Understanding for a Change: Research In Action

MacQuarrie, C., MacDonald, J. -A., & Chambers, C. (2014). Understanding for a Change: Research In Action: Abortion: The Unfinished Revolution. Retrieved from http://prezi.com/fs8c-9gcnj3a/?utm_campaign=share&utm_medium=copy&rc=ex0share
TitleUnderstanding for a Change: Research In Action
AuthorsC. MacQuarrie, J. MacDonald, C. Chambers
AbstractTo understand the various impacts on women’s lives of PEI’s abortion policies, we have conducted 45 research conversations ranging between 1-2 hours in our community to document the experience of trying to access abortion services in PEI. We spoke with women who have tried to access abortion and with friends, family, professionals, medical personnel, and advocates who have tried to assist women. Participants often filled various categories, however 22 participants had personally sought abortion services between 1979 and the present day. All participants have experienced multiple barriers and have witnessed blocked access to abortion. The access to abortion was described as a maze of multiple paths leading to dead ends, barriers, and delayed access but participants in the project somehow found a way to end the pregnancy. Some were forced to leave the province, others tried to self induce by their own hand or with the help of boyfriends and others used medical abortion; however without local surgical termination, this choice in at least one case resulted in maltreatment in the local emergency room. Some women were forced to continue the pregnancy, give birth, and parent against their will. All participants documented various harms to health in the maze of trying to access abortion services in PEI. The maze had 4 intersecting trails which characterized several barriers that threatened to entirely block their access to a safe abortion. The barriers consisted of both information and resource barriers. Trail 1 is the “Surgical Abortion Paths through the Public Health System”; The “Medical Abortion Path” is an off shoot of this. Trail 1 has multiple loops connected to the other paths. Trail 2 are a number of “Dead End Paths” which cross other trails and serve to deter the woman from her goal. Trail 3 are the attempts to “Self (Harm) Induce at Home Paths”. Trail 4 are the “Self Referral Surgical Abortion Paths Outside the Public Health System.” Even for women with adequate supports and resources, significant barriers to access to abortion persisted and in many cases, negatively impacted women’s physical, mental and emotional health. Women who were poorer, younger, isolated, or with few supports were the most harmed. Taken together, the first voice accounts and the advocates’ stories described the situation in PEI in recent historical and present day contexts. This understanding will continue the feminist project of promoting women’s health and will be used to inform and influence abortion policy in PEI. in particular and to address reproductive justice policy in general.
SubjectsPEI abortion access
Noteresearch presentation