Prince Edward Island is by far the smallest Canadian province. You see most of it by bicycle within a week.
This has profound consequences on people seeking abortions, as The Sovereign Uterus attests.
I found out I was pregnant when I was 38. It wasn’t for lack of birth control, but as we know….that isn’t 100% foolproof. My doctor told me that I could have an abortion in Halifax, but I knew that with me working for the Dept. of Health….there would be a paper trail. I decided to go to Fredericton, to a private clinic.
Bear in mind, Canada is one of the only countries with no law regarding abortion. That doesn’t make us a utopia, though; on the contrary, with no law saying they must provide abortions, the most religious provinces have been shirking their responsibilities, our country’s sheer size and emptiness combine to severely restrict access in rural areas, and medical associations have ever-shifting cutoffs for when their doctors can refuse abortions (that aren’t well-known to the public, with tragic consequences).
Limited access to abortion services in PEI restricted my mother’s capacity to seek a medical abortion until it was beyond safe to have the procedure. From what I know she paid out of pocket to go to the mainland to have a medical abortion only to be denied the procedure due to safety concerns.
It’s also much easier for anti-choice doctors and nurses to cast shame, misery, and roadblocks.
Three days later I received a call from the nurse at my family doctors office. She confirmed the test results were positive. I told her that I was very seriously considering an abortion and asked to schedule an appointment to discuss it with my doctor and to get the first of my required signators to have the procedure done in Halifax. The tone of the nurse immediately changed. I was told that as a young, healthy woman my doctor would not agree to sign off on my abortion as it was not ‘medically necessary’. I was absolutely crushed. I hit my lowest point. I was becoming desperate.
Canadians should care deeply about abortion access, and overcome their complacency and ignorance to fight for better access and no stigma.