Health PEI says it has no idea how many drug-induced abortions take place in the province, while surgical abortions remain unavailable.


Medical abortions on P.E.I. are probably uncommon, says Richard Wedge, acting CEO of Health PEI. (CBC)

Women seeking a surgical abortion have to travel to the mainland, either for a provincially-funded procedure in hospital in Halifax, or at the Morgentaler clinic in Fredericton. In either case the women must cover their own travel costs.

On Monday CBC News spoke to an Island woman who had been given a prescription for a medical abortion on P.E.I. A medical abortion uses two different drugs to end an early pregnancy.

Richard Wedge, acting CEO of Health PEI, said the agency does not track this kind of procedure in the province, but he believes it is uncommon.

"I'm not aware of actually any physicians that are actively promoting this kind of treatment," said Wedge.

"It's quite likely that somebody could learn about it, keep the medications in their office or provide prescriptions for women to go to the stores, but we don't track it and we don't have any organized clinic for medical abortions."

Health PEI does not track medical abortions because the drugs are also used to treat other conditions such as cancer.

A medical abortion must be done before the pregnancy reaches seven weeks. As with surgical abortions, there is nothing illegal about a physician prescribing the pills for the procedure.

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