In the midst of a global pandemic, women in New Brunswick are being instructed to access abortion services at the same hospitals used to treat those who are ill from COVID-19.

The directions are a result of the provincial health department’s decision to only fund abortions at two hospitals in Moncton and one in Bathurst.

The New Brunswick government has refused to pay for the procedure at Clinic 554, a private facility in Fredericton.

It was a contentious issue during the last election and ultimately resulted in the federal government reducing the Canada Health Transfer to New Brunswick by $140,216, as a result of patient charges for abortion services provided outside of hospitals in 2017.

But as a result of COVID-19 pandemic and the immense pressure it places on the health-care system, the Government of Canada agreed to temporarily reimburse the province to ensure they have all possible resources to combat the COVID-19 pandemic.

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The New Brunswick government maintains that they are not in violation of the Canada Health Act.

“The ball is entirely in the federal government’s court with respect to dispute resolution,” said Health Minister Ted Flemming.