Saskatchewan will cover the abortion pill Mifegymiso
NDP lobbying has paid off as Canadians across the entire country do not need to pay for abortion pills. Until recently, the pill was covered by all Canadian provinces except for one; Saskatchewan.
Nearly a week after Manitoba decided to cover the costs of the abortion pill Mifegymiso, the government of Saskatchewan decided to follow suit and do the same.
On Friday, Saskatchewan Health Minister, Jim Reiter, said that many factors influenced his decision to approve universal access. He said, “This is a very divisive issue. It is an issue where you are not going to make everyone happy. Federal law has made it very clear that abortion needs to be provided. This is a less invasive way of doing that.”
Reiter went on to say that after other province’s access to Mifegymiso increased; there hasn’t been an increase in abortions; instead, it shifted away from surgical procedures.
Earlier this year, the pill was made a lot more accessible by Health Canada when it took out the requirement for women to have a prescreening ultrasound before a doctor could legally prescribe a pill.
Mifegymiso is estimated to cost $360. However, coverage is usually different from patient to patient; those with low-income will pay $2 prescription.
The Ministry of Health revealed that from September 2017 to December 2018, in Saskatchewan 183 of 483 prescriptions were fully covered or partially covered by the drug plan of the province.
A study conducted in 2013 found out that out of all women seeking abortions in Canada, 44.9 percent who accessed abortion services had to travel an hour or more. The same study also revealed that there are barriers depending on a patient’s class and race. For example, “indigenous women were almost three times more likely to report traveling over 100km to access a clinic.”
The move to make it free and accessible will take out some of the existing barriers that women have had to face while accessing medical care.