Controversial women’s centre opens next door to New Brunswick’s only abortion clinic

Clinic 554, the only private abortion clinic in New Brunswick, is set to close.
Clinic 554, the only private abortion clinic in New Brunswick, is set to close. Global News

A controversial women’s care centre is once again up and running next door to New Brunswick’s only private abortion clinic.

The centre claims its mission is simply to educate, but abortion clinic officials say the centre is tricking women into walking in its doors.

The Women’s Care Centre on Brunswick Street in Fredericton was destroyed by fire two years ago, and has since been rebuilt. The building also serves as the main office for the group New Brunswick Right to Life.

Elizabeth Crouchman, chair of the board at Right to Life, says empowering women with facts and information is the group’s single motivation.

“My contention is that the woman does not have an informed opinion when she’s going in,” Crouchman says. “I would love to hear that at the abortion clinic, they show them an ultrasound, they know what the risks are, it’s clearly explained and this is a person who deserves to know.”

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As part of the consultation, the women’s centre offers access to an ultrasound.

Clinic 554 officials declined an on-camera interview, but in an email statement, clinic manager Valerie Edelman said it is “disappointed but not surprised the crisis pregnancy centre is operating again next door to us.”

“We anticipate that people who need access to abortion will be tricked into going next door where they will be given inaccurate medical information,” Edelman writes.

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Crouchman, a former nurse, says the clinic makes little effort when it comes to offering information. But in the email statement, Edelman said, “Every time a patient has called or come in after encountering the right to life centre, they are in tears and are frightened.”

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Edelman also questions the location of the centre, but Crouchman insists it is not strategic.

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Meanwhile, the centre is privately funded, and New Brunswick right to life is an officially designated charity.

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