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Abortion pill to be available free in Quebec

This Sept. 22, 2010 file photo shows bottles of the abortion-inducing drug RU-486 in Des Moines, Iowa. Mifegymiso is a combination of mifepristone and misoprostol better known as RU-486 designed to terminate a pregnancy within its first 49 days.
This Sept. 22, 2010 file photo shows bottles of the abortion-inducing drug RU-486 in Des Moines, Iowa. Mifegymiso is a combination of mifepristone and misoprostol better known as RU-486 designed to terminate a pregnancy within its first 49 days. Charlie Neibergall/AP Photo

Abortion pill Mifegymiso will be made available free of charge to women across the province, announced Quebec Health Minister Gaétan Barrette. Thursday.

It could be available as early as fall 2017 for women who are less than seven weeks pregnant.

The program will be administered by Quebec’s health insurance board (RAMQ), thus allowing for greater access to the drug across the province.

READ MORE: How the ‘abortion pill’ Mifegymiso could change reproductive health

Mifegymiso was approved as a non-surgical abortion option by Health Canada in 2015.

Barrette touted the pill’s safety, saying it provides women with additional options.

“The analyses we have conducted on the pill have confirmed its safety and efficiency and therefore we have decided to offer it free of charge,” Barrette said in a written statement.

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“It is good news for all Quebec women who will want to use the pill rather than have recourse to traditional abortion methods.”

READ MORE: Ontario government to make abortion pill Mifegymiso free for all who need it

Barrette warned however that implementing the program could take a few months, as the different professional orders including doctors and pharmacists, need to come up with guidelines for their members before the pill is offered to patients.

READ MORE: B.C. doctors oppose Health Canada over dispensing abortion pill

Quebec follows in the footsteps of Ontario, Alberta, Manitoba and New Brunswick, who have all announced provincial programs to make the pill universally available.

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