Continuing the fight for reproductive justice in New Brunswick

Private abortion clinic Clinic 554 announced closure

Clinic 554—a private abortion clinic in Fredericton, N.B.—announced its closure at the end of January 2024. Dr. Adrian Edgar, the clinic’s medical director, explained the closure, citing financial issues stemming from providing abortions for people who cannot afford them. Edgar further explained how the provincial government’s reluctance to allow abortions at clinics to be funded by Medicare has put pressure on the clinic. 

There has been a private abortion clinic in Fredericton for the past 29 years. In 1994, the Morgentaler Clinic first opened in the Clinic 554 building, providing surgical abortions. Ultimately, the Morgentaler Clinic shut down in the Spring of 2014 due to financial issues. Clinic 554 quickly reopened in its place.

The clinic’s financial strain was evident prior to closure, as Edgar explained that the clinic was open one day a week. In addition, the clinic’s rent was set to double soon. Without funding from the government, it is very difficult to offer healthcare and oftentimes it is simply not possible. Beyond this, the clinic provided abortions much cheaper than at hospitals for people who were not insured under Medicare. 

Olivia Haill – Argosy Illustrator


The clinic’s closure has been a possibility for years. Most notably, in 2019, the clinic was at risk for closure and gained federal spotlight. Currently, Edgar said that the closure is definite and he is not going to practice anywhere else. 

Currently, surgical abortions are only available at two hospitals in New Brunswick: Dr. Georges-L.-Dumont University Hospital Centre in Moncton and the Chaleur Hospital in Bathurst. As well, Mifegymiso, a pill, is now available to people looking to terminate their pregnancy. This medication has become increasingly popular in N.B. in the past few years, with the Mifegymiso pill comprising two-thirds of pregnancy terminations. The pill may be prescribed instead of a surgical abortion if the patient is under nine weeks pregnant.  

Historically, New Brunswick has been known to have some of the strictest laws and regulations surrounding reproductive healthcare in Canada. Blaine Higgs, the  Premier of New Brunswick, has consistently failed to acknowledge the lack of access to reproductive healthcare, simply stating the two hospitals that perform abortions are adequate. Many critics argue that having two hospitals in the entire province that can perform surgical abortions is simply not cutting it, citing transportation and other issues. The healthcare system is in ruins, which further weakens the access to reproductive healthcare. With the shortage of doctors and other healthcare staff, many people do not have access to contraceptives. Clinic 554 also claims that people who go to hospitals for abortions can sometimes wait for four to eight weeks. Moreover, many reproductive justice advocates highlight governmental policies regulating where abortions can be funded. 

Clinic 554 will continue to answer phones through February to avoid patient delays and offer information about where they can go. If readers of The Argosy would like to learn more about this important issue, they can reach Clinic 554 at 1-855-978-5434. 

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