Featured Image

REGINA, June 12, 2019 (LifeSiteNews) — Saskatchewan has become the last Canadian province to pay for abortion drugs under its provincial health care insurance plan.

Saskatchewan Party health minister Jim Reiter announced June 7 that his government is fully covering Mifegymiso effective immediately, Global News reported.

The Saskatchewan government’s move came shortly after Manitoba’s Progressive Conservatives announced June 1 that it would be covering the cost of the two-drug combination.

Mifegymiso, the Canadian brand name for a combination of Mifepristone (RU-486) and Misoprostol, is intended to be prescribed to kill unborn children up to nine weeks gestation.

Saskatchewan has been paying for medical abortions in some circumstances since 2017, with “registered low-income earners” eligible “for a $2 prescription” of the abortion drug, which has an estimated retail cost of $360, according to the CBC.

“This is a very divisive issue. It’s not going to be an issue [where] you can make everyone happy,” Reiter told Global News.

“This is simply I’d say a less invasive way of doing that, and I hope people understand. These are [the] kind of issues not everyone is going to agree on. The decision is landed on now and we’re going to move forward,” he said.

A group of University of Saskatchewan medical students had been lobbying for full coverage of the abortion drug. 

READ: Saskatchewan under pressure as last province not fully funding abortion pill

Lara Witt, a member of the group, told Global News that women would “have to drive all the way to the centres” in Saskatoon and Regina “and go through approximately a million referrals” to abort their children.

A medical abortion “is actually cheaper for the province” than a surgical abortion, Witt said.

“It’s a bit safer, because it’s not a full-blown surgical procedure, and it’s a little bit more private for that woman. She can do it in her home community in her house,” she said.

Dr Megan Clark from Women’s Health Centre, the abortion facility at the Regina General Hospital, stated in a brief to the Ministry of Health that a medical abortion costs $450 less than a surgical abortion, Global News reported.

Clark estimated that if Mifegymiso “was used for the 93 abortions the centre provided last year in the drug’s effective time frame, it would have saved $42,000 at the publicly funded facility,” it stated.

Saskatchewan’s rural and remote health minister, Greg Ottenbreit, green-lighted by Campaign Life Coalition as pro-life, said his views would not affect the coverage decision, Global News reported.

Pro-life groups have been warning for years that Mifegymiso is not only lethal to the unborn child, but dangerous for the mother.

Heavy bleeding, nausea, vomiting, and painful uterine contractions are common side-effects of RU-486, one of the two drugs that make up Mifegymiso. As of 2011, fourteen U.S. women had died after taking RU-486, and a total of 2,207 reported adverse effects after using the drug have been noted, according to a report from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

Other cases of maternal deaths linked to RU-486 can be found here, here, here, and here.

“Besides having the purpose of killing an innocent human being, Mifegymiso is also well-known to have dangerous side effects on the women who take it,” Campaign Life’s Josie Luetke told LifeSiteNews in an earlier interview.

That’s “especially concerning given the many rural women in Saskatchewan who do not have easy access to a hospital,” she said.