Quebec Government to Offer Women Free Abortion Pills by Early Fall


The abortion pill is an additional option, among the various method of voluntary pregnancy ending methods, that has certain benefits for women, he said.

 

 

The abortion pill will be presented to Quebec women for free of charge by early fall, according to the Quebec Health Minister’s announcement on Thursday. He stated that the government of Quebec had always been in favor of the right of women to choose and make independent decision regarding her own body, particularly in regards to pregnancy termination.

The abortion pill is an additional option, among the various method of voluntary pregnancy ending methods, that has certain benefits for women, he said.

Women whose gestation period is within 7 weeks will be able to access the drug, Mifegymiso, which is actually a two-drug pack, containing Mifepristone and Misoprostol- like pills, through the provincial health insurance plan – RAMQ. 

Ontario, Alberta, Manitoba and New Brunswick had committed to proffer abortion pills for free, however they are still working on out how to make the drug accessible and who can prescribe it.

Medical abortion is now legal in Canada but, the abortion pill kit is still not available. Health department of Canada approved Mifegymiso in 2015 and the Canadian doctors started prescribing it from July 1st 2016. The Health Minister commented that the ministry had decided to offer the abortive drug for free after doing its own examination to ensure that the drug is efficient and safe.

Ultrasound required

The Quebec college of Physicians is yet to finalize how the drug will be offered, the details of the same, according to the Health Minister, will be revealed by the fall. An ultrasound will be mandatorily needed, said the minister, as well as an after-checkup, i.e. a follow-up appointment.

The drug will only be administrated if the pregnancy is within 72 hours of gestation and therefore a proof that the conception was of less than 49 days ago must also be submitted. This stipulation is there, even when medically, medication pregnancy termination is allowable till 10 weeks.

Additionally, physicians will also ensure women requesting abortion pills will have an ultrasound to confirm that they do not have a case of ectopic pregnancy, in which the embryo implants itself outside the uterus- which is usually in the fallopian tubes or in the ovary.

Women need a prescription to access abortion pills, however, it is not obligatory for the healthcare professional to prescribe medication pregnancy termination if it goes against their personal beliefs. The cost of Mifegymiso differs but usually its around $300-$450, price as set by Celopharma. Meanwhile, some women buy MTP Kit online for cheaper deal.

Health Minister’s statement

The ministry would have gone forward with the decision even if the charge was on average a higher cost than the regular surgery. The ministry would have approved it, because, it believes that the women in the province do have a choice, he stated.

The Health ministry recently discussed for a bulk price for Mifegymiso with the manufacturer on behalf of all provinces, however this prices was not revealed, due to confidentiality purposes.  Other provinces are still in discussion whether they will be able to provide abortion pill free of charge.

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Published in

Medicine

Published on

Jul 10, 2017