New Democrats Call for Stronger Women’s Health Care

Fontaine: Control over reproductive health a fundamental freedom

January 4, 2018

Today, New Democrats are renewing calls on the Pallister government to fully cover the costs of Mifegymiso, while developing a provincial strategy to ensure it is available across Manitoba.

Yesterday, British Columbia became the sixth province to fully cover the costs of the abortion pill. Manitoba is now the largest province still making some women pay out of pocket for this core health service while restricting access for rural and northern women and girls to Mifegymiso.

“Women in Manitoba, no matter where they live, deserve access to reproductive health care without having to pay hundreds of dollars out of pocket. Women and girls’ full control over their futures is a fundamental freedom that we must protect,” said Nahanni Fontaine, NDP Critic for the Status of Women.

The costs of the drug are only covered when the service is provided at existing surgical abortion centres in Winnipeg and Brandon, leaving rural and northern women and girls without options, other than paying approximately $300 for the treatment or not having access to abortion services at all.

On Monday, this treatment was called the “gold standard in terms of health care for women” by the executive director of the Vancouver Island Women’s Clinic.

“The Pallister government needs to step up show that they care about women’s health. The decisions that women have to make about their futures are difficult enough without government seeking to restrict their freedoms,” said Fontaine. “They’ve also closed the Mature Women’s Centre, cut lacatation consultants, cut the budget for the North Point Douglas Women’s Centre, all of which work specifically with women. Manitoba women and girls deserve better than this.”