Quebec's health minister wants to increase access to late-term abortions

Can prenatal stress have a lasting effect on the offspring? © DragonImages/Istock.com

Health Minister Danielle McCann wants more doctors to perform late-term abortions, pointing to a report commissioned by the College of Physicians that claims there are insufficient and disorganized services in this area.

A report by the clinical ethics working group of the College of Physicians, first reported by La Presse, paints a picture of services that are not very accessible for abortions during the third trimester of pregnancy.

The report mentions pregnant women were refused services by several hospitals and doctors who said they would be stigmatized if they perform these late-term abortions.

Asked about the matter in the National Assembly on Wednesday, the health minister said she was aware of the problem.

She says she is considering creating an "additional team" to increase women's access to these services, adding that it wouldn't be a mobile team moving from one establishment to another.

Former Liberal health minister Gaëtan Barrette agreed many doctors are "uncomfortable" with late-term abortions, adding that discussions on the issue serve to reopen the debate on abortion in general.