The Reality of Accessing Abortion Services in Canadian HospitalsTuesday, July 27 2010
Canadians for Choice unveils Canada's most recent study on how accessible abortion services really are
Ottawa, April 2, 2007 - Today, Canadians for Choice (CFC) released Canada's most current report on the accessibility of abortion services in Canadian hospitals.
Some of the key findings of Reality Check: A Close Look at Accessing Abortion Services in Canadian include:
- Since 2003, the percentage of hospitals with accessible abortion services has decreased from 17.8% to 15.9%; this means that abortion services are only accessible at 1 in every 6 hospitals.
- 3 out of 4 times, our researcher spoke with hospital staff members who were ignorant about the issue of abortion and the services their hospital provided abortion.
- 75% of staff members react to inquiries about abortion with disbelief, confusion or a complete lack of knowledge.
- Hospital abortion services are poorly dispersed across Canada, the majority of which are located in urban areas, within 150 kilometres of the American border.
"The fight for reproductive freedom in Canada is still an area that needs a lot of attention" explains Dr. Norman Barwin, President of Canadians for Choice. "Too many Canadians think that when abortion became decriminalised through the Morgentaler decision of 1988, that access became a non-issue. Our research shows that this is not the case." Aside from outlining the national findings of the study, Reality Check breaks down the situation by province and territory, giving each region in Canada a thorough examination.
"It's shocking to see the way women are still being treated when they ask about abortion services", comments Patricia LaRue, Executive Director of Canadians for Choice. "The personal testimonies from women who have sought abortion services illustrates that healthcare professionals often express incredibly judgmental and coercive comments or attitudes."
Jessica Shaw, Research Coordinator of Canadians for Choice and chief investigator of the report, explains that, "despite the fact that abortion has been decriminalised for over nineteen years, many Canadian women still face incredible barriers such as unknowledgeable staff members, anti-choice healthcare professionals, unexpected costs and travel time, the lack of reciprocal billing, bad referrals and the fact that they have to leave a message on a voicemail instead of talking to a live person. All of these barriers prevent women from exercising their right to control their fertility. This is why Canadians for Choice has committed to conducting research on the accessibility of abortion services every three years. Updating this information is critical in ensuring that all Canadians are well informed about their sexual and reproductive health and rights."
Canadians for Choice is a national pro-choice charitable organisation that regards sexual and reproductive rights as an integral part of the health and well-being of all persons. Launched in 2004, CFC has a mandate to conduct research on the social, legal, medical and policy aspects of reproductive health, and to use that information to educate and train health care professionals in the delivery of reproductive health services, and to provide sexual and reproductive health information, including information about service availability, to the general public.
CFC envisages a world where individuals- regardless of age, ability, race, gender, sexual orientation, place of residence, socio-economic and other status- have access to the information, resources and services required to make and exercise informed choices on all aspects of their sexual and reproductive health and rights.
For further information, please view the Reality Check: A Close Look at Accessing Abortion Services in Canadian Hospitals promotional brochure online at www.canadiansforchoice.ca or contact Canadians for Choice:
Patricia LaRue, Executive Director
Tel: 613-789-9958 x223