Report: Maine abortion providers see spike in Canadian clients after clinic closure


Ruth Lockhart, executive director of Mabel Wadsworth Women’s Health Center, speaks at a May 2012 annual dinner and auction in Bangor

Abortion clinics in Maine are seeing a spike in clients from New Brunswick following a Canadian clinic’s closure, according to a new report by CBC News.

The Morgentaler clinic in Fredericton performed about 600 abortions a year, more than half of all abortions in New Brunswick, according to the report. After the clinic shut down in July due to a shortage of government funding, some women headed to Maine in need of services.

Ruth Lockhart, co-founder of the Mabel Wadsworth Women’s Health Center in Bangor, said the clinic has noted a spike in the number of women traveling from New Brunswick, according to the report.

“So far, and we’re new into this piece of it, it’s the women with resources who are able to make it here,” she told CBC News. “So my concern is always the women without resources who don’t come, who aren’t able to come.”

The Maine Family Planning clinic in Augusta is receiving one or two calls a week from New Brunswick women, said Kate Gawler, director of abortion services at the clinic.

Both Maine clinics told CBC News they welcomed the New Brunswick patients and would provide financial assistance to any women who couldn’t afford the $500 fee. But they also wanted New Brunswick Premier-Designate Brian Gallant to spearhead changes that would increase access to abortion services.

For more, read the full CBC News report.


Jackie Farwell

About Jackie Farwell

I'm the health editor for the Bangor Daily News, a Bangor native, a UMaine grad, and a weekend crossword warrior. I never get sick of writing about Maine people, geeking out over health care data, and finding new ways to help you stay well. I live in Gorham with my husband Nick and our hound dog Riley.