Gaétan Barrette says Bill 20 won't limit abortion access

Health Minister Gaétan Barrette is denying the government is moving to limit abortions for women, after a group of doctors and health professionals raised concern medical reforms under Bill 20 will have an impact on access.

Health minister downplays concerns Bill 20 will make it harder to get an abortion

Quebec Health Minister Gaétan Barrette says the government has no plans to limit access to abortion. (Jacques Boissinot/Canadian Press)

Health Minister Gaétan Barrette is denying a report he’s moving to limit abortions for women.

Barrette was responding to concerns from a group of doctors and health professionals who say medical reforms under Bill 20 will have an impact on access to abortions.

The group cites a ministerial document which says there will be a cap system in place for doctors who perform abortions, and that performing an abortions will no longer be considered a "priority medical activity” under the new rules. 

But Barrette told Daybreak on Wednesday the government is not planning to limit access to abortions under Bill 20. 

He said potential quotas would only apply to new doctors entering the system. Doctors who currently have a practice in performing abortions and family planning will be exempt.

“There is no intention on our part to limit modify or do whatever to impede access to abortion in this province,” he said.

“As a matter of fact, things would improve with this bill.”

Still, advocates are worried.

Anne-Marie Messier, director of the community clinic Centre de santé des femmes, said doctors who perform abortions will have to spend more time doing other duties in hospitals if Bill 20 is put into law. 

"We have a very good system for abortion and contraception in Quebec," said Messier.  

"And why change all this? Really... we will have to go back."


To encourage thoughtful and respectful conversations, first and last names will appear with each submission to CBC/Radio-Canada's online communities (except in children and youth-oriented communities). Pseudonyms will no longer be permitted.

By submitting a comment, you accept that CBC has the right to reproduce and publish that comment in whole or in part, in any manner CBC chooses. Please note that CBC does not endorse the opinions expressed in comments. Comments on this story are moderated according to our Submission Guidelines. Comments are welcome while open. We reserve the right to close comments at any time.

Become a CBC Member

Join the conversation  Create account

Already have an account?