Pro-choice advocates are celebrating the government of Saskatchewan after it decided to fully fund the cost of the abortion pill Mifegymiso, which effectively makes the drug free throughout Canada.
According to CTV News, Saskatchewan is the last province to introduce universal coverage of the drug, which is taken in a combination of two pills.
“This was not just about a medication getting covered,” said Frederique Chabot of Action Canada for Sexual Health and Rights. “It was about addressing an equity issue across the country.”
This Friday, Saskatchewan Health Minister Jim Reiter said that there were a variety of factors that led to his decision to fund Mifegymiso.
“This is a very divisive issue. It is an issue where you are not going to make everyone happy. Federal law has made it very clear that abortion needs to be provided. This is a less invasive way of doing that,” Reiter said according to the CBC.
Before the approval, Mifegymiso cost up to $350 for patients who didn’t fall into a low-income bracket or who didn’t have private insurance.
Speaking to the CBC, Saskatchewan medical student Lara Witt said the decision was reason to celebrate.
“We’re very excited, we’re very pleased. It’s been the result of a collective advocacy effort of many different groups over the past couple years since Mife[gymiso] was brought into Canada,” she said.
Mifegymiso contains two different medications that are taken separately: mifepristone and misoprostol. Mifepristone belongs to the class of medications called “progesterone receptor modulators” and works by disrupting the bodily hormone progesterone. Misoprostol belongs to the class of medications called prostaglandins and works by causing muscle contractions in the uterus, relaxation of the opening of the cervix, and shedding of the endometrium.
The drug combination terminates a developing pregnancy up to 63 days from the start of a woman’s last menstrual period.
Featured image via Flickr