Women turning to desperate measures due to lack of abortion services in P.E.I.

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Freedom 55
Women turning to desperate measures due to lack of abortion services in P.E.I.

***possible trigger warning***

Freedom 55


[url=http://www.theguardian.pe.ca/News/Local/2011-11-10/article-2802198/Women... turning to desperate measures due to lack of abortion services[/url]

The Guardian wrote:
“If you limit options then you create desperation, and then desperate people do things they wouldn’t normally do. It’s deeply disturbing,” she said.

Prince Edward Island is the only province in Canada that does not provide any abortion services. The procedure is not done in Island hospitals and there are no private clinics that offer the service in the province.

The provincial government does cover the cost of the procedure off-Island, but only when done in a hospital and if a woman has been referred by two doctors – one from P.E.I. and one from the doctor performing the procedure.

Women must travel to the Queen Elizabeth II Hospital in Halifax or the private Morgentaler clinic in Fredericton, but the province will not fund any abortions performed at private clinics.

Fees at private clinics, where a doctor’s referral is not needed, are roughly around $800, not including travel. The province does not cover any travel expenses.

Getting this kind of information on what services are available and what other steps are necessary for this procedure is not easy.

Those who call the health department are often told to contact women’s groups for information. The Guardian attempted to get information from the Department of Health and Wellness for this article and received nothing. And those who go to their doctors may not fare much better.

“There are doctors who just don’t give referrals. There are doctors who say that’s not what they do… one woman, her doctor refused to even see her,” MacQuarrie said, citing examples from her research.

Kandace Hagen experienced first-hand the difficulties in getting information when looking to terminate a pregnancy a few years ago.

“I wasn’t aware what my options were and I just wanted to know how I could go about making sure that happened,” she said.

“(The doctor) told me that my only option was to go to the Morgentaler Clinic in Fredericton and gave me the number and that was it. He left the room.”

He did not offer a referral to the Halifax hospital where the procedure would be covered by the province. He didn’t tell Hagen she would require an ultrasound and a blood test to be conducted on P.E.I. prior to travelling to an off-Island clinic. He also didn’t tell her she needed to have all this done within a short period of time, as the regional clinics only perform abortions up to 15 weeks after conception.

“He very quickly wanted to wash his hands of it and keep going,” Hagen said.

“I definitely felt there was a stigma surrounding it.”




A rare and welcome editorial from the MSM:

[url=http://www.theguardian.pe.ca/Opinion/Editorials/2011-11-18/article-28088... policies need to change[/url]


Prince Edward Island remains the only province that does not provide abortion services, a procedure deemed medically necessary and legal in this country since Jan. 28, 1988. [...]

The issue is front and centre again after a new group, the P.E.I. Reproductive Rights Organization, formed to push for changes. [...]

P.E.I. Health Minister Doug Currie apparently has no plans to change current abortion policies. In an interview with this newspaper, he said his stand had nothing to do with the controversial nature of the issue, but more to do with costs. Right now, he says, there's no reason to "veer off the current status."

Mr. Currie, we do see a reason to change course. It's an issue of equality.

The debate about whether abortion is right or even legal is a divisive one, but it's a debate that has already taken place. The Supreme Court has ruled. The province cannot sit back and ignore the court's ruling, or the pain and anguish that Prince Edward Island's current policies on abortion are causing.


[url=http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/prince-edward-island/halifax-woman-opening... woman opening her home to P.E.I. women needing abortions[/url]

P.E.I. is the only province in Canada where surgical abortions are not performed, but some doctors will provide a prescription for a medical abortion. The province pays for the service but not the cost of travel. A 2014 Health PEI report  indicated the government could have saved $37,000 a year by providing the service on the island. The report said about 153 women had to seek the service in 2013.