For immediate release
Action Canada for Sexual Health and Rights is thrilled that the Attorney General of Ontario has introduced Safe Access Zone Legislation today aimed at protecting the safety of patients and healthcare providers and increasing access to abortion across the province. This legislation accounts for the changing landscape of increased abortion care in Ontario, following the comprehensive cost coverage of the medical abortion pill Mifegymiso.
The Ontario government has set an impressive example for provinces across the country by drafting legislation that includes provisions for all healthcare providers, including nurses, physicians, pharmacists and potentially midwives.
“Supporting reproductive rights requires governments to recognize the intersecting barriers individuals face when trying to access healthcare. There is ample evidence that anti-choice harassment and intimidation is a huge problem throughout the country and that Access Zone Legislation works to protect patients, practitioners and their staff,” says Sandeep Prasad, Executive Director of Action Canada for Sexual Health and Rights. Adding that, “Ontario is making a strong statement that violence and harassment as unacceptable.”
The criteria around the application process for Access Zones has yet to be decided upon by the Attorney General, and Action Canada will be looking forward to seeing those regulations explained.
“It is important that the Attorney General continue to listen to the concerns of healthcare providers when they say that the application process must not be onerous,” says Prasad.
As access to medical abortion increases across the country, more and more individuals will require protection from Safe Access Zones. This is an historic moment. Thanks in part to the newly available abortion pill, we are witnessing a shift in access to abortion in Canada. This is an opportune time to address some of the biggest ongoing barriers.
Ontario has stepped up in offering a model for other provinces and territories to follow. Action Canada will be working to support and advise governments across Canada in taking similar action.
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Action Canada for Sexual Health and Rights
613-241-4474 ext. 7