The Minister responsible for the Status of Women, Martine Biron, is evaluating the possibility of making contraceptive methods free in Quebec. “It’s one of the things I’m studying,” she said Friday.
She confirmed by the very fact that she was renouncing her idea of legislating on the subject of abortion. “There were nuances, but enough flags to tell me: maybe this is not the right time [pour légiférer]. And there are needs for access,” said M.me Biron in the corridors of the National Assembly.
“This is my flagship file. It’s close to my heart, really,” she attested. She said she hoped to propose “major advances”.
Solidarity MP Ruba Ghazal immediately offered her collaboration to the minister. “Excellent news for the women of Quebec that Martine Biron has abandoned the idea of legislating on abortion,” she wrote on the X network. I offer my collaboration to work with her on the access plan to abortion. »
The Network of Regional Tables of Women’s Groups of Quebec also welcomed the minister’s desire. “ [Il] The plan must provide specific amounts and a short, medium and long-term timetable,” said its general coordinator, Marie-Andrée Gauthier.
Last spring, Minister Biron said she wanted to table a bill in the fall to make the right to abortion sacred in Quebec. According to our information, she had considered tabling a bill, then including this right in the Charter of Human Rights and Freedoms.
Except that some of the people she met “raised the specter that we could perhaps roll back women’s rights,” she recalled. “I heard them. »
In June, the Bar notably warned the elected official about the perils of a law, which would open “the door to possible limitations” of the right to abortion.
In September, 400 doctors did the same, demanding free access to contraceptive methods. The doctors’ proposal was based on a report from the Quebec Federation for Birth Planning. They therefore asked the Quebec government to “make prescription contraceptives free for everyone”.
“Complicated” outside of Montreal
The question of access to abortion is at the heart of the demands of doctors and women’s groups. “Montreal is still going pretty well. But as soon as you set foot outside of Montreal, it’s complicated. Even for large centers like Quebec,” the minister illustrated on Friday.
By “lifting the rug” on the issue of abortion, she said she became aware of the severity of access problems. Regions like Outaouais, Capitale-Nationale or Chaudière-Appalaches still only have one point of service for abortions, the Duty the DD Geneviève Bois.
Mme Biron also stressed that it is better to remain “vigilant” at all times to ensure that the right to abortion is maintained in Quebec. “Look at the federal level, the Morgentaler ruling [remonte à] 1988 and since 1988, there have been approximately fifty private bills attempting to diminish or alter the right to abortion. That means more than one per year,” she stressed.
“Yes, it’s true,” she agreed when a journalist pointed out to her that these bills had often been carried by conservative elected officials. Are his fears fueled by the increase in support for the federal Conservatives in the polls? “That has nothing to do with it,” she replied.
With Marco Bélair-Cirino
This is my flagship file. It’s close to my heart, really. Martine Biron »