The Canadian Perinatal Mental Health Collaborative vehemently denounces the US Supreme Court decision to overturn Roe v. Wade.
Decades of research demonstrates the harm to women’s mental health if abortions are outlawed or made more difficult to obtain.
The inability to obtain an abortion increases the risk for domestic abuse among those who are forced to stay in contact with violent partners, putting them and their children at risk.
The loss of control over one’s body regarding reproductive freedom may trigger individuals to experience feelings of depression, anxiety, post-traumatic stress disorder, and suicidality, amongst other potentially disabling mental health disorders.
Although abortion has been legal in Canada for three decades, many continue to experience barriers to access.
Last month, Canada announced funding to improve access by removing barriers to vital abortion services and offer accurate reproductive health information to Canadians: https://www.canada.ca/en/health-canada/news/2022/05/government-of-canada-strengthens-access-to-abortion-services.html
While barriers vary across Canada, in some instances they include a lack of availability, a lack of financial and logistical resources required to travel to access abortion care, and lack of culturally-safe, stigma-free sexual and reproductive health services.
Previous experiences of discrimination within the health care system also create access barriers for minority and marginalized groups, such as Indigenous and racialized people, members of 2SLGBTQI+ communities, and youth.
We strongly encourage the Government of Canada to continue working on timely access to safe abortion services and mental health supports.
For more information and help on abortion care in Canada, visit: https://www.actioncanadashr.org/news/2019-07-25-unequal-access-abortion-across-canada