New abortion law may force closure of private clinics
Medical clinics must be equipped with operating rooms if they are to perform surgery, according to a new law that could force the closure of at least three private abortion clinics.
As of Sept. 30, all medical clinics in Quebec that perform surgery, including abortions, must be equipped with operating rooms.
The Alternative Clinic in South Centre Montreal, for one, can't afford the $25,000 renovation and says it will be forced to close if Law 34 goes into effect next month.
Two other Montreal abortion clinics did not pass accreditation and without meeting the new standards, would no longer be able to perform the procedure.
Combined, the three clinics perform100 interventions per week, an issue that concerns workers at community group Head and Hands.
"Any new law like this, shutting down one clinic, one small clinic in the city, can have a huge impact," said Jos Porter from Head and Hands.
Montreal's health and social services agency, however, said it wants to reassure the population they have been working to ensure that women will still have timely access to abortions.
"What we have already guaranteed is that of the 100 interventions that we need per week, we have about 72 to 75 already covered," said the agency's president, David Levine, adding that he's confident the government will find the resources to accommodate the other 25.
Quebec's Health Minister Yves Bolduc has asked the College of Physicians to re-evaluate the operating room criteria, a move that may relax the Law 34 and allow private clinics to continue their practice.