Still no sign of ‘abortion pill’ funding in Nova Scotia

Click to play video: 'Sexual health advocates push for ‘abortion pill’ coverage by Nova Scotia government' Sexual health advocates push for ‘abortion pill’ coverage by Nova Scotia government
WATCH ABOVE: Sexual health advocates are calling on the Nova Scotia government to follow the lead of other provinces in funding “abortion pill” Mifegymiso. Jennifer Grudic tells us more – Aug 9, 2017

With Ontario poised to begin funding abortion pill Mifegymiso on Thursday, sexual health advocates are once again looking for answers from the Nova Scotia government.

Shannon Hardy is an abortion doula and leads the Maritime Abortion Support Services. She says its time Nova Scotia takes a lesson the provinces already covering the drug, including neighbouring New Brunswick.

“We’re mostly a rural province and this drug was created to break down barriers for people residing in rural locations,” Hardy said, adding people seeking surgical abortions in Halifax often have to take time off work, arrange for daycare and pay for travel costs.

“We have people travelling eight hours [for surgical abortions]. That’s not really sort of the idea of universal healthcare.”

READ MORE: Ontario women to get free access to abortion drug Mifegymiso

In a statement to Global News, a spokesperson with the Department of Health and Wellness said:

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“Mifegymiso is currently available in Nova Scotia, and is covered by some private drug plans. It is not currently covered by our Pharmacare programs. Like other provinces, the Nova Scotia government is looking at coverage for Mifegymiso, but a decision has not yet been made.”

Hardy says there is a sense of urgency for some of her clients living in rural areas.

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

“I had somebody call me from some place in Cape Breton. They tried to get services in Sydney and couldn’t,” she said.

“I called and said I have a client who needs to come in for an ultrasound and blood work so that they can come in for a termination. They said we have nothing to do with terminations, ‘click’.”

Although Mifegymiso is available from some Nova Scotia pharmacies, it can cost upwards of $300.

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