Obstacles to abortion, even here

Troubles in abortion, even here


Access to the abortion pill is still too restricted in Quebec, deplore two women who initially faced refusals from doctors to obtain the abortion of their choice. < /p>

” I was forced to take an option that was more psychologically damaging for me “, denounces the Beauceronne Jade Arsenault Bérubé, who experienced a voluntary termination of pregnancy (IVG) last September.< /p>

Although she only exceeded the nine-week deadline for receiving the abortion pill by a few days, two clinics in Lévis and Beauce refused to prescribe it for her.

In Quebec, this nine-week deadline is imposed by the College of Physicians (CMQ). 

But with the delays caused by the pandemic in the health system, the Society of Obstetricians and Gynecologists of Canada has issued guidelines allowing professionals to go up to 10 and even 11 weeks to safely prescribe abortion. by medication.

After these two refusals, it was finally a Montreal doctor who allowed Ms. Arsenault Bérubé to obtain the abortion pill, following a telephone consultation, barely two days before reaching 10 weeks.

But she also had to travel by car to Quebec to obtain the drug from a pharmacy; the place closest to her home, in Beauce, but still 60 km away.

Cold act

The mother-of-two had previously undergone an aspiration abortion as a teenager and she refused to relive it, deeming it a “cold, unloving act”.

She had even resigned herself to giving birth until an ultrasound revealed twins. 

At that time, Ms Arsenault confided that she was not well and that her couple was also beating the wing, and that she saw herself unable to welcome these children into her life.

“But I was never offered the pill,” she laments, adding that there was a three-week deadline for in-clinic abortion.

This n It is only with the help of the organization Les Passeuses, which offers voluntary support to women wishing to have an abortion, that she was able to assert her rights, she says.

“&nbsp ;It was as sad as it was perfect,” she continues, on her abortion at home, without complications.

Strong refusal

A resident of Rimouski, Andrée-Ann Paradis was categorically refused to obtain the abortion pill.

The ultrasound estimated her pregnancy at 10 weeks, based on the size of the fetus and her last period. 

The 31-year-old knew her pregnancy was no more than nine weeks old, having had sex only once in the weeks before and after.

“I tried to explain it several times, but it was always no”, she breathes.

On the other hand, she was offered to be accompanied to the clinic to undergo the abortion by aspiration. 

A candy, she says, to compensate for the fact that she was refused the abortion of her choice.

“Because I stubbornly insisted on the pill and they refused to give it to me,” she explains, as other women have confided in her that they don't ever be offered the same thing.

Abortion comes with a “package of thoughts, questions and doubts” underlines Ms. Paradis, who would like women to be listened to and supported more in the process. 


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  • Marketed in Canada as Mifegymiso and available since 2017
  • Can be taken up to 63 days or less of pregnancy
  • In the form of two drugs taken 24 h or 48 h apart at home
  • The abortion pill was prescribed only 670 times in 2020, or 4 % of all voluntary terminations of pregnancy, according to RAMQ data. 
  • Last June 29 , a letter signed by 262 Quebec doctors was sent to the CMQ, asking to stop requiring specific training and to withdraw the obligation to do an ultrasound in all cases to prescribe the abortion pill, recalling that it is are restrictions unique to Canada.