While fights around healthcare around the United States seem to be at an all-time high recently, things in Canada are becoming extremely progressive. On thursday it was announced by the Ontario Government that Mifegymiso, a safe and effective abortion pill, will be available to take at home for no cost for any woman throughout the province, as long as they have a valid Ontario health card.
How it works is as of August 10th, as long as women get a valid precription from their doctor (and showing their Ontario health card), they can go to any participating pharmacy and retrieve the pill to take at home as they please, free of cost. Mifegymiso is a two-drug combination of mifepristone and misoprostol that can be used to terminate a pregnancy up to 49 days.
Not only is the province providing women with the ability to be in a safe and comfortable environment, their giving women more power over their reproductive health, removing a massive financial barrier, enhancing privacy for the patient, diminishing judgement and increasing access to abortion. Like with most countries, rural communities often face difficulties finding a practicing clinic that’s local and accessible. CBC reports that this pill would traditionally cost $337.25 if it was sold at the pharmacy. This is a huge deal!
Not to mention the fact women can take this pill in the presence of whoever they please; whether it be with a spouse or caretaker (since in Ontario medical abortions are only performed with a doctor and patient in the room- no one else) or alone.
Other provinces such as Alberta and New Bruinswick already cover the pill and Quebec makes plans to this fall. Although it’s only a small chunk of the country that’s getting this perk, the move made by the province is extremely progressive for the nation and rest of the world.
In the US, 43 states prohibit abortions, except to protect the woman’s life or health such as during a tubal pregnancy. However within the 7 states that have legalized them, the guidelines are extremely strict to even be considered.
Guttmacher Instituite also reports: “17 states use their own funds to pay for all or most medically necessary abortions for Medicaid enrollees in the state. 32 states and the District of Columbia prohibit the use of state funds except in those cases when federal funds are available: where the woman’s life is in danger or the pregnancy is the result of rape or incest. In defiance of federal requirements, South Dakota limits funding to cases of life endangerment only.”
Let’s be clear about the United States of America, you can barely get healthcare in most situations, especially without paying an arm and a leg in medical bills. Do you really think their government will ever truely fund anything? Yes, there are much bigger issues in terms of healthcare that can be debated as larger issues than abortion. But the dropping uwanted pregnancy rates are still alarmingly high. Just like the numbers at female-run protests around the country to keep Planned Parenthood afloat.
Even when all hope seems to be lost in this crazy world of everyone’s opinions offending others, Canada is giving the rest of the world hopes in terms that most countries, especially the US, can have accessible healthcare in general and have the right to make decsions about their own body.
Featured Image via WeHeartIt.