The decision to show the film Unplanned in Quebec has reignited debates over the right to have an abortion. How can society still be questioning this fundamental right in 2019? There’s nothing new about anti-choice groups opposing women’s rights but showing this film is particularly problematic because of the false information it propagates.
Having worked in a clinic that offered abortion services myself and as a Joint Officer for the FIQ’s Status of Women Sector, I think it’s important to review a few things. Clinics that offer abortion services have a qualified team of doctors, healthcare professionals, social workers and psychologists. These multidisciplinary teams are there to meet the needs of patients that may arise as they make a decision about their pregnancy. They follow strict medical and ethical rules in order to respectfully accompany patients throughout the process, while protecting their dignity and ensuring their comfort. They do everything possible to ensure the procedure doesn’t make what can already be a complex situation more difficult.
Such unparalleled guidance was one of the gains achieved by decriminalizing abortion. Women have the right to do what they see fit with their bodies and they have the right to safe care. Do we really want to go back in time when women resorted to extremely dangerous methods to terminate a pregnancy? Do we want to go back to a time when people had to risk their lives to work in abortion clinics?
Since it was founded in 1987, the FIQ has always and will always defend abortion rights.
Not priests, not doctors, not judges, nor spouses. My body, my choice. It’s up to women to decide!
Shirley Dorismond, Vice-President, Joint Officer for the Status of Women Sector.
Photo: Fred Chartrand/La Presse canadienne