Fund­ing abor­tion pills ‘right thing to do’: New Brunswick pre­mier

The Guardian (Charlottetown) - - ATLANTIC -

New Brunswick Pre­mier Brian Gal­lant is stop­ping short of call­ing on his pro­vin­cial coun­ter­parts to of­fer abor­tion pills for free, but he says it’s “the right thing to do.”

Af­ter years of re­strict­ing ac­cess to abor­tion ser­vices, New Brunswick be­came the first prov­ince to pro­vide univer­sal cov­er­age of the abor­tion pill Mif­e­gymiso ear­lier this month.

“We be­lieve ac­cess to es­sen­tial med­i­cal ser­vices shouldn’t de­pend on a per­son’s postal code or in­come bracket,” Gal­lant said in an in­ter­view Tues­day be­fore he ad­dressed a so-called “shadow event” of the Coun­cil of the Fed­er­a­tion.

Gal­lant said Mif­e­gymiso, a two-drug com­bi­na­tion that in­duces a med­i­cal abor­tion, will help im­prove women’s ac­cess to re­pro­duc­tive health care, es­pe­cially in ru­ral re­gions far from hos­pi­tals that per­form sur­gi­cal abor­tions.

“Not ev­ery re­gion has the same type of ac­cess,” he said. “Mif­e­gymiso is an op­por­tu­nity to help with ge­o­graph­i­cal ac­cess.”

Gal­lant said his gov­ern­ment has been work­ing hard over the last two and a half years to ad­vance women’s equal­ity and re­pro­duc­tive health care.

“We’ve pulled New Brunswick into the 21st cen­tury by get­ting rid of the two-doc­tor rule and other bar­ri­ers to re­pro­duc­tive health, but there is still more to do,” he said.

“It’s all about ad­vanc­ing women’s equal­ity, not only be­cause it’s the right thing to do, but be­cause stud­ies show that it helps strengthen your econ­omy and ad­vance im­por­tant is­sues like ed­u­ca­tion and health care.”

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