ABORTION PILL APPROVED.
A group of Manitoba medical students behind a June campaign to have the abortion pill Mifegymiso available free of charge and without a prescription everywhere in Manitoba was thrilled when Brian Pallister's Conservatives agreed to follow their advice.
"We were obviously very, very excited because this is what we've been asking for," said Erika Lee, a member of Manitoba Medical Students for Choice, in a CBC interview.
Mifegymiso had already been available in Winnipeg and Brandon but was not free and required a prescription in rural and northern communities in the province.
Rochelle Squires, minister responsible for the status of women, cited a recent update from Health Canada that says women no longer need an ultrasound before they're prescribed Mifegymiso as one factor in the decision.
Mifegymiso is the brand name for the combination of two pills--one containing mifepristone and the other misoprostol It is used to terminate pregnancies up to nine weeks and was approved by Health Canada in 2017.
In Manitoba, Mifegymiso can be dispensed directly to patients by pharmacists or it can be prescribed by a doctor or nurse practitioner. Pharmacists who do not want to dispense the drug are required to "ensure that patients are able to obtain services from another pharmacist or pharmacy in a reasonable timeframe "
Saskatchewan also made the drug universally available in June. With legal obstacles now removed, obstacles posed by health care providers who do not want to prescribe the abortion pill are the next challenge.