Friday, January 30, 2009

lady 8

“This woman’s sense of entitlement is mind-boggling”- G&M commentator

“The government has to step in and start controlling the situation before it gets completely out of hand." -Laura Bergeron-Blais, a mother of twins from assisted reproduction, both of whom died.

Really, what should we think about the “miraculous experience” in California of an anonymous woman (Lady 8), who gave birth this week to octuplets through assisted reproduction? Should the government step in to set limits on how many babies we can have? Is the mother unreasonable, selfish, and deluded? Is her doctor?

Imagine it happened in Canada, where hospital maternity and newborn care is publicly financed, but clinic-based fertility treatment is not. Because fertility treatment is paid for out of pocket, and because of the frequency of failure, we know women often and very rationally opt to have more than one embryo implanted in the hopes that at least one will be viable. Cost of repeated rounds of treatment is not the only factor- it is physically and emotionally painful to repeat fertility treatments. Ultimately, the shortage of healthcare providers affects this accounting too- how long will she have to wait in line for another session if this one fails?

The memory of failed attempts at “natural” conception is usually fresh and real for women seeking assisted reproduction, so fear about the status of the pregnancy is weighted more heavily towards the front end. The strong possibility of poor outcomes from multiple births is, in comparison, a distant concern.

Not to mention the fact that as long as you stand a chance of being able to afford to care for them, having multiples is, well, “a miracle”, or rather “cool”, and perceivable as karmic recompense for the struggle to conceive.

So even if fertility treatment was part of Medicare, we could not expect women to opt to have fewer embryos implanted. It isn’t just the money: it is her body, her heart, her patience, and, ultimately, her lack of experience of the dangers of multiple births. These dangers include higher rates of perinatal mortality, preterm birth, low birth weight, gestational hypertension, placental abruption, and placenta previa. Perhaps she would feel less “entitled” to ask for more embryos to be transferred if she wasn’t paying, but with most Medicare-funded treatment patients are (and should be) offered options and given informed choice: fertility treatment would be no different.

So what are those options, anyway?

It appears Lady 8 should never have had anywhere near the at least 8 embryos implanted that she did. The American Society of Reproductive Medicine (ASRM) and the Society for Assisted Reproductive Technology have guidelines recommending a woman under 35 (and Lady 8 is 33) be implanted with no more than 2 embryos per transfer procedure. The joint Society of Obstetricians and Gynecologists of Canada and Canadian Fertility and Andrology Society guidelines (2006) are the same. At older ages the upper limit is higher, with women over 40 allowed a maximum of 5 embryos per procedure in the US, and women over 39 allowed a maximum of 4 embryos in Canada. These rates are based on evidence, and are actually generous: on average, for women under 40, one in two embryos will survive.

Looking into success rates at IVF clinics, largely half of the embryo transfer sessions among women under 35 result in pregnancy. Live birth rates are, when shown, slightly lower. Last year at Genesis Fertility Centre in BC, the pregnancy rate per embryo transfer among women under 35 was 55%, at a rate of 1.6 embryos per transfer. Half of the transfers resulting in pregnancy is no the same thing as half of the embryos becoming viable fetuses. At Pacific Centre for Reproductive Medicine in 2007, the rate was 51%, at 2 embryos per transfer. At Toronto’s Centre for Advanced Reproductive Technology the rate was 53% in 2008; at the Atlantic Assisted Reproductive therapies centre that rates was 63%.

Assisted reproduction works better than I expected.

Lady 8 had six kids. It is safe to say she used assisted reproduction to conceive some/all of those 6. She obviously is an ART success story. And it is strange to pursue more assisted reproduction when you already have six kids. Stranger still if you are single and living with your parents, as is Lady 8. But no one has the right to dictate the make up and size of our families. Even in the fertility industry, no one has the right to say, enough- this is the last time we help you conceive. Strange choices among lay people are not inherently unethical and certainly not illegal.

Doctors cannot make strange choices. They cannot violate practice guidelines and knowingly, egregiously, put their patients in harms’ way. Transferring 8 embryos into a woman who is very likely to carry all 8 to term is harmful. It increases her risk of injury or death in childbirth. Never mind how the babies may fare.

The case of Lady 8 is not about reproductive choice. Adhering to practice guidelines about embryo transfer is not a slippery slope towards abortion prohibition. It is good medicine. There is a world of difference between recklessly using a patient as an experimental farm for fertility’s margins of possibility, and protecting a woman’s right to control her life and her reproductive self. Crafting a connection between these two belittles the seriousness of a choice to abort. It belittles the seriousness of a struggle to conceive.

Lady 8 is ridiculous. She is tabloidal in her narcissism. But she lives with her parents and is possibly pathologically juvenile. What is her doctor’s problem? Her physician had a duty to protect her from harm, even harm generated from her own cabbagepatch delusions. Her physician is at best weak, and at worst exploitative.

Patients will ask for all kinds of things. They will ask for what is usually impossible- to be brought back from death. They will ask for dangerously minimal treatment. They will ask for their own children to be denied treatment. They will ask for unnecessary treatment, for unnecessarily pricy treatment, for delays and hurry ups and brands names and private rooms. A physician has to judge what is reasonable to grant. If you want to pay out of pocket for the purple pill, fine. If you want antibiotics for a cold, fine. If you want to endanger your life with treatment that is legions outside of the scope of acceptable practice, no.

Lady 8 is a crazy story making its way into every blog and newsroom. But there are likely swarms of Lady 2 and Lady 3's out there...women who are not crazy-eights, but likely over-eager, misplacing caution with excess, and asking for over-transfering. Are we watching over the physicians who are supposed to be watching over them?

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

on pale palin

I have zero respect for antichoice politicians, that goes without saying. Apparently there is more to liking Sarah Palin than her antichoice positions.

She’s a hockey mom. Okay, GROSS. Friedan identified how pathologizingly dehumanizingly awful it is to be a slave to your own offspring and linoleum flooring and never see the light of day or your own name on a pay cheque. And that was 45 years ago. The banality of suburban existence has been satirized effectively by X number of films , novels, sit-coms, etc. Why would we suddenly find this appealing?

Okay then maybe just focus on how she’s a mom. But whatever. So is my mom. And my mom’s actually an advocate for women and mothers, and you don’t see her running for vice-president. Palin’s a white woman who procreates like a bunny well into her trisomy-21-predisposed forties, and like I have argued before, I argue again that in this fearful, xenophobic era of anti-islamicism and waning western fertility, the white woman who actually bites the bullet and sacrifices her body, time, career, fun, independence, etc to give birth is the new prophet.

And not only that, she’s a mom to a Down’s kid! Well congratulations. It is nice when some rich, powerful person takes on a little extra responsibility, not that Palin is actually able to be responsible for baby Trig, what with running a massive election campaign and all, and then possibly having to RUN THE WORLD. But let’s not forget she hid the pregnancy because she thought people would oppose it. Honestly, who opposes Down’s kids? Really, in this day in age? Maybe I am deluded, but I believe you can decide not to continue a trisomy 21 pregnancy and that is fine, and if you don’t terminate, everybody thinks Down’s kids are endearing and that you are a saint.

And not only that, she’s so into keeping the WASPY race going that she promotes teenage pregnancy! And WASPY pregnancy is so desirable it’s above scandal! You can have an “unwed” pregnant daughter not yet old enough to toast her fecundity with a glass of champagne; you can have rumours that your last pregnancy was actually your daughters’; you can waltz between the gossip minuets of adultery, firings, and reckless amniotic-fluid-spilling trans-continental-flights- and you will survive the media tempest because you once graced the cover of vogue and now self-populate half of the town of which you were once mayor.

Be pretty, be white, be playful, and goddammit, be fertile, and you won’t threaten a soul.

Monday, August 11, 2008

on film criticism gets me through the workday. Jezebel told me Sisterhood of the traveling pants 2 “has intelligence and heart”.

So even though it has the most unintelligent title in the history of chick flicking, M-L-T and I wanted to go. It’s been raining for two weeks and we couldn’t face the ever-more-prepubescent bar on Friday in our soggy-frizzy state. I hadn’t seen the first version but she gave me the summary: Carmen, Lena, Tibby and B share a pair of pants as they travel around, fedexing it luxuriously across continents.

The film is not intelligent. It won’t warm the cockles of your heart, although the olive-skinned and blue-eyed figure drawing model that Lena briefly dates will warm something in you. What the fill did accomplish was to piss me off royally for it's absurd approach to reproduction.

See Tibby and her boyfriend Brian date for ten months and then have sex for the first time. The condom breaks. Rather than go out and buy Plan B at the 24-hour drug store very likely to be open at that hour in NYC, Tibby launches herself into a depression that causes the breakdown of her relationship, hallucinations about parenting, and an inability to work or communicate with loved ones. Weeks pass before she even gets a pregnancy test!!!! She dances around in the sacred “pants” and begs the heavens for a miracle in the form of her period, which, of course, comes. Thank god cause otherwise she was totally going to have to have a baby and fail school, work and life in general.

Lots of tweens and teens are going to see this movie. M-L-T and I had to LINE UP in our small city to see this movie! What on earth kind of idiotic message does this send? That having sex results in broken condoms and months of panic and break-ups and unemployability? That beautiful researchers didn’t invent Plan B and smug regulators weren’t coerced into improving its availability? That abortion isn’t an option? Holy shit.

Next up to bat is the storyline about Lena, who broke up with her Greek boyfriend Costos only to realize a while later that she still loved him, by which point he had slept with someone else, got her pregnant, and had to marry her. WHHHHAAAATTTT??? The linear correlation between pregnancy and marriage is archaic but that’s not actually what pissed me off- in the end it turned out the new girl had LIED about getting pregnant in order to manipulate Costos into marrying her. ‘Cause that’s what us bitches do.

Heart-warming indeed.

I have nothing else to say, other than if you want to watch a movie about four women in NYC and don’t mind it being a racial white-wash, SATC:TM is a way better choice.

Friday, August 8, 2008

on sobey's

It’s not just Pisani, or that I donated blood on Wednesday and went through the regular Do you have sex with a man who has had sex with a man? business again, but also that it’s AIDS conference time again, so I have AIDS on my mind.

At the research centre where I worked in Halifax, we had a unit devoted to gender and AIDS. (For the record, Pisani is critical of this whole Aids & Development, AIDS & Gender stuff...she believes it hides what really causes AIDS: lots of sex and shooting up). When the XV International AIDS Conference was held in Bangkok in 2004, I remember my colleagues going. And coming back with reports of how the conference was literally Olympic. Tens of thousands of people attended. The theme was, afterall, “Access for all”. But I had to wonder if it cost my organization over $25,000 to attend a conference championing condom use and cheaper drugs (Duh, right?), whether something was amiss.

It’s four years later and the conference this year is in Mexico, and the G&M’s dependable Andre Picard is down there reporting with his ubiquitous glee for inflammation. Today his articles are about “The scale-up of antiretroviral therapy is the most ambitious public-health undertaking of our lifetimes”…note that public health is historically about sanitation and disease prevention, not mass medicating…and you’d never have to medicate someone if you prevented their infection in the first place…but the times they are a changin’…and anyway I like drugs, who doesn’t?

Next article: The vilification of lack of access to the female condom.

Choice quotes:
“The fault lies not with the product itself but with set-in-their-ways policy makers”
"This is a 15-year scandal born of ignorance and inertia,"
"The female condom is 18 times more expensive than a male condom. It's obvious why women are not using it more," he said.

HAHAHAHAHA. In all honesty, would you ever, ever use a female condom? Would you? When you could instead ask the guy to wear the condom? It’s not like the female condom is some genius sneaky way to get around a pushy guy who won’t agree to condom use. Not that I’ve ever used one, I refuse. It’s like sticking a Sobey’s bag inside you. It would suffocate my cervix. It would obviously sound ridiculous and probably get bunched up. How would that situation be easier on a subjugated woman? Most of the barrier contraceptives people have developed for women are practically weaponry (ever cut your foreskin on the lip of a diaphragm? Well me neither but anyway. Ever even SEEN a Lea Shield? It’s like the Keeper, which I personally feel is bad enough, but it is five times as heavy and hard as a rock. Plus it causes toxic shock syndrome).

The female condom is a failure, sort of like those baby walker things we had as kids and that caused a lot of fall-down-the-stairs-head-injuries were a failure. THE DESIGN SUCKS. I’d rather these expensive conferences deleted the arguments about policymaker inertia over a sucky thing, and got back on the train of telling men that condoms prevent disease and yo, you should use one, especially with sex workers, what are you, STUPID? Tell women that condoms prevent disease and that they have every right in the world to ask to use one and they don’t need to go around sneaking Sobey’s bags up themselves to protect themselves, that protecting yourself is noble and normal and not something to hide and decent men will be up for it. Honestly. I know I know, women are forced into unprotected sex- but the female condom would not help them, it’s as obvious as a float in the Macy’s parade and just as uncomfortable.

Thursday, August 7, 2008

on second thought

so you know how i wrote about how Pisani pissed me off a bit? well, her high school flippancy still bothers the serious nerd in me, but in acknowledgement of my own penchant for sarcasm, I gave her a break and read her book. In summary, these are her scarlett letters against the AIDS industry:

“the Community” is bullshit. Infected housewives have nothing to do with prostitutes, in fact they hate the prostitutes (who their husbands visited, causing their infections). Don’t put any old infected person in the same support group.

Peer education is bullshit. Prostitutes can’t teach each other supportively how to prevent HIV because they don’t trust each other because they compete for clients.

AIDs is not a job qualification; having AIDS does not make you a good counselor, researcher, or policymaker. “Participation” by infected but otherwise untrained people in these activities can and does screw them up.

Bush gave $15 billion to AIDS in the developing world to divert attention from his racist, illegal war in Iraq.

The unfortunate result of lots of money for ever-cheaper antiretroviral meds is that more people live with HIV chronically; the longer you live with it, the longer you have to infect other people with it.

NGOs serve a few people well. It’s like World vision foster children: sure, one child goes to school, but what about the starved economy of the entire nation?

Government can effectively do prevention, and get at way more people than grassroots groups.

Sub-Saharan Africa has more sex, more promiscuity, more men having sex with young women, more dry, damaging sex- and as a result is the ONLY place in the world where non-sex-worker heterosexuals are contracting HIV like wildfire. EVERYWHERE else, the problem is largely the domain of drug injectors, sex workers and the people purchasing sex from them, and gay men.

Wet, monogamous (even if serially), enjoyable heterosexual sex has a hard time spreading HIV. If infected people didn’t have sex with younger generations HIV would die out almost entirely because of effective prevention of mother-infant transmission.

African leaders and Islamic and Christian leaders have spread lies about HIV and are responsible for seas of infections.

Not supporting safe-injection sites like Vancouver’s Insite is INSANE.

Having lots of sex partners at one time spreads HIV more effectively than having lots of sex partners one after another after another.

You are most infectious in the 6 months after contracting HIV; which is also when you are least likely to be aware of your infection.

Prevention has lost ground to treatment in terms of financial investment. Big surprise there.

Generous confidentiality about HIV testing might have been a mistake in terms of protecting the infected: if it’s so unworthy of discrimination, why so much pressure to hide my HIV status?


I hand it to Pisani, although some are quite obvious, and all took way too long to communicate, these are great points.

Monday, July 28, 2008

on wisdom

Over the weekend I read The Book of Negroes in the backyard and got a wicked sunburn on my already pretty damn brown shoulders and got me a fine education about Black Loyalist originations and reimmigration from and to Sierra Leonne. I recommend that book like I recommend nothing I have read since maybe the Pornographer’s Poem. Masterpiece of blood and guts and the absolute gorgeousness of literacy.

Then I cracked open my other Friday noontime purchase from Westminster Books, Elizabeth Pisani’s “The Wisdom of Whores: Bureaucrats, brothels, and the business of AIDS”. And yes, its one of those shock-value titles to tweak the entertainment potential of a fat hardcover tome on epidemiology and officialdom, exactly the same foes Mary Roach addresses in her non-fiction sex-sci adventure, “Bonk”. So espoused to her investigative journalism into the underfunded international departments of physiological sex research, Ms Roach volunteers herself and her poor but obviously devoted husband to go into an MRI while, er, bonking. Now Dr S volunteered herself for an MRI back in March for a mutual friend’s psych study, and she emerged from it uncoupled and extremely traumatized by voluntary claustrophobia. I don’t know how many atavan Roach could take and still be conscious enough to orgasm, but I can’t see how she wouldn’t need plenty. That said, I thought Roach was a bit of an exhibitionist (ahem, which I love), and a bit of a loon (also pretty endearing). I got through her book. It was kind of like following the easy prose of Liz Gilbert except the traveling companions wore lab coats.

Pisani is of course taking some cues Roach earlier caught: to be reviewed by the likes of the G&M and Salon (and promptly land on bestseller lists), be cheeky enough to sound interestingly naughty, be friendly enough for the science to sink in, and convince your reader you are embedded (Roach took the bed part very seriously). I wanted to read Pisani’s book because I am very, very critical of the overfunding of “health” budgets, whether they be government departments or university allocations or “non-profit” fundraisers. So if she has a story to tell about how this or that health department received a gazillion dollars in aid for AIDS and all they did with it is pass it back to the donor country in consultant or whatever fees, or spend it to study costs, or bleed it to big pharma who are already rich on our impotence…well, that sounds like the kind of dirt I like to roll in.

Pisani begins in a flippant tone about how as a young teenager she was brought by businessy parents to Hong Kong and she just loved learning about the sex culture and checking out the girlie bars and drinking cocktails, and it inspired her to learn Chinese and live in Asia working for Reuters. Huh? You loved being fifteen and going to girlie bars?

As I will get into, I feel a lot of kinship with Pisani, and that is probably what pisses me off about her. When I was a young teenager (younger than 15) I was brought into a very sexualized foreign culture, I was prodded with sexualized language all day long in school and all evening long at the local beach, and I was literally poked with erections when I went out anywhere without my family. This did not inspire me, this almost destroyed me. I did not think this was neat or exotic, I thought this was depraved pederasty.

As a result, I am about two pages into The Wisdom and I suspect Pisani of being a big fat liar. Then she decides to go to grad school and finds herself in epidemiology, mostly unawares as to what the field of study actually is. Which is where I was in 2004 when I knew I wanted to study how sex was manipulated to sell drugs, and I knew economics was too dry a dismal land to get that saucy. And then she recounts her embarrassingly green reaction to an introductory lecture covering case-control vs cohort studies, a greenness I also felt hearing the schpeel on day one of my last degree. She says she tells everyone she studies “sex and drugs”, which is what I, obviously, said. Hearing of my thesis plan, more than once a biostatistician would chime in “and rock and roll” to add an extra nugget of canned humor to my laboured wit.

So Pisani is a liar and her prose came in a can and I’ve been there before but she actually got a PhD and I didn’t. Probably I am jealous that she enjoyed her oversexualized adolescence while I got scarred, and she got published while I got a sunburn reading in July. But that’s not what this post is about. What I really want to get to is who the hell is she writing for? Yes it’s absurdly narcissistic, but I should be her obvious reader, right?

When I started my job in the civil service I stumbled into the most astoundingly hysterical universe of inefficiency and pretentious urgency. I laughed at the poise of authority taken by my “superiors”…I mean, telling me what to do while you fondle your lapels…you HAVE GOT TO BE KIDDING, right? Wrong. For a bit. I mellowed (I forgave their hunger and my own righteousness) and they all got used to me, but it was not so long ago that my forehead was in an angler’s knot I was so confused by the waste of energy that is contemporary government.

Pisani begins the actual AIDS-related part of her memoir/epi pulp with a description of UNAIDS in the mid-1990s, when the frantic alarm of the urban eighties deaths had worn off and the Stephen-Lewis-style pandemic was not yet foretold. The UN epi office got staffed, politically correctly, with people who really had their nose to the ground, who were in the thick, who walked the streets: a flamer in a Jean Paul Gauthier tee. (I think Pisani is serious in thinking this limp image will work for me. It won’t. My supervisor back in the ole’ Southern Ontario epi department runs Fashion Cares, wears head to toe Gucci, and is the most aggressive and cutthroat professional academic you ever saw straddle the piggy banks of WHO and CIHR). No faery dust. No tokenism.

She compares the happy go lucky gay colleague to the inertia of acceptably defining the homosexual for UN analyses. Not “gay”. Not men who have sex with men. Not males who have sex with males. XY + XY +/- HIV? Back again, repeat. Forget finding decent data in the genderbent thicket of Bangkok, what are you going to call it once you’ve got it?

So I realize that situation is academic, pedantic, semiotic, and, like, super annoying. In Halifax I worked on a study about economic inclusion of lone mothers, and we spent an eon arriving at lone mothers in lieu of unwed, single or pathetic wench. KIDDING. We also had to justify focusing on mothers in lieu of parents. But the point of the language yoga was that justification: why does the mother matter? BECAUSE OF GENDER AND POWER. Why exactly do some men who have sex with men not want to be called gay? Hmmm…same reason.

My mother worked for an AIDS org almost ten years ago, when we were newly back from the aforementioned sexualized country where gender and power blazed openly in rumshacks cramped with lazy ass men and grand hotels staffed entirely by black uniformed women working double shifts. Mom came home one day pickled over this men-who-have-sex-with-men “bullshit”. I could not understand why my infinitely compassionate mother cared what some guys wanted to call themselves. Like, what the hell does that really have to do with you? But what mom brought to the label was rage that her peers were starting to lose their health to the dishonesty of “men who have sex with men”: married women were getting infected because their husbands were hiding sexual practices, and, preferences. Now in her fifties, my mom has similar disgust for men who leave their wives for (oh god it is true) their secretaries. My mother has no patience for men who behave with the self-interestedness of little boys.

In The Wisdom, I fear Pisani will actually skip the ugly that she advertises sticking her fingers into the eyes of. She is certainly avoiding the ugly of her own memoir. She is now going back and forth to Kenya to steal weekends with “the boy” she really likes. Roight, because international Reuters journalists who live on kirsch in Geneva and paper their office walls in doctorates date BOYS.

There is a difference between being accessible and being insulting. Pisani is so terrified of her own power that she is debased to ignoring mine.

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

on auctions

in case somehow you missed my PR campaign for this shindig before, here she be one more time:

The Arts Auction for Choice
7-10pm Wednesday, July 16
The Palate Restaurant
462 Queen Street, Fredericton NB
The aim of this auction is to showcase regional talent while drawing attention to severe barriers to reproductive choice in New Brunswick. The event is organized by an independent group of young New Brunswick women. Proceeds support the Morgentaler legal defense fund.
Enjoy live music by the Olympic Symphonium, wonderful catering by The Palate and fine wines.
Jennifer Phillips as Mistress of Ceremonies
Liz Isaac of Tim Isaac Arts and Antiques will act as auctioneers.
Dr. Jo Ann Majerovich will speak about the state of women’s reproductive rights in New Brunswick.
Film screening by Fredericton experimental filmmaker Michelle Lovegrove Thomson .
Tickets are $35 and are available by calling 260-5501 or at the door.
Artists and craftpersons
In accordance with Canadian Artists Representation (CARFAC)
guidelines, artists have set a value and reserve price for the sale for their works and will retain 40% of the selling price.
Contributors include:
Adam MacDonald, print
Alexandra Flood, paint
Amber Friedman, fibre
Andrea Crabbe, photography & paint
Angela Black, print
Anne Pryde, ceramic
Beth Biggs, metal
Brian Atkinson, photography
Brigid Toole Grant, paint/print
Brigitte Clavette, metal
Bronwen Cunningham, fibre
Bronwyn Gallagher, fibre
Carol Collicutt, paint
Chris Giles, photography
Christina Thomson, photography
Darren Emenau, ceramics
Dean Gallant, wood
Doug Rigaux, Hand-made drum
Elizabeth Burtt, fibre
Erin Hamilton, fibre
Helen Stanley, ceramics
James Wilson, photography
Janice Wright Cheney, fibre
Jennifer Beckley, fibre
Jennifer Pazienza, paint
Jon Sawyer, glass
Judy Blake, ceramics
Julie Henderson, wood
Karen LeBlanc, fibre
Kathy Hooper, paint
Katie FitzRandolph, paint
Kim Vose Jones, fibre
Kyle Cunjak, photography
Lee Horus Clark, ceramics
LESLIE317537, multidisciplinary
Linda Brine, fibre
Lorna Drew, paper
Rilla Marshall, fibre
Sarah McAdam, metal
Sarah Petite, paint
Suzanne Hill, paint
Wendy Johnston, ceramics
Whitefeather, fibre
And more!
Dr. Henry Morgentaler
More than anywhere else in the country, NB aggressively restricts women’s access to timely abortion. It is only possible to receive provincially-funded abortions in Bathurst and Moncton, and then only with the referral of two physicians, one of whom must be a gynecologist. This requirement violates women’s constitutional right to timely abortion, a medically necessary service. As a consequence of these conditions, the vast majority of women abortions in NB are provided by the Fredericton Morgentaler Clinic. In direct violation of the Canada Health Act, Medicare will not cover services performed at the clinic and patients must pay out-of-pocket. One year ago, Dr. Henry Morgenaler requested “standing” (the right as a man) to sue for access to publicly-funded abortion in this province on behalf of women. He has yet to receive it, and he must be granted standing before the case begins Dr. Morgentaler is 83 years old and frail. The auction is to support the Morgentaler legal defense fund, and to support the rights of women in this province to choose legal, safe, and accessible abortion services.
More information about access to abortion in New Brunswick and Canada:
The Abortion Rights Coalition of Canada