A local group of doulas, nurses, midwives, doctors and social workers is panning the Progressive Conservative's plan to improve Nova Scotia's health care system.
Martha Paynter is the chair of Wellness Within, a volunteer-based non-profit based in Halifax that is calling on the provincial government to hire more midwives, universalize access to free contraception and support improved access to surgical abortion.
Paynter believes the provincial government isn't doing enough to increase access to abortions in Nova Scotia.
She pointed out medication abortions are only available up to nine-weeks gestation, and with no surgical abortion provider on Cape Breton Island, patients could need to travel several hours to access one.
Paynter noted abortion is a "very common reproductive health service."
"It's a 10-minute procedure that can be done by family doctors, with minimal anaesthetic," she said. "For this service to not be available on Cape Breton Island, there's no reason for it."
She added expanding access to midwifery isn't mentioned in the new plan, despite studies showing that childbirth is the number one cause of hospitalization in Canada.
Paynter's first book, From Abortion to Abolition, will be released next month.