The National Defense and Canadian Armed Forces have not yet pledge cost coverage and access to Mifegymiso for people covered by Canadian Forces Health Services.
The Canadian Forces Health Services (CFHS) is the designated health care provider for Canada's military personnel, delivering medical and dental services at military installations across Canada and overseas. CFHS provides prescription and non-prescription drug benefits to its members as defined in the Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) Drug Benefit List.
The decision about whether or not to list a treatment under the CAF Drug Benefit List is based on five principles. The treatment must:
1. have sound, scientific evidence to support its therapeutic value;
2. be necessary to maintain health and mental well-being or prevent illness, injury and/or disability;
3. not be used for purely experimental, research or cosmetic purposes;
4. be funded by at least one province or federal agency; and
5. be beneficial to a serving member to sustain or restore health to an operationally effective and deployable status.
Mifegymiso meets these five principles.
Barriers to Access
We encourage the government to:
A study completed in the United States in 2008 uncovered that the military have higher unplanned pregnancy rates than the general population. Another 2013 study showed that one-third of deployed servicewomen were unable to access the birth control they wanted for deployment. 59% did not speak to a military provider about birth control before deployment, and 41% of servicewomen who needed medication refills thought they were difficult to obtain.
What makes it more difficult for people to seek out the sexual and reproductive health care they need is often what fuels the high rates of sexual assault and harassment in the military. A 2015 external review of sexual misconduct and sexual harassment in the Armed Force by former Supreme Court of Canada Justice Marie Deschamps found a “sexualized environment” within the Forces “conducive to serious incidents of sexual harassment and assault.” Among Canadian Forces members, females were overwhelmingly more likely to experience sexual assault or harassment, with one in four female members saying they’d been targeted at least once during their careers. Among female survivors, their seniors were most often pegged as the alleged perpetrators. Male survivors, however, most often pointed to one or more peers.
Addressing gender based violence and how it impacts people serving in the Canadian Forces is crucial to improving access to health care, including sexual and reproductive health care.
1. Ensure equitable, timely and easy access to a comprehensive package of sexual and reproductive health services and goods, including cost coverage for Mifegymiso
2. Implement measures to more accurately assess the rates of reported and unreported cases of sexual harassment and assaults, review educational programs and policies addressing gender-based violence in the military and spur broad-scale cultural reform in regards to the treatment of women, trans and LGBQ members.
3. Improve the integration of individuals from marginalized populations, including women, trans and LGBQ individuals, in the CAF leadership structures.
4. Establish an independent agency to receive reports of inappropriate sexual conduct and to provide support to survivors as one part of improving processes to address sexual harassment and assault.