N.L. close to an­nounc­ing fund­ing plan for abor­tion pill

The Guardian (Charlottetown) - - ATLANTIC - BY HOLLY MCKEN­ZIE-SUTTER

Health Min­is­ter John Hag­gie says New­found­land and Labrador is close to an­nounc­ing a plan on pro­vin­cial fund­ing for the abor­tion pill.

Hag­gie says he wants coun­selling ser­vices in place as part of “a com­pre­hen­sive pack­age that we would de­liver across the prov­ince” be­fore an­nounc­ing a de­ci­sion on Mif­e­gymiso fund­ing.

The two-drug com­bi­na­tion ter­mi­nates preg­nan­cies of up to nine weeks, as an al­ter­na­tive to sur­gi­cal meth­ods that are cur­rently cov­ered by the prov­ince.

The fed­er­ally ap­proved med­i­cal abor­tion drug has been at least par­tially cov­ered by ev­ery other Cana­dian prov­ince.

Med­i­cal stu­dents and prac­ti­tion­ers have writ­ten an open let­ter to the premier and health depart­ment ask­ing for uni­ver­sal Mif­e­gymiso cov­er­age, as well as sup­port­ive re­sources for physi­cians pre­scrib­ing the drug.

Hag­gie said “it’s not go­ing to be a long process” be­fore an­nounc­ing the gov­ern­ment’s fund­ing pack­age.

“We’re very near mak­ing a de­ci­sion and be­ing able to roll out a ser­vice rather than sim­ply make an an­nounce­ment about the avail­abil­ity of a par­tic­u­lar drug,” Hag­gie said in an in­ter­view Thurs­day.

CP FILE PHOTO

New­found­land and Labrador Health Min­is­ter John Hag­gie

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