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Clinic 554 is located at the former Morgentaler abortion center in Fredericton.Courtesy of New Brunswick Right to Life

FREDERICTON, New Brunswick, February 3, 2015 (LifeSiteNews.com) — Which hospitals in central and south western New Brunswick will do abortions under the province’s newly liberalized funding regulations will be kept a secret from all but the women seeking the deadly surgery.

So says John McGarry, the CEO of Horizon Health Network, which encompasses the provincial government’s 13 hospitals and 28 clinics in the heart of the province, none of which hitherto did abortions.

McGarry said he was afraid of “protests.”

But Peter Ryan, head of Right to Life New Brunswick, offers another explanation. “Maybe they are just ashamed. Maybe the people who work at those hospitals who’ve dedicated their careers to saving lives are ashamed to be doing abortions now and don’t want anyone to know.”

As for McGarry’s reasoning, Ryan thinks he’s just being silly. “We’ll find out anyway because people talk to each other,” he told LifeSiteNews. “They can’t keep it a secret.”

What’s more, he said, “The taxpayers are paying for it. They have a right to know.” But Ryan also disputed McGarry’s concerns about protests. “Abortions have been done for years in two hospitals and one clinic and there have never been any security concerns. Sure we’ll protest when we find out where they’re being done. This is a democracy. But we’ve always been peaceful.”

Health Minister Victor Boudreau expressed surprise at McGarry’s plans, telling the CBC, “That piece of information is news to me. But obviously, I think if we're going to offer a service, we're going to have let New Brunswickers know where that service is.”

(In fact, elsewhere in Canada where private clinics try to operate in cozy residential areas clandestinely, they get their referrals by telephone and subject potential customers to a quiz, which includes asking for their health card number, before disclosing the clinic address.)

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Until the Liberals wrested the government from the Progressive Conservatives in last fall’s election, abortions were done by the private Morgentaler Clinic in Fredericton, the Dr. Georges-L.-Dumont University Hospital Centre ​in Moncton, and the Chaleur Regional Hospital in Bathurst, though the last two are part of the Vitalite Health Network.

But under the province’s restrictive formula, only abortions approved by a GP and a gynaecologist could be done in the two hospitals, and funded by the provincial medical plan. Many were done at the Morgentaler Clinic until it shut down early last year though the women involved had to pay from their own pockets. This became an election issue, with Liberal leader, now premier, Brian Gallant promising to remove funding restrictions. Now, the so-called “two-doctors” rule is gone.

A poll taken last month was reported as indicating 50 percent of New Brunswickers were “pro-choice,” but the news coverage neglected to go into the details showing only 1 percent were for abortion-on-demand. That 50 percent only approved first-trimester abortions.

Meanwhile 11 percent oppose abortion in any circumstances. Thirty-one percent oppose it except in cases where the pregnancy was caused by rape or incest, women give as the reason for their abortions under 1.5 percent of the time, according to a survey by the pro-abortion Guttmacher Institute.

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