OTTAWA, May 18, 2004 ( – Just weeks after the US Government decided against over the counter availability for the abortifacient morning after pill, based on health concerns for women and teens, the Canadian Government has proposed allowing unrestricted access to the powerful drugs.  Health Minister Pierre Pettigrew announced today a proposal to amend the Food and Drug Regulations to allow the abortifacient morning after pill to be sold without a prescription in pharmacies across Canada. The proposal suggests that pharmacists advise women about the drugs before dispensing them.  A consultation period, beginning May 22, will give the public 75 days to voice their concerns about the proposal before the amendment takes effect.  Pro-life groups denounced the decision and are encouraging all Canadians concerned about the health of women and respect for the life of the unborn to contact Health Canada to voice their objections.  Pettigrew claimed falsely that, “making the drug available in pharmacies without a prescription will help women to prevent unwanted pregnancies.”  However, the pill only prevents pregnancy some of the time.  The pill works as an abortifacient when ovulation has already occurred, by weakening the lining of the uterus thus causing death to the already conceived child.  Reacting to the announcement, Jim Hughes, National President of Campaign Life Coalition(CLC) said, “Has this government gone mad? If conception has already taken place, this pill will prevent the child who has been conceived from implanting in the mother’s womb.  This is not prevention of a pregnancy but an abortifacient and the death of the child. The drug companies stand to make a fortune on this.”  Karen Murawsky, Public Affairs Director for CLC said, “Are we to believe that the Minister of Health is concerned about the women of Canada?  The ‘morning after pill’ is a double dose contraceptive. Even the regular birth control pill causes blood clots and strokes. This cocktail is doubly dangerous and now is to be given out without a prescription.”  Campaign Life Coalition calls for a reversal of this plan by the Health Minister in the interest of both any conceived children destroyed by the pills and in the interest of the health of the women taking the dangerous pills.

Health Canada’s Emmanuel Chabot told that the contact info for the public to express their concerns about the proposal would be available on Saturday May 22.  CLC suggests critics prepare now to send letters, faxes and emails and to make phone calls.

See related LifeSite coverage:  Doctor’s Prescriptions Protect Women from Risks of Morning-After Pill Canadian Physicians for Life on Morning After Pill American Bioethics Commission website on the Morning After Pill


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