NDP Renews its call on Pallister Government to make Abortion Pill Available for all Women Provincewide at no Charge

The Manitoba NDP is calling on the Pallister government to follow the example of four other provinces and make the abortion pill available at no cost to women in this province, MLA Nahanni Fontaine said today.

“Alberta is the latest province to acknowledge the huge impact this medicine has on women, especially low-income women and those living in remote regions of the province,” Fontaine said. “It is too expensive and too difficult to obtain for many women unless the government ensures it is affordable and accessible.”

Fontaine noted the Pallister government has a poor record on women’s health. The government is closing the Mature Women’s Centre, has recently fired lactation consultants at the Women’s Hospital and has considered ending offering needed supplies for new moms after they give birth in hospital.

The abortion pill, Mifegymiso, is listed by the World Health Organization as an ‘essential medicine’ and was approved by Health Canada in 2015. It can cost patients $350 or more and so far is only available at Health Sciences Centre in Winnipeg.

Up to now, Manitoba has been a leader in keeping essential medicines accessible and affordable for patients in this province, Fontaine noted. Alberta is set to join Ontario, Quebec and New Brunswick as the provinces that will cover the cost of the abortion pill and make it readily available.

“The Pallister government must develop a provincewide dispensing and regulation plan and ensure Mifegymiso is available to all women at no cost,” Fontaine said. “This pill can be a game changer for women, but it is beyond the scope of many doctors and clinics, particularly those in rural and remote communities, to stock and dispense this essential medicine.”

“Women have a right to affordable and accessible health care,” Fontaine said. “Women have a right to have full control over their reproductive health, which includes access to the abortion pill.”