Why the abortion pill is more important than ever during the coronavirus
There could be an increase in unintended pregnancies just as abortion becomes less available, putting women who are self-isolating in abusive situations at higher risk
By Michelle Cohen
April 29, 2020
While COVID-19 has prompted widespread discussion (and in some cases fiery debate) about medications such as hydroxychloroquine, azithromycin and remdesivir, one drug which may be of great consequence during the pandemic has seldom been mentioned: Mifegymiso, also known as the “abortion pill.”
Reproductive health advocates began sounding the alarm last month that access to abortion in this country is shrinking. Action Canada for Sexual Health and Rights reported that calls to its 24-hour hotline increased by 30 per cent in late March, with many of those phoning in were distressed about not being able to schedule an abortion or acquire contraception.
Abortion Is An Essential Service, But The Pandemic Is Making It Harder To Access
Travelling for abortion care is even harder when the coronavirus has shut everything down.
By Maija Kappler
Canada’s provincial and territorial governments have deemed abortion an essential medical service, and one that continues to be available during the COVID-19 pandemic. But reproductive health advocates say existing barriers to abortion access have become even more significant now.
Calls to a 24-hour info line provided by Action Canada for Sexual Health and Rights increased by 30 per cent in the last two weeks of March, according to communications director Laura Neidhart.
How COVID-19 Is Making It Harder To Get An Abortion In Canada
Last Updated March 26, 2020
The panicked calls about accessing abortions during the COVID-19 pandemic started coming in to the Action Canada for Sexual Health and Rights hotline last week, and they haven’t stopped. “People are worried they won’t be able to get to their appointments, or that they won’t be able to even schedule appointments because they’re in quarantine,” says Frédérique Chabot, director of health promotion for the reproductive rights non-profit. “There’s a lot of anxiety.”
Understandably so. In a country where access to abortion — a legal, medical service — is already hit or miss, the potential closure of clinics and the scaling back of services is another looming barrier. And while Canadians likely won’t ever face a situation like women in Ohio or Texas — where anti-choice politicians are using COVID-19 as a completely transparent ruse to stop or indefinitely “postpone” abortions — there’s a very real concern that reproductive healthcare is going to slip down the priority list as the pandemic deepens and resources are stretched thin. “We can’t treat abortion as if this isn’t as urgent as COVID-19,” says Chabot. “It’s so time-sensitive and has such huge consequences, not like other elective surgeries.”
How PEI Became One Of The Most Accessible Places For Women’s Health Care In Canada
Within 10 months, PEI went from having no abortion services on the island to offering self-referral. What can the province teach the rest of the country?
by Emily Baron Cadloff
Updated Nov 20, 2019
When Courtney Cudmore learned she was pregnant in 2015, she knew immediately what she would do. At 31 years old, the Charlottetown restaurant worker was already a mother of two, and her then-fiancée had taken a job out of province. She was overwhelmed and scared, and she wanted desperately not to be pregnant. Cudmore saw a doctor at a walk-in clinic, who she says told her he had a religious objection to abortion. After she pleaded with him, he reluctantly gave her a prescription for a medical abortion. She tried several pharmacies before finding one that would fill it.
“There was no way I could bring another child into the equation. What was I going to do? How was I going to feed it? Clothe it? Find room for it?” she wrote at the time on Facebook.
Abortion in Canada: The election debates, the law and the reality
October 3, 2019
Martha Paynter, PhD Candidate in Nursing, Dalhousie University
This federal election season, abortion is undeniably a campaign issue, with media coverage routinely suggesting abortion rights are tenuous or up for debate.
Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer has declared that he is “personally pro-life,” while insisting that his cabinet will not “reopen the issue.” This does, however, leave the door open for individual MPs to put forward anti-abortion private member bills.
Abortion is constitutional right and, unfortunately, an election issue
Jennifer Taylor argues Canadians can’t trust the Tory leader on his promise to avert the anti-abortion movement
Abortion is constitutional right and, unfortunately, an election issue
By Jennifer Taylor
OPINION 23 Sep 2019
It’s been 50 years since abortion was partly decriminalized in Canada, and 31 years since R v Morgentaler, the Supreme Court of Canada decision that struck down the remaining Criminal Code restrictions. Surely, in 2019, Canadians have accepted that there is a constitutional right to abortion access in this country, and abortion is a publicly funded health care service – not a subject for debate. We’ve moved on. Right?
The sorry state of abortion access in Saskatchewan
Sask Dispatch, by Sara Birrell
Sep 5, 2019
It has been more than 30 years since the Supreme Court of Canada’s decision in R. v. Morgentaler found Canada’s anti-abortion laws to be such an egregious overreach of state power that they violate Section 7 of the Charter of Rights and Freedoms, the right to “life, liberty, and security of the person.” Since then, under the law, abortion has been treated as what it is: a morally and ethically neutral medical treatment. But while the decision ostensibly means that any pregnant person should be able to access medical (that is, induced by a drug) or surgical abortions at any time, the nature of the Canadian health-care system, which puts control of services in the hands of the provinces, means that abortion care is a patchwork that leaves many pregnant Canadians – especially those who are poor, Indigenous, young, or in rural and remote communities – to endure unwanted pregnancies.
Cape Breton women still face barriers and stigma when seeking an abortion
Many family doctors still don't prescribe so-called abortion pill
Brittany Wentzell - CBC
Aug 8, 2019
There may be less red tape surrounding the so-called abortion pill, but many women in Cape Breton will still make the lengthy drive to Halifax if they want to terminate a pregnancy.
The issue, according to advocates, is the reluctance of many family doctors on the island to prescribe Mifegymiso — the brand name for the combination of two pills used to end a pregnancy of up to nine weeks.
The pro-choice movement will defeat any threats to abortion rights
August 8, 2019
Canada's pro-choice movement is in good fighting form, and stronger than ever. That's the undeniable conclusion after living through the roller-coaster ride of anti-choice activity over the last three months.
First, we saw the annual March for Life on Ottawa's Parliament Hill on May 9, as well as anti-choice rallies in cities across Canada including Toronto for the first time. Many anti-choice Parliamentarians attended these events and some spoke out, including Ontario MPP Sam Oosterhoff, with his infamous comment, "We pledge to make abortion unthinkable in our lifetime."
Federal Health Minister tells all provinces to fund abortion care
Carly Weeks Health Reporter
Laura Stone Queen's Park Reporter
Published July 25, 2019
Federal Health Minister Ginette Petitpas Taylor is asking all provinces to remove abortion access barriers, saying she is concerned about policies and fees that are “out of step” with federal law.
However, her provincial counterparts in Ontario and New Brunswick – where some patients must pay to access abortion services, in a practice that abortion advocates have flagged as breaching federal health law – have swiftly rebuffed Ms. Petitpas Taylor’s request.