Although abortion has been decriminalized in Canada for over thirty years, many barriers remain. We hear about these barriers every day through our Access Line and have supported people in navigating them for over a decade through our Norma Scarborough Emergency Fund. We know all too well that legal does not mean accessible.
We know that politicians in Canada are monitoring the response to the Roe v. Wade decision closely and keeping track of how people in Canada are reacting. Now is the time to let them know that abortion rights are important to us, and that Canada needs to act on making access to abortion equal now!
Use the sample letter below to email your MP and MPP/MLA and help guarantee access to abortion for all!
Dear [recipient position here] [recipient name here],
I am writing as one of your constituents to express my concerns around access to sexual and reproductive health services, including abortion, across Canada. Ensuring comprehensive access to abortion in all parts of the country is an issue that is deeply important to me. In light of the recent decision made by the United States Supreme Court to roll back abortion rights, I am writing to you as my elected representative to ensure that this medically necessary health service not only remains available without restrictions but also that access is improved and expanded.
There are significant disparities between rural and urban access to abortion across the country. 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.
In this critical moment, I would like to see all parties take a comprehensive approach to reducing barriers to access, particularly for young people, migrants, people living in rural communities, people living on low incomes, and people who experience compounding forms of discrimination in the health system, including Indigenous peoples, racialized people, people with addictions, and others.
Taking action now on these key issues will demonstrate your commitment to ensuring equal access to abortion for all individuals in Canada. Access to sexual and reproductive health services and upholding people's rights in that regard is a shared responsibility.
I would strongly encourage you to work with the provincial and federal governments to:
- Require that provinces comply to the Canada Health Act to ensure accessibility of abortion services;
- Create the previously promised Health Canada web portal that will feature accurate, unbiased information on sexual and reproductive health and rights and will address abortion disinformation; use some of the earmarked funds for targeted social marketing campaigns to ensure that those wanting information and support in dealing with an unintended pregnancy are led to reputable sources;
- Work with health care providers to ensure they have the necessary infrastructure to provide abortion care, such as the appropriate billing codes, and;
- Provide necessary funding for sexual and reproductive health and rights advocacy and services throughout Canada.
Thank you for taking the time to listen to my concerns. I look forward to receiving a response from you on this matter.
[your email address]