Right now, the price tag for Mifegymiso hovers between $300 and $450 and still, many people in Canada are expected to pay for it out of pocket. This means that for many, medical abortion is simply out of reach.
In eight provinces and one (and soon two) territory, governments have implemented universal cost coverage programs to ensure their residents could access Mifegymiso free of charge by presenting their health card, or in Alberta, a proof of address, when filling their prescription. Those provinces are British Columbia, Alberta, Ontario, Quebec, New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island, Newfoundland and Labrador, and Yukon.
In other provinces and territories, there is a patchwork of partial coverage (or no coverage at all). Manitoba residents can access Mifegymiso free of charge in a few limited sites in Winnipeg and Brandon and so, must continue to travel at the own expense to do so, in Saskatchewan, the Prescription Drug Plan (the provincial formulary) started providing coverage of Mifegymiso in September of 2017 for those who are on government assistance. In Nunavut, some residents can access coverage through NIHB if they are eligible but there is no plan in place to ensure access for all. This falls short of what is being offered in the provinces with universal cost coverage!
We ask all governments who have not yet moved towards universal cost coverage to review their decisions and move towards offering it as soon as possible so that access to abortion services doesn’t depend on where you live or what is in your bank account. Nothing less will ensure real equitable access to health care.
What are the leaders of those remaining provinces and territories waiting for? The door is open for all provinces and territories to offer nothing short of universal coverage. Access to abortion shouldn’t depend on your postal code or your tax bracket!