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Free abortion pill access coming for all women in Alberta: minister

Health Minister Sarah Hoffman stated info will come quickly about how Alberta women can have free access to the medical abortion pill mifegymiso.
Greg Southam / Postmedia

Every lady dwelling in Alberta may have common access to a brand new medical abortion remedy no matter whether or not she has provincial health insurance coverage, Alberta’s health minister says.

An announcement about how the Alberta authorities will cowl the price of mifegymiso — a pill-based various for early-stage abortions — is coming “very soon,” Health Minister Sarah Hoffman stated Tuesday night — probably inside weeks.

“Any women who live in Alberta — I don’t care where you live, I don’t actually care whether you’re yet a citizen — they have the right to access this,” Hoffman stated throughout a panel dialogue on the Chateau Lacombe Hotel about mifegymiso.

Refugees, college college students coated by different provincial health plans, and different women ought to all have free access in the province, she stated.

Mifegymiso, a two-drug mixture that ends a being pregnant, was accredited by Health Canada in July 2015, almost 30 years after it was launched in some European nations.

The first drug in the mixture is RU-486, additionally referred to as mifepristone, and was new to Canada.

After a producing delay, it hit the Canadian market in January 2017, and is meant to exchange one of many medicine presently used for medical abortions. It can be utilized as much as seven weeks’ gestation. Advocates assume it ought to be 9 weeks.

Pro-choice advocates say substantial limitations stay to access to mifegymiso, together with the worth, which ranges from $300 to $450.

Governments in New Brunswick, Alberta, Ontario and Quebec have stated they’ll cowl the fee, however six provinces and three territories have but to commit.

Calgary’s Kensington Clinic was the primary Canadian clinic to supply mifegymiso. Executive director Celia Posyniak stated it’s the one place she is aware of of in Alberta that gives it.

Used to its full potential, the brand new drug mixture could possibly be a recreation changer that makes abortions accessible to women who reside removed from surgical clinics, and save health-care prices by reducing the variety of abortion surgical procedures, Posyniak stated Tuesday.

Although Health Canada is regularly enjoyable restrictions on mifegymiso’s prescription and distribution, there are a number of limitations stopping women — particularly in rural and distant areas — from accessing the remedy, stated Sandeep Prasad, government director of Action Canada for Sexual Health and Rights.

The value ought to be coated up entrance — not reimbursed later — so money doesn’t turn out to be a barrier to access, he stated Tuesday.

Prasad got here to Edmonton for the Council of the Federation conferences this week to foyer premiers to take away that monetary hurdle. The premiers of Nova Scotia and P.E.I. have been , he stated. Prasad needs commitments earlier than Canadian health ministers meet in November.

Once a goal of pro-choice scorn for its abortion roadblocks, New Brunswick in early July turned the primary province to supply the remedy for free to women with a provincial health card.

Speaking earlier than Tuesday’s panel, New Brunswick Premier Brian Gallant stated equality is important to that province’s financial progress, and has been a precedence of his authorities.

“Access to essential medical services shouldn’t depend on a person’s postal code or income bracket,” Gallant stated.

Protesters stand outdoors the Chateau Lacombe Hotel in Edmonton on Tuesday, July 18, 2017, opposing Canada’s approval of the abortion drug RU-486.

Janet French /


Not everybody helps that access. Five protesters from the Wilberforce Project, which opposes abortion, stood outdoors Edmonton’s Chateau Lacombe through the occasion holding indicators studying, “RU486 is a women’s health risk,” and, “Save women, stop RU486.”

A Quebec lady died throughout a 2001 Canadian trial of the drug. Wilberforce government director Stephanie Fennelly stated in an interview it’s “reckless” to advertise the drug’s use in rural areas the place health providers are much less accessible.

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