Catholic Vancouver Jan. 12, 2018

Abortion pill: free; shingles vaccination: $200

By Agnieszka Ruck

Pro-life advocates are alarmed the B.C. government is funding the abortion drug Mifegymiso while not funding the shingles vaccine and other health care.

VANCOUVER—Pro-life activists are crying foul over what they see as the B.C. government prioritizing abortion over health care.

The abortion drug Mifegymiso, or RU-486, typically costs about $300 but will be free in B.C. starting Jan. 15. The news came out two weeks after Burnaby senior Thomas Hasek was told it would be too expensive to publicly fund vaccines for shingles, which cost about $200 each.

“Our government can't provide essential lifesaving shingles medication and yet they have no trouble finding the money to kill the smallest of our children,” said John Hof, a longtime pro-life activist and head of United for Life B.C.

He’s troubled that Mifegymiso, which is used to end pregnancies in the first nine weeks, is being hailed as a safe solution for women in rural communities.

“They fail to mention that RU-486 is a series of three pills that need to be taken under a doctor’s supervision. How is this going to be of any help to rural women?”

Hof worries women without easy access to health care would be “at a greater risk of complications” from this “lethal pill for pre-born children.”

In December, 75-year-old Hasek filed a human rights complaint over the lack of health care coverage of the shingles vaccine, calling it a form of discrimination against seniors. “This is an old person’s disease,” he said.

He said he was told at his hearing public funding of the vaccine would be too expensive and would cost an estimated $2 million. The decision on his case is expected in March.

"It is very troubling that a medical system which is supposed to provide funding to care is instead providing funding to kill,” said international pro-life debater and author Stephanie Gray.

“Mifegymiso is just another way of ending the life of the most vulnerable humans among us and should not be available in our province."