On this week’s episode of Talking Radical Radio, Kathleen Pye talks about the rapid formation and growth of the group Reproductive Justice New Brunswick, and their success in putting access to abortion on the agenda in the province’s recent provincial election in a way that has not happened in many years, if ever.
New Brunswick has been, for a long time, among the most restrictive jurisdictions in the country in terms of access to abortion — restrictive because of provincial regulations that placed greater burdens on people needing the procedure than in most other places, because of a very limited number of locations to get the procedure done, and because of a broader culture that has been less supportive of women’s right to choose than some other parts of the country. Early in 2014, the only site to access the procedure in Fredericton (and one of the few in the province as a whole) closed, spurring feminists and allies to action.
Along with intensive strategizing about how to open a new clinic — with a new and more sustainable model of operating — the group has been very focused on winning a repeal to the highly restrictive regulations that have been in place in New Brunswick since the 1990s. A major element in their strategy for doing so was doing everything they could to put access to abortion front and centre in public discussions in the recent provincial election — something they were remarkably successful in doing. This interview was recorded a few days before the September 22nd victory of the pro-choice (albeit somewhat vague) Liberals over the incumbent Conservatives. In the interview, Pye talks about the kinds of restrictions that exist in New Brunswick, about the intense scramble of activity by feminists since the closure of the clinic, and about the significant steps they have already made in advancing reproductive health and reproductive justice in New Brunswick.
To learn more about Reproductive Justice New Brunswick, click here.
Talking Radical Radio brings you grassroots voices from across Canada. We give you the chance to hear many different people that are facing many different struggles talk about what they do, why they do it, and how they do it, in the belief that such listening is a crucial step in strengthening all of our efforts to change the world. To learn more about the show in general, visit its website here. You can learn about suggesting topics for future shows here.
Talking Radical Radio is brought to you by Scott Neigh, a writer, media producer, and activist based in Sudbury, Ontario, and the author of two books examining Canadian history through the stories of activists.