CPSM Guidance Re: Abortions

July 29, 2022

As you are aware the United States Supreme Court overturned the Roe v Wade decision which had established the constitutional right for women to have an abortion in that country.  Various American states already have laws to restrict abortion and more states have announced their intention to restrict abortion.  As a consequence, American women may come to Manitoba to access medical care or services related to abortions. They may also seek advice or information about abortion or obtaining medications used in respect to abortions, potentially by virtual means.  

CPSM regulates the practice of medicine in Manitoba and all those practicing medicine in the province must be registered with CPSM.  The position of CPSM is that the location of the patient is determinative as to where the practice of medicine occurs.  Therefore, if a medical procedure such as abortion is performed in Manitoba, then the medical provider must be registered in Manitoba and must adhere to both Canadian laws.  In Canada abortion is not a criminal offence.

CPSM’s position is that CPSM registrants may perform any medical procedure (including abortion) on a patient in Manitoba so long as that medical procedure is not a criminal offence in Canada.  This includes patients that attend Manitoba for medical procedures such as abortion that may be a criminal offence in other parts of the world including parts of the United States.   Of course, any medical procedure must be within the knowledge, skill, and judgment and within the regular scope of practice of that registrant and it must adhere to the required standard of care.

CPSM registrants may wish to consider the position taken by CMPA on their liability protection for medico-legal matters arising in the U.S. from the delivery of abortion in Canada. LINK to CMPA Physicians must have liability protection to practice medicine in Manitoba so if providing abortions on US patients, make additional insurance arrangements.

While on the topic of abortion, all should also be aware of provisions in the Standards of Practice governing Good Medical Care, Part 10 – Conscience-Based Objection.