for private abortions. Provinces are well within their rights to decide how to allocate health care dollars, and more provinces should follow New Brunswick’s lead in ending funding for private abortion clinics.
If you would like to read more about the history of threats and political pressure associated with Clinic 554, start here: