Quebec Health Minister wants easier access to late-term abortions

Health Minister Danielle McCann believes there should be more accessibility to late-term abortions, pointing to study finding there is sufficient services.

Health Minister Danielle McCann believes there should be more accessibility to late-term abortions in Quebec, pointing to a study claiming there is not a sufficient amount of late-term abortion services.

McCann points to a recent report commissioned by the College of Physicians by the clinical ethics working group as reported by La Presse, which explains that services for abortions in the third trimester are harder to access than abortions in the first and second trimesters, when most abortions occur.

According to the report, pregnant women have been turned away from hospitals in Canada due to doctors not wanting to abort third-trimester abortions due to the stigma that surrounds them.

When McCann was asked about the study at the National Assembly of Quebec this Wednesday, the health minister said that she was looking into creating what she called an “additional team” that would travel from one establishment to another to conduct the abortions.

Liberal Minister Gaetan Barrette did confirm that doctors are generally “uncomfortable” with doing late-term abortions.

McCann has served on the National Assembly of Quebec since 2018, the province which according to a 2014 study, has the highest abortion rate in the country.

A report by sexologist Sylvie Levesque reports that 12.5 percent of students surveyed said they have had an abortion. Amongst those who have had an abortion, 16 percent said they have had two, while seven percent said they had three and 4.4 percent said they had four or more abortions.

That survey was conducted with 2,345 students, and was consistent with other studies by the University of Ottawa that found Quebec had the highest abortion rate—a province where over one in four pregnancies end in abortion, compared to the national average of one in five.