4 Women On What It Was Like Before Abortion Was Decriminalized In Canada
Yes, access has radically improved since 1988—but we can’t be complacent.
by Rachel Chen
Updated Jan 7, 2020
Abortion was decriminalized in Canada in 1988, after pro-choice advocate Dr. Henry Morgentaler successfully challenged the constitutionality of Canada’s abortion law. Three decades later, access to both medical and surgical abortion isn’t perfect—especially for women in rural areas—but it’s radically better than what it once was. Still, as we see threats to Roe v. Wade (the landmark case that gave Americans a right to abortion) growing next door in the United States, it is important to remember how we got where we are.
Here, four women share what it was like to be faced with an unwanted pregnancy prior to 1988—and why we can never go back to such restrictive access.
By Manisha Krishnan
Senior Writer, VICE
September 26, 2016
Pro-choice advocates say the high cost of an abortion drug that likely won't be covered by provincial health care plans will limit abortion access to Canadian women who don't live in major urban centres.
Mifegymiso, hailed as the gold-standard in abortion medication, is a set of two pills that allows women to terminate their pregnancies. It will become available in Canada this year—it's been in the US since 2000—and can be taken within the first 49 days of a pregnancy. But according to a report by the Globe and Mail, the company bringing the drug here, Celopharma, has opted out of an application process that is required for the drug to be covered by the provinces. Known as the Common Drug Review, the application would cost Celopharma $72,000. Not completing the process means Mifegymiso will only be covered by employment and private insurance, or will cost patients $300 out of pocket.
Joyce Arthur, executive director of the Abortion Rights Coalition of Canada, told VICE the decision is "very disappointing."
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