BC Reproductive Justice Manifesto

We still have work to do in British Columbia and Canada

Sexual and reproductive health (SRH) advocates in BC and across Canada have joined their voices together to demand reproductive justice. Advocates are calling on the federal and provincial governments to do more than make statements or release small amounts of funding – they must take real action to improve people’s access to SRH in Canada.

In the recent ruling of Dobbs v Jackson Women's Health Organization, the Supreme Court of the United States (SCOTUS) has upheld a Mississippi law that outlaws nearly all abortions at and after 15 weeks gestation. The majority’s decision overturns the 1973 ruling in Roe v Wade that protects a pregnant person’s right to choose to have an abortion without excessive government restriction. According to the Guttmacher Institute, 26 states have existing laws that will definitely or likely ban abortion access for people who can become pregnant, creating “abortion deserts” in large swaths of the country and forcing many to travel long distances to a safe state.

While Canada’s system of justice is different, we still have work to do to ensure access to abortion and to break down lingering stigma around abortion. As sexual and reproductive health advocates, we call on governments to take action on a range of issues that people living in Canada continue to face. We also encourage everyone to reach out to their MLA and MP to ensure that SRH is an issue they are prepared to address and fund.

The BC Government must:

  • Make contraception free and universally accessible in BC and across Canada.

  • Ensure that comprehensive sex education is taught to the standards set by the Ministry of Education in BC.

  • Strengthen abortion access in rural and remote areas.

  • Do not give Crisis Pregnancy Centres any government funds or tax credits, and require them to clearly disclose their anti-abortion agenda to clients.

  • Make abortion accessible within the City of Vancouver’s Access without Fear/Sanctuary City policy framework, which allows undocumented people to access free care.

  • Implement $10/day childcare.

  • Make sexual and reproductive health care more trans- and gender-inclusive, including training healthcare providers on appropriate practices and language, and other initiatives led by the trans community to reduce stigma.

  • Provide meaningful additional funding directly to provincial health systems, earmarked for abortion access, rather than directing funding through non-government bodies.

The Federal government must:

  • Enforce the Canada Health Act against provinces that fail to provide accessible or fully funded SRH care or abortion (such as New Brunswick and Ontario).

  • Increase the federal health transfer to provinces to enable them to expand SRH services, including funds earmarked for abortion care.

  • Require compliance by all provinces with the Canada Health Act provisions on abortion access.

  • Quickly implement the promised Health Canada web portal that will feature accurate, unbiased information on SRH and rights, including correction of abortion myths.

  • Revoke charitable status for anti-choice groups.

  • Continue to fund SRH and reproductive justice around the world, including safe abortion in the global South.

  • Relax the regulation of abortion medication by allowing Mifegymiso to be obtained over-the-counter and through advance provision, so that (much like with Plan B) people have immediate access to the medication they need, when they need it.

  • Guarantee asylum and immunity to abortion providers and advocates fleeing violence, criminal prosecution, or civil lawsuits for their reproductive justice work.

Coordinating Organizations

Abortion Rights Coalition of Canada

Abortion Rights Coalition of Canada (ARCC) is a national advocacy group devoted to ensuring abortion rights and access. Founded in 2005, ARCC undertakes political and educational work on reproductive justice and health issues, including preserving our legal right to abortion, advocating for improved access, supporting abortion providers and pro-choice communities, countering anti-choice campaigns and misinformation, and more. Find more info at www.arcc-cdac.ca.

AccessBC

AccessBC is a grassroots, province-wide campaign that advocates for universal no-cost prescription contraception in British Columbia. AccessBC was founded in 2017, and since then has mobilized BC residents to send thousands of letters to the provincial government calling on it to implement this important policy. You can learn more about AccessBC, the need for, and benefits of, making all prescription contraception universally available at no cost, at www.accessbc.org. A detailed briefing paper can be found here: https://www.accessbc.org/briefing-paper.

BC Humanist Association

The BC Humanist Association has been providing a community and voice for Humanists, atheists, agnostics, and the non-religious of British Columbia for over 30 years. We support the growth of Humanist communities across BC, provide Humanist ceremonies, and campaign for progressive and secular values. www.bchumanist.ca

Options for Sexual Health

Options for Sexual Health (Options) is Canada’s largest non-governmental provider of sexual and reproductive health care. Committed to choice and intersectional feminism, the organization operates 60 community clinics, offers comprehensive sexual health education and professional training along with Sex Sense information and referral line. Find more info here: www.optionsforsexualhealth.org/.

UBC Social Justice Centre

The Social Justice Centre is a student-led resource group at the University of British Columbia that works toward transformative change, justice, and equity through a survivor-centric, harm reduction, radical, feminist, decolonial, anti-oppression framework. Our organizing is prefigurative - the way we win matters; the how is the why. We strive to enact alternative futures based on resistance, relationships, reciprocity, community, trust, love, solidarity, and liberation.

BC Poverty Reduction Coalition

Peers Victoria Resources Society

Ishtar Women's Resource Society

Centre for Gender & Sexual Health Equity

BC Health Coalition

Fédération du Québec pour le planning des naissances

Alberta Abortion Access Network

Saskatoon Sexual Health

West Coast LEAF

Planned Parenthood Ottawa

SWAN Vancouver

Planned Parenthood Toronto

Northern Reproductive Justice Network

HIM Health Initiative for Men

Women Transforming Cities

Central Okanagan-Similkameen-Nicola Federal NDP Riding Association

Battered Women's Support Services

BC Civil Liberties Association

Yes Tess

Ending Violence Association of BC

Howe Sounds Women's Centre Society

Nelson Options for Sexual Health

Vancouver Pride Society

Unitarian Church of Vancouver

Women Transforming Cities

Institute for International Women's Rights - Manitoba

Socialist Alternative Canada

South Fraser Unitarians

PAN

Capilano Students' Union

Feminine Riles