The Federal Health Minister Ginette Petitpas-Taylor sent a letter yesterday to all provincial and territorial premiers asking them to address systemic barriers to abortion.
Action Canada for Sexual Health and Rights is exalted to see the Canadian government assuming federal responsibility to ensure that all people in Canada have equal access to abortion services, no matter where they live or how much money they have.
The federal government is ultimately responsible for ensuring the respect of the Canada Health Act and human rights laws, which guarantee all people in Canada free and accessible health services, including abortion.
For decades, Action Canada and our partners across the country have been demanding federal leadership on abortion and for the past six months alone we have had more than a dozen meetings with federal, provincial and territorial governments. We are pleased to see our demands reflected in the Health Minister’s letter. This is the fruition of decades of labour on behalf of sexual health advocates and activists and we will be looking for accountability to these commitments moving forward.
Our demands that were addressed in the letter include geographic and income barriers to abortion, the need for provinces to support the uptake of Mifegymiso for healthcare providers, out-of-country abortion access, gestational limits to abortion, and the need for the New Brunswick government to fund out-of-hospital abortions.
We are now monitoring abortion access with vigilance to make sure that every barrier listed in this letter is addressed by the provinces and territories and that the Government of Canada, in line with the Canada Health Act, takes full responsibility to ensure everyone has access to a safe and timely abortion care.