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Trudeau to withhold health-care in New Brunswick over unsatisfactory abortion access

New Brunswick is failing to live up to its obligations under the Canada Health Act because it continues to make it difficult for women to access abortions, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said his week. In Moncton, the prime minister announced that the feds would withhold health-care transfers to the province.

"Making sure that every woman across this country has access to reliable reproductive services is extremely important to us, and that's why we've continued to impress strongly upon the government of New Brunswick how it needs to keep up its obligations under the Canada Health Act," Trudeau said.

When reached for comment Tuesday, a spokesperson for Premier Blaine Higgs told reporters he found it "disappointing that every election the Trudeau government wants to make (abortion) an issue." The premier had said the Horizon Health Network didn't think it necessary to add abortion services in the province.

New Brunswick law currently bans state funding for abortions conducted outside three approved hospitals. The provincial government subsidizes abortions at two hospitals in Moncton and one in Bathurst.

Trudeau said his government will work to ensure everyone in the country has access to abortion.

Back in June, a judge in NB authorized a national civil liberties group to mount a legal challenge to the province's abortion law. The Canadian Civil Liberties Association says the law limits access to abortions, particularly for poor and marginalized people.

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