Abortion Access in Canada
formation scrubs are proudly made, designed and produced in Canada. In the world of Canadian healthcare, we have a lot to be proud of. Canada has made countless groundbreaking health discoveries in the last century. Here is just a brief timeline of monumental medical breakthroughs:
- 1883 - Dr. Augusta Stowe-Gullen became the first woman to receive a Canadian medical degree
- 1921 - Dr. Frederick Banting and Dr. Charles H. Best discovered the lifesaving therapeutic potential of insulin
- 1949 - Dr. John Hopps, in collaboration with researchers at the University of Toronto Banting Institute, developed the world’s first cardiac pacemaker.
- 1960s - Dr. Henry Friesen discovered the human pituitary hormone called prolactin, which helped to uncover its role in infertility
- 1989 - Doctors at The Hospital for Sick Children, Dr. Lap-Chee Tsui, Dr.Manuel Buchwald and Jack Riordan discovered the gene that causes cystic fibrosis CF. Dr. Tsui was inducted into the Canadian Medical Hall of Fame for “the most significant breakthrough in human genetics in 50 years.”
- 1994 - Toronto physician Dr. John Dick isolated cancer stem cells, to find that colon cancer originates from a rare type of colon cancer stem cell.
- 2013 - Dr. Michael Strong and his research team at Western University in London, Ontario, discovered a new gene that causes ALS.
- 2014 - Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre in Toronto made medical history by live tweeting a heart bypass surgery.
- 2015 - Canadian researchers launched the world’s first clinical trial of a therapy that uses a combination of two viruses to stimulate an anti-cancer immune response and subsequently kill cancer cells.
However, Canada and its medical system is not without its faults. As you know, the last two years of the COVID-19 pandemic have put a monumental strain on the healthcare community, from physicians to nurses and all in between.
One major healthcare topic on everyone’s mind right now is abortion, after the announcement of Row vs. Wade being overturned in the United States. Prime Minister Tudeau stated that Canada will always stand up for a women’s right to choose. Although abortion has been legal in Canada since 1969, those who live outside of Canada’s urban center’s face many barriers in accessing this time-senstive service.
There are significant disparities between rural and urban access to abortion. In some provinces like Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba, and Ontario, abortion providers are only in urban centers, despite 35-40% of the population living in rural or remote communities. This means many women and non-binary individuals are forced to travel to access an abortion.
Traveling to another city for a procedure also means taking time off work, planning and paying for childcare, eldercare, and/or pet care, and buying food to bring on the trip. Many abortion providers require an escort, in which case, a family member or friend must also pay out-of-pocket to travel. Some people can’t afford to pay for those expenses and many have to delay their procedure to raise the funds. Delaying an abortion can mean exceeding the gestational limit in your province, which then means having to travel even further.
Access to health services shouldn’t depend on your postal code or income bracket!
If you or anyone you know needs help seeking an abortion, please contact the Action Canada access line here. The Access Line is a 7-day a week toll-free, confidential phone and text line for Canadians. It is available for questions about sexual health, pregnancy options, abortion, and safer sex. They provide information and make referrals to sexual health providers, so they are a great resource.
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- the formation team