Health Minister Sarah Hoffman “Alberta women should get free abortion pills”

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Alberta Health Minister Sarah Hoffman says all women in Alberta should have access to the Mifepristone pill.

Mifepristone, also known as RU-486, is a medication typically used with misoprostol to bring about an abortion. This combination is more than 95% effective during the first 50 days of pregnancy. It is also effective in the second trimester of pregnancy. Two weeks after use effectiveness should be verified. It is taken by mouth.

Mifepristone was developed in 1980 and came into use in France in 1987. It became available in the United States in 2000.  It is on the World Health Organization’s List of Essential Medicines, the most effective and safe medicines needed in a health system. Mifepristone was approved by Health Canada in 2015 and became available in Canada in January 2017.  Cost and availability limits access in many parts of the developing world. In the United States it costs more than US$200 (equivalent to $202.08 in 2016) a dose.

Hoffman says the pill is coming soon, possibly within a few weeks.

(Calgary Herald) “Any women who live in Alberta — I don’t care where you live, I don’t actually care whether you’re yet a citizen — they have the right to access this,” Hoffman said during a panel discussion at the Chateau Lacombe Hotel about mifegymiso.

Refugees, university students covered by other provincial health plans, and other women should all have free access in the province, she said.

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