While Republican-run U.S. states are in a race to the bottom to see who can punish women the most for the crime of getting pregnant against their will, it’s a very different story up north.
Yesterday, the government of Saskatchewan agreed to cover the costs of the abortion pill Mifegymiso. It comes nearly a week after Manitoba did the same thing.
That means all of Canada now provides universal coverage for abortions through its health care system.
[Saskatchewan] Health Minister Jim Reiter said Friday a variety of factors led to his decision to approve universal access.
“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.
Reiter said when other province’s increased access to Mifegymiso, it did not lead to a rise in the number of abortions but shifted them away from surgical procedures.
That last part deserves to be restated: When abortion pills became more widely accessible, they did not lead to more abortions. Instead, they led to safer abortions. The next step is to make sure birth control is also free and easily accessible for people; that would undoubtedly reduce the number of abortions altogether.
You would think the anti-abortion zealots would welcome such a plan in the U.S., but we live in a country where federal funding for abortion is literally banned due to the Hyde Amendment. (Democrats running for president have vowed to overturn that idiotic rule, if given the chance.)
The Saskatchewan decision occurred in part because only offering surgical abortions was seen as a violation of the Canada Health Act. The pill is also waaaaaay cheaper. In essence, this was a logical, evidence-based move that was only hampered by those who hold irrational views about abortion, as if having one is some kind of sin akin to murder.
If only Republicans cared that much about their own constituents. Instead, they’re falling over each other to sponsor legislation to torture underage rape victims by forcing them to give birth against their will. They’re eager to prove that they’re only “pro-life” when it comes to fetuses, because they don’t give a damn how many women die because of their policies.
(Image via Shutterstock. Thanks to Dorothy and Jay for the link)