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Canadian women are still fighting for equality in 2016

Reproductive justice for Canadian women

In 2016, every Canadian woman should be empowered to make informed reproductive choices, but that’s not the case. For women living in the Atlantic provinces and Northwest Territories, there is limited, if any, access to publicly funded abortions. The situation hits women living on isolated Prince Edward Island the hardest, as it’s the only province without access to publicly funded abortions — a fact that prompted the group Abortion Access Now to take the province to court earlier this year.

The Trials and Trails of Accessing Abortion on PEI, a study led by Abortion Access Now co-chair Dr. Colleen MacQuarrie, found that self-administered underground abortions were alarmingly prevalent on the Island. MacQuarrie’s research clearly points to the fact that women’s health on the Island is at grave risk and demonstrates just how important access to safe, legal abortion is across Canada.

No silver bullet

There’s no one-size-fits-all solution to solving the problem of gender inequality in Canada, something our Prime Minister made clear that he’s quite aware of. “I think there’s not one solution, there’s multiple, multiple solutions that can be pursued at the same time,” said Justin Trudeau at a recent event hosted by the Huffington Post. But Trudeau said that approaches geared at creating gender parity could include everything ranging from “cracking down on patriarchal thinking and gender-based violence” to supporting educational initiatives in schools and safeguarding women’s reproductive rights. It’s clear that Canada has a long way to go, but at least we’re on our way.

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