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.”
This Abortion Drug Is Safe And Effective. Why Can’t You Buy It In A Pharmacy?
A groundbreaking study is underway that could change how U.S. patients access abortion.
By Molly Redden, HuffPost US
July 18, 2019
A first-of-its-kind study underway in California and Washington state could pave the way for the Food and Drug Administration to make mifepristone, the most widely used abortion drug in the United States, available at pharmacies.
Today, mifepristone is only available at abortion clinics, doctor’s offices or hospitals, from providers who register with the drug’s manufacturer. The FDA imposes special rules on mifepristone that prevent it — unlike most medications — from being stocked and sold in a pharmacy.
How the wave of U.S. restrictions will affect Canadian women sent there for abortions
By Amanda Connolly and Rachel Browne, Global News
May 28, 2019
Dozens of Canadian women travel to the U.S. every year for abortions paid for by their provincial governments, according to data obtained by Global News.
But as some states move to restrict and criminalize the medical procedure, experts say that could have a big impact on Canadian women by both limiting options for out-of-country care and potentially increasing wait times in Canada.
Two-pill abortion drug Mifegymiso prescribed at least 13,000 times since becoming available in Canada
Since Alberta began covering the cost of Mifegymiso last July, at least 2,190 doses have been prescribed — the overwhelming majority of them in Calgary
October 15, 2018
EDMONTON — It was Calgary’s Kensington clinic that prescribed the first dose of Mifegymiso, the two-pill abortion drug, after it became available in Canada in January 2017.
“When it arrived on our doorstep, we had a patient that day and we offered it to her; we were ready to go,” said clinic executive director Celia Posyniak.
Abortion-pill inequality: How access varies widely across Canada
Two years after Canadians got access to Mifegymiso, some regions have seen thousands of prescriptions, but others have had hardly any, according to figures obtained by The Globe and Mail. The numbers point to deeply rooted problems in regional abortion care
October 12, 2018
Women’s health advocates have hailed the abortion pill as the key to eliminating barriers to abortion in Canada because it can be prescribed by a family doctor and taken at home, no matter where a woman lives. Yet, nearly two years after Mifegymiso became available, many women still have to travel to abortion clinics, endure lengthy waits and pay out-of-pocket if they want to use it to end their pregnancies.
Prescribing data provided to The Globe and Mail show large regional disparities in access to the abortion pill, which the World Health Organization says is a safe and effective method of terminating pregnancies in the first nine weeks. In Manitoba, where nearly 4,000 abortions are performed every year, no prescriptions for Mifegymiso have been dispensed from retail pharmacies since it came on the market, according to the data. But in Ontario, which has about 40,000 abortions every year, more than 6,600 prescriptions were dispensed last year and this year, up to August, 2018.
I wanted an abortion in Nova Scotia, but all around, barriers still remained
I was 36 and a married mother of two, and I needed to end a pregnancy – which is still a battle in some pockets of the country. Trying to get an abortion left me brimming with feelings of powerlessness, shame and disbelief
Jessica Leeder Atlantic region, Halifax
Sep 22, 2018
Jessica Leeder is The Globe and Mail’s Atlantic Bureau chief.
“You need to calm down. You are not dying. You are pregnant and you’re going be fine.”
This was the doctor’s receptionist over the phone from Dartmouth, N.S., with a voice so thick with gravel, I imagined her with a lit cigarette in hand as she attempted to take the bull by the horns.
How Canada’s growing anti-abortion movement plans to swing the next federal election
Anti-abortion lobbyists cheered Ontario’s election as evidence of success. Next up: an ambitious strategy for 2019.
Sep 12, 2018
When Doug Ford, newly minted as leader of the Progressive Conservative Party of Ontario, took the stage at the party’s leadership convention last March, he conspicuously thanked one person standing behind him: Tanya Granic Allen, an outspoken social conservative and leadership hopeful. Ford spoke of his intent “to return our province to where it belongs” before making a show of shaking Granic Allen’s hand. It was a small gesture with big import that would have been missed by many: Ford’s debt to “socons” and, speciﬁcally, the anti-abortion lobby that enabled his win.
Granic Allen was the top choice of Campaign Life Coalition (CLC), a national group that works to nominate and elect candidates who oppose abortion at all levels of government, CLC vice-president Jeff Gunnarson tells Maclean’s.
How university campuses became ground zero for Canada's abortion debate
WARNING: This story contains graphic images
Brett Bundale · The Canadian Press
Posted: Sep 09, 2018
University campuses have increasingly become a focal point of Canada's anti-abortion movement, prompting a fresh debate over free speech and questions about what critics call misleading tactics.
"On campuses across the country, we have seen a rise in anti-choice groups," said Trina James of the Canadian Federation of Students.
Abortion pill prescriptions likely to rise after 4,253 women used new option last year
By Amanda Connolly, National Online Journalist Global News
April 27, 2018
One year after the abortion pill became available to Canadian women, new numbers show thousands have used the new option for reproductive health care and sexual health experts say they expect that number to keep rising.
Mifegymiso is the commercial name for a two-drug combination approved by Health Canada to be used to terminate early pregnancies up to nine weeks, which was approved in 2015 with tight restrictions but only became available to the public in January 2017.