Government is supporting more choice for women by making Mifegymiso, commonly known as the abortion pill, available to Nova Scotia women at no cost.
Mifegymiso is a drug combination taken to medically terminate an early pregnancy of up to 49 days. Beginning in November, Nova Scotia women with a valid health card and prescription will be able to get the drug for free at pharmacies across the province.
“We’re supporting more choice for women when it comes to their reproductive health,” said Kelly Regan, Minister responsible for the Status of Women. “This will ensure all Nova Scotia women have access to this option.”
Government estimates the cost to be between $175,000 and $200,000 per year. Women with private insurance coverage will use that first, before government coverage is accessed.
Mifegymiso must be prescribed by a physician. An ultrasound is required to rule out potential health risks and confirm gestational age. Prescriptions can be filled at pharmacies across the province.
Government has been working with the Nova Scotia Health Authority to improve access to abortion services and bring Nova Scotia more in line with other jurisdictions.
The decision has been made to remove the requirement for a physician’s referral to obtain a surgical abortion at the Termination of Pregnancy Unit (TPU) at the Queen Elizabeth II Health Sciences Centre in Halifax.
Women will be able to refer themselves directly to the TPU, where they will be seen by a physician to begin the process.
The Nova Scotia Health Authority will also set up a single phone line that women across the province can call to make appointments and seek advice. Additional staff will be hired at the clinic to support self-referrals. The health authority will update women on progress and when self-referrals will be accepted, which is expected in the next few months.
“I’m pleased to see that government is acting to offer women in Nova Scotia more choice,” said Michelle Kelly, chair of the Nova Scotia Advisory Council on the Status of Women. “Providing universal coverage for Mifegymiso and improving access to abortion services are positive steps forward for Nova Scotia women.”