A well-known abortion activist is calling for a new push to get the injectable contraceptive/abortifacients Depo Provera into Canada.
Dr. Marion Powell, speaking at a forum in Toronto, said the new Prime Minister, Kim Campbell, should be approached by Canadian women to approve the drug in this country.
So far, Canada leads the world in taking a cautious approach to the drug because of concerns it could cause breast cancer and osteoporosis. The pro-life movement opposes Depo Provera because it often acts as an abortifacients and because it poses a health threat to women.
The federal government has banned Depo Provera saying it does not meet with the requirements of the Food and Drugs Act. However, the World Health Organization and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration have approved it claiming its benefits outweigh its risks. It is available in 90 countries worldwide.
The drug is administered by injection every three months and the firm which produces it, Upjohn Co., claims a 99.7 per cent rate in preventing pregnancies. The company has an aggressive campaign to get the drug approved in this country.
In spite of intense lobbying by Upjohn, the health protection branch of the Ministry of Health issued a “notice of non-compliance” to the manufacturer in December of 1992. Former Health Minister Benoit Bouchard stated at the time “the risks for Depo Provera as an injectable contraceptive outweigh the benefits.”