Since the Quiet Revolution, Quebec has prided itself on being a progressive province. Quebec jurors refused to convict Dr. Henry Morgentaler of a crime when abortion was still in the Criminal Code. Quebec was one of the first provinces to accept gay marriage.
Yet Quebec remains the one province in the country to require a prescription (from a pharmacist) for Plan B, an emergency contraceptive. Despite medical evidence that puts Plan B roughly on the same level of dangerousness as Aspirin , Quebec’s more than 7,200 pharmacists remain unwilling to give women the right to decide on their own to use this drug.
Used within less than 72 hours of unprotected sex the drug lowers the chance of pregnancy to less than 11 per cent. If taken within 24 hours of sex, chances drop to less than five per cent.
Plan B (the morning-after pill) works by preventing ovulation, fertilization and implantation. It will not provoke the abortion of an implanted egg.
When the morning-after pill is available only from behind the pharmacy counter, pharmacists can make women answer questions about their sexual history.
In the United States, research shows that over-the counter access to Plan B could prevent as many as 1.5 million unplanned pregnancies and up to 700,000 abortions. (Where does Pro-life stand on this issue?)
In the last three years, nearly 640,000 pills have been dispensed in Canada. The president of the Quebec Catholic Parents’ Association says the drug will isolate teenagers from their parents. “The pill leaves the child alone to deal with the problem,” The Canadian Conferencee of Catholic Bishops is expected to address the issue later this year.
Do you see any reason why Plan B – the morning-after pill – should not be readily available over the counter to women in Quebec?