Today marks the 21st anniversary of R. v. Morgentaler, the Supreme Court ruling that decriminalized abortion in Canada. This landmark decision has undoubtedly protected the health and saved the lives of countless women, and was named as one of the most important and influential Charter cases of the last 25 years.
But access remains a problem, she says, particularly in rural Canada, PEI, and especially New Brunswick, Canada's answer to Kansas.
But here's another access problem I wasn't aware of (emphasis mine):
Women not living in their home province or territory also face challenges because abortion is not part of the inter-provincial billing agreement. In fact, abortion is the only time-sensitive and medically necessary procedure excluded from the list of services on the inter-provincial billing agreement.
This policy forces students attending school in another province or women who have recently moved and are in the process of transitioning their health-care benefits to pay the full cost of their abortion care out-of-pocket, or incur additional expenses travelling back to their home province in order to obtain a publicly funded abortion.
Funny, innit? The only time-sensitive and medically necessary procedure NOT included in the agreement happens to be one affecting women only.
I wonder how people would react if, say, prostate cancer surgery were excluded from the inter-provinical billing agreement.
*sigh* We've still got a long way to go, baby.
But still, on this anniversary, we celebrate 21 years of lawlessness in Canada.