Wednesday, 3 June 2015

PEI: Tiny Step Forward But Not Nearly Enough

First, the good news. After more than 30 years, the women of Prince Edward Island have regained a tiny bit of autonomy.

The Province of P.E.I. has made arrangements with Moncton Hospital to provide access to abortions without a referral from a doctor or Health PEI.

The new system will allow P.E.I. women to call a toll-free number and make an appointment for an abortion at the Moncton N.B. hospital.
Like women in the rest of Canada, PEI women will now be able to make up their own damn minds about their reproductive lives and self-refer for abortion. The new arrangements also mean they don't have go through a demeaning and deliberately shaming run-around to get preliminary bloodwork and unnecessary ultrasounds done on the Island as detailed so heartbreakingly in stories at The Sovereign Uterus.

The bad news is:

The trip to Moncton is about two hours shorter than the trip to Halifax, but still entails a $45 bridge toll, gas money, time off work, child care arrangements, and if the timing doesn't work, overnight accommodation.

None of which is paid for under the new deal.

And what if someone doesn't have access to a vehicle? And what if one has the bad luck to need an abortion in shitty weather when the bridge closes?

And the new arrangements do nothing about abysmal abortion after-care described by Courtney Cudmore.

And the government still refuses to explain why it rejects an alternative plan to offer abortion services in PEI that would have cut the stress and costs on patients and actually save money.

Of course, the fetus freaks are whining.

Opponents of abortion are denouncing the P.E.I. government’s easing of access to abortion services for Island women, saying the changes will create ‘abortion on demand.’

Holly Pierlot, president of the P.E.I. Right To Life Association, says her organization is ‘extremely disappointed’ by the announcement Tuesday that P.E.I. has a new agreement with Moncton Hospital allowing P.E.I. women to call toll-free to arrange an abortion without first having to get two doctor’s referrals, an ultrasound and blood work, as is the current requirement for abortions in Halifax.

“Without a doctor’s referral, it effectively makes it abortion on demand,” Pierlot says.
Eeek! Abortion on demand!!!!

Yes, exactly like all other Canadians.

And don't forget: Abortion was available on PEI until 1982 when an unholy alliance was made between the Catlick hospital and the secular one, with the province bending over for the Catlick demand of "no abortions ever."

Self-referral is good. End to the gleeful runaround perpetrated by fetus freaks in the healthcare system is good. Shorter trip is good.

But not good enough.

PEI women are entitled to the same services as all other Canadians.

And you can bet your ass they're working on it and will win.

BONUS: Good overview of abortion access in Canada.

ADDED: No Province Should Deny Women Abortions

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