The NDP government of British Columbia announced it will offer the abortion drug Mifegymiso to all residents at no cost.
Health Canada gave approval to the abortion drug Mifegymiso in 2015, but permitted its prescription under limited conditions including restricting the gestational age of the preborn child, permitting only doctors to distribute it, and requiring doctors undergo training. Those restrictions have all been lifted after lobbying from pro-abortion groups and several provincial governments.
Last year, five provinces — Alberta, New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, Ontario, and Quebec — announced they would fully fund the abortion pill, formerly known as RU-486. B.C. becomes the sixth province to do so, and now universal, taxpayer-covered abortion pills are provided to 92 per cent of the Canadian population with Manitoba, Newfoundland and Labrador, Prince Edward Island, and Saskatchewan holding out.
Campaign Life Coalition said, “these decisions are not based on medical evidence or need, but political pressure.”
The B.C. Ministry of Health said in a statement, “Removing the cost barrier helps ensure that individuals can access this safe, legal and available option if they choose.”
CLC states that, “the abortion pill is not safe,” with both Health Canada and the Food and Drug Administration in the U.S. tracking adverse effects that include hemorrhaging and death.
On Jan. 2, B.C. Health Minister Adrian Dix said the province would begin full coverage beginning Jan. 15.
Since last July the provincial PharmaCare program has partially covered Mifegymiso, subject to some limits for each individual’s PharmaCare plan. Patients under the Fair PharmaCare plan sometimes had to pay $300 out of pocket, but the announcement means the abortion drug will be entirely free to all users.
The Ministry also announced “Mifegymiso will be available at all participating pharmacies” in the province and that orders will take no longer than two days to process. “Stock of Mifegymiso,” the government vowed, “will be available at pharmacies that are rural, remote or have previously dispensed high volumes of the medication.”
Vice magazine reports that the abortion pill can be up to $961 less per patient than a surgical abortion.