The Politics of Mifegymiso in Canada: What we need Canada to do!

We’ve put together a set of asks we need from Canada to increase access to medical abortion for all people, not just some.

Action Canada demands that:

  • Health Canada swiftly remove the unnecessary restrictions limiting the prescribing and dispensing of Mifegymiso in Canada.
  • All provincial and territorial governments ensure universal cost coverage of Mifegymiso.
  • All provincial and territorial governments create a billing code for medical abortion to ensure health care providers can offer their patients and clients the best possible medical abortion care.
  • All levels of government (in collaboration with relevant professional colleges) take the necessary administrative steps to support new prescribers seeing patients for medical abortion.
  • Under the Federal Health Minister’s leadership, all relevant ministries and programs covering federal patients facilitate access to a comprehensive package of reproductive health services, including medical abortion. This means ensuring cost coverage for Mifegymiso as well as supporting health care providers’ participation in all relevant programs and addressing issues jeopardizing people's access to healthcare.
  • All provincial and territorial governments remove policies that compromise access to abortion. For example, New Brunswick funding abortions and ultrasounds provided outside of hospitals and Nova Scotia ensures timely access to ultrasound services.
  • All levels of government support programs that ensure Mifegymiso is accessible for all. This includes medical abortion by telemedicine and in clinics where undocumented or uninsured patients can access care.
  • All appropriate stakeholders examine ways to support appropriate task-shifting in the provision of medical abortion to allow and train other health professionals (such as Nurse Practitioners and midwives) to provide these services.
  • All levels of government ensure the safety and integrity of Mifegymiso prescribers and all abortion providers by introducing Safe Access zone legislation that reflect the needs and demands of health care providers working both within and outside of abortion clinics and/or hospitals.
  • All levels of government ensure the safety and integrity of the public by better regulating health information in Canada, including how the enforcement of consumer protection laws that ban false advertising or deceptive practices by service providers could prevent gate keepers, Crisis Pregnancy Centers and anti-choice organizations from spreading false health information about abortion. We therefore ask every level of governments to make accurate, evidence-based, simple and easy to read information on abortion, including medical abortion, available as soon as possible on their health ministries’ websites.
  • All relevant stakeholders ensure health care providers (including new prescribers and other providers like those offering ultrasounds) receive the necessary support to offer Mifegymiso in a timely way, including in remote and rural areas. This means supporting practitioners who need guidance, supporting communities of practice and developing the appropriate resources for prescribers to feel empowered to offer this service.
  • Professional bodies regulating physicians avoid introducing further restrictions regarding the prescribing and dispensing of Mifegymiso and support members in becoming prescribers and dispensers by ensuring that they receive the training and material they need and that they are connected to communities of practice.
  • Professional bodies regulating pharmacists follow the lead of the pharmacy regulatory colleges in the provinces of British Columbia, Ontario, Nova Scotia, Alberta and Saskatchewan by providing guidelines that support pharmacist dispensing directly to the patient.
  • Professional bodies regulating Nurse Practitioners follow the lead of the College of Nurses of Ontario, the first nursing governing body to support their Nurse Practitioners to prescribe Mifegymiso. The college has stated that Nurse Practitioners who have the knowledge, skill and judgment to prescribe Mifegymiso and who can manage all possible outcomes are legally authorized to prescribe it.
  • Professional bodies regulating midwives continue to work towards integrating medical abortion into their scope of practice.
  • Health care providers (including Doctors, Nurse Practitioners, Midwives, and Pharmacists) consider medical abortion as part of their practice to increase access and ensure that receiving a complete package of sexual and reproductive health services doesn’t depend on where you live in Canada.
Posted on 2018-11-05
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