Despite the lack of support for surgical abortions here on PEI, it is possible to obtain a chemically induced abortion. According to reports in both CBC and The Guardian. Both are reporting that at least one doctor will administer the drugs. In a statement that is common in many places, the woman refused to identify herself for the protection of the physician.
One local woman, who has several small children already and was not prepared for another child, underwent this procedure last fall. In an interview Monday, she asked for anonymity to protect the identity of the doctor who administered the procedure.
She said she was desperate for a way out of the pregnancy at the time and was thankful to have found this option. It did not require the expense and hassle of travelling off-Island to have an abortion in a clinic or a hospital.
“I have no idea what I would have done without that doctor. I can literally say he probably saved my life,” the woman said Monday. “I was looking on the Internet for ways to self-abort or where I could buy this medication. Who knows what I would have been getting? I was feeling pretty depressed. I just couldn’t see a way out and he was my last hope.”
The procedure itself was a simple one, she explained, and one she has no regrets about.
But she said she remains concerned for other P.E.I. women who may not be aware this procedure is available or who may not have access to a physician willing to administer this form of abortion.
I wonder how difficult is it for a women to find a physician who will administer these drugs, or at the very least refer her to one who will. A trip to Health PEI won’t be any help either.
Dr. Richard Wedge, acting CEO of Health P.E.I., said Monday he was not aware of any physicians in P.E.I. currently performing this procedure, although he admitted he would not necessarily be made aware if they were.
If a doctor wants to offer this service, they are free to do so, he said.
“These are commonly available medications, and if someone decided to start offering this service, I’m sure they would have gone and learned about it, figured out how to do it and started offering it,” Wedge said.
The reason Health PEI doesn’t track these procedures is because the medications have other uses and they don’t attach diagnosis to prescriptions. It takes courage for a woman to stand up and say she had an abortion, but it takes just as much for doctors to stand up and publicly offer the service.