In this Gazette story, Health & Social Services Minister Yves Bolduc backtracks on his new bill to impose new regulations on private clinics in Quebec, including abortion clinics.
Bill 34 requires all private clinics that perform operations/surgeries to upgrade their standards to those of specialized operating rooms. This means that all special medical clinics would have to pay for these upgrades, which maybe makes sense if they offer knee surgeries, but abortions are actually a relatively uncomplicated medical procedure.
Now the gov’t is backing off a bit, in response to criticisms from the abortion clinics themselves, community groups like Head & Hands, the College of Physicians, and the Quebec Federation of Specialists.
Here’s what Bolduc’s press aide says:
[The new regulations] were standard norms for all. What we have seen is the norms, as applied to abortion clinics, are maybe not necessary.
The reform could force Montreal clinics like l’Alternative and Morgentaler to shut down if they can’t absorb the costs!
Shutting down even one abortion clinic in this city represents a huge loss, not to mention in Quebec’s rural areas. Specialized abortion clinics tend to offer a more empowering approach to women’s health, usually because women know that all the staff there support their right to choose. And it’s not a medicalized, hospital-like environment, which is freaky enough in itself. Plus, abortions are now covered under public medical insurance even when it takes place in a private clinic.
Turning abortion clinics into operating rooms OR shutting them down? That’s what I call a restriction on women’s access to reproductive choice.
Check out our own Jos on CTV and then again on Global, talking about this issue when it first hit the fan.
The bill was scheduled to pass on Sept. 30th, but it looks like it will have to be seriously revised before then.
Hard to say if this move was underhanded or just an oversight, but we all know that women’s reproductive freedom is far from secure. Bill C-484, anyone?