|Abstract: ||Although abortion is a legal, insured medical service in the province of Ontario, the procedure remains unequally accessible for women based on socio-economic status and geographic location. The procedure’s availability in Ontario is limited by provider shortages and anti-abortion stigma. Women in the province of Ontario do not have equal access to a medically necessary service as a result of these barriers to access.
This Major Research Paper explores the barriers that exist in Ontario that prevent women from accessing abortion services in the province. The paper explores the barriers to access to abortion services in three areas of focus. These areas are the stratification of the experience of barriers based on socio-economic status, barriers related to service wait times and a shortage of service providers, and the barrier to access created by anti-abortion campaign and stigma. This paper provides practical recommendations for policy measures that can contribute to breaking down current barriers to access to abortion in each of these three areas.
This Major Research Paper will use a “reproductive justice” approach, in acknowledgement that the ability of a woman to fulfil her right to determine her own choices regarding matters of reproduction is linked to factors over which she has no control, including, but not limited to, socio-economic status. A reproductive justice approach recognizes that each woman is composed of many intersecting identities, and that reproductive inequality is closely related to some of these identities. Policy recommendations aimed at improving women’s abilities to exercise their right to reproductive choice must take the multi-factored nature of the right into account in order to be achieve their stated goal.|