Key findings from Jessica Shaw's report

Researched between January 2006 and August 2006, Shaw's report looks at the accessibility of hospital abortion services in each province and territory, highlighting barriers that women across the country may face.

Some key findings include:

Only 15.9 per cent of Canadian hospitals offer abortion, down from the 17.8 per cent in 2003. Further, the hospitals offering the service are disproportionately dispersed across the country.

Women's experience varies from province to province, but the maximum wait time for an abortion in Canada was six weeks.

Many women across the country still face limitations from anti-choice health-care professionals, bad referrals unexpected costs and travel considerations. Many women seeking abortion face disrespect from doctors and from their communities.


New Brunswick:

The report finds that only four per cent of New Brunswick hospitals provide access to abortion services, which, along with Manitoba, is the lowest in Canada.

New Brunswick has the most restrictive policies regarding abortion in Canada. The government will not pay for abortion unless it is performed within a hospital, before 12 weeks gestation and approved by two different medical doctors.

In Fredericton, a private Morgentaler clinic performs abortion on a self-referral basis, but women pay out-of-pocket. Fees range about $550 to $750, depending on how far along the pregnancy.

Last spring, Dr. Henry Morgentaler (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Henry_Morgentaler)'s long-standing lawsuit (http://www.cbc.ca/canada/new-brunswick/story/2009/05/21/morgentaler-abortion-fredericton.html) against the government of New Brunswick was given the go-ahead by the New Brunswick Court of Appeal. Morgentaler is charging the province for failing to fund abortions performed at his Fredericton clinic.

 

Newfoundland and Labrador:

Only three hospitals in Newfoundland provide abortion, two of which are located in St. John's. There are no abortion services in Labrador.

The majority of hospitals contacted were unwilling to provide information about where abortions were available, or to give referrals.

70 per cent of the hospital staff that answered the phone did not know if abortion services were offered at their hospital.

75 per cent of hospital staff refused to speak to Shaw after determining the purpose of her call.

 

P.E.I.:

Abortion services are not available anywhere in the province. The majority of hospitals will not provide information or referrals.

The closest hospital to accept women from P.E,I. is the QEII Health Sciences Centre in Halifax. An out-of-province woman seeking an abortion must pay roughly $660, unless a PEI doctor deems her abortion "medically necessary" and requests that the P.E.I. Department of Health give her funding.

Women in P.E.I. often travel to Halifax just to get a doctor referral, as it can be difficult to find one in their own province.

 

 

 

 

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