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June 2, 2015
For immediate release
Province addresses barriers to abortion access
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The province has established a new arrangement with The Moncton Hospital to provide timely access to abortion services for Island women. The arrangement will enable Island women to directly access the service in Moncton and have the procedure covered by P.E.I. Medicare by presenting their P.E.I. health card. The arrangement will formally begin July 1, 2015.
Island women will be able to navigate access by calling a toll-free number and making an appointment at The Moncton Hospital. Women will be able to access the service directly without a doctor’s referral or a medical office signature, or going through the preliminary steps that have been required.
“Prince Edward Island government has an obligation to be in line with the Charter of Rights and Freedoms,” said Premier Wade MacLauchlan. “This new arrangement removes barriers similar to those identified in the 1988 Morgentaler decision and provides women access to confidential and quality care.”
Currently, the Prince Edward Island government provides coverage for abortions at the QEII Hospital in Halifax.
“This process allows for more timely access and less stress for Island women,” said Health and Wellness Minister Doug Currie. “While it isn’t everything that some groups were advocating for, it is a step forward to improving access to specialized care and ensuring continuity of this service.”
Government will ensure that Island women have clear, accessible information on how to access abortion services. The Department of Health and Wellness will work with stakeholders, including Health PEI, the Medical Society, and community organizations, to make information easily accessible.
“Today’s announcement will improve health outcomes for Island women. We will continue to work with our stakeholder groups to improve access to reproductive care,” said Minister Responsible for the Status of Women Paula Biggar.