Access to abortion
On May 2nd 2002, the Association for Access to Abortion filed a motion for authorization to institute a class action against the Attorney General of Quebec.
An abortion is an insured service under the Health Insurance Act and must therefore be offered free of charge. The class action sought the reimbursement of sums paid by women to obtain an abortion in Quebec, as well as damages and punitive damages.
On June 25th 2003, Judge Pierrette Sévigny of the Superior Court authorized the institution of the class action and described the group covered as follows:
All women who are beneficiaries of Quebec’s public health insurance regime and who paid a sum of money to obtain an abortion in the province of Quebec.
On August 17, 2006, the Québec Superior Court presided by Madam justice Nicole Bénard ordered the Government of Québec to pay over $13,000,000 to the women of Québec who had to pay to obtain an abortion between May 2, 1999 and February 22, 2006.
After a first claim period in which the women who were included in the class as defined by the judgement were able to claim, the Association and the Government entered into an agreement which allowed those women who paid for an abortion after February 2006 to be reimbursed as well. Mrs Justice Bénard approved that settlement on May 17th 2010. The settlement also allowed women who couldn’t claim the first time to do so.
The claim period is now expired.