New abortion pill to be covered on STU health plan

Andrea Guevara’s comment in a previous version of this story was deleted because it misrepresented her views

The new abortion pill Mifegymiso will now be covered by the student health care plan, following changes approved by Campus Trust, the university’s health insurance provider.

Changes to the plan were approved by the board of trustees late January of this year. The board saw it as an inexpensive way to make safe abortions more accessible to students, and now every school involved with the Trust will be covering its usage.

“I’d say, going forward, things are definitely going to get better for STU students,” said Philippe Ferland, vice-president administration of the St. Thomas University Students’ Union.

Usage of the drug was approved by Health Canada in July 2015, but due to several roadblocks, its release was delayed until January of this year. St. Thomas plans to offer 100 per cent coverage of the pill with a five dollar co-pay of up to $10,000, but acquiring the pill is still subject to provincial law.

As Ferland said, “This doesn’t act as a loop hole here in New Brunswick, but in terms of being able to afford an abortion, it makes it way easier to pay.”

Mifegymiso is the combination of two drugs, Mifepristone and Misoprostol. It acts as a full abortion procedure when taken under doctor supervision. It requires a doctor’s prescription, and administration should occur within the first 49 days of pregnancy to avoid complications.

Along with the inclusion of Mifegymiso, increase in coverage options is being considered by STUSU. An increase in fees for health and dental will also be discussed around March.

Changes to the health plan will be effective by the start of the 2017 school year. Details about the current health plan can be found at the University Students Health Center and the Help Desk located in Sir James Dunn Hall, or online at studentbenefits.ca.

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  • Sara

    It’s sad to hear STUSU supports these types of initiatives instead of using those funds to support in other ways women who get pregnant. I hope STUSU is also working to provide better counseling and support for students who get pregnant or decide to take the abortion pill. The “problem” isn’t just solved when the abortion pill accomplishes its objective and I hope STUSU is working to create awareness about the after effects of this pill on women’s mental and physical health.

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