Access to abortion and reproductive health services is a fundamental human right that cannot be taken for granted. This fact is made especially clear following the leak of the United States Supreme Court (SCOTUS) decision to overturn the constitutional protection for abortion afforded by the Roe v Wade decision of 1973, along with the Planned Parenthood v Casey decision of 1992. There is no law criminalizing abortion in Canada; however, anti-abortion activism continues to pursue limitations on access to safe abortion services, including in our province.
We, as the Saskatoon Sexual Health Board of Directors, feel the collective rage and grief at the devastating, widespread consequences that this SCOTUS decision will have for those seeking abortions across the United States. Texas and at least 25 other states are already working toward limiting access to reproductive health services. There is strength in solidarity and as a Board, we recognize and support the work of organizations such as the ACLU, Planned Parenthood, and state-specific groups such as Lilith Fund in the ongoing fight for safe and equitable access to abortions.
Saskatoon Sexual Health is working to promote sexual and reproductive health and rights, including access to abortions. This work is guided by a reproductive justice framework as developed by racialized women in the United States, like those of SisterSong. We recognize that reproductive justice goes beyond abortion rights to include the right to choose to parent and the right to healthy and informed sexualities, contraception, STBBI testing, and treatment. Saskatoon Sexual Health relies heavily on funding from our community to provide these essential health care services.
Here in Saskatchewan, access is not equitable for all people. Abortions are only available in Saskatoon and Regina, and only up to 12 weeks and 18 weeks of pregnancy, respectively. While in Regina, people who are seeking abortions may self-refer, those in Saskatoon require a referral from a physician or from Saskatoon Sexual Health. Transportation from outside or between these cities is a barrier to abortion access in itself, which is not covered by insurance. This barrier is particularly felt by people in Northern Saskatchewan.
SSH endeavours to reduce barriers and provide support for all pregnancy options. With a nod to the powerful work of organizers across the US, we recognize our own sphere of influence is right here in Saskatoon and the surrounding area. We have the power to support abortion access and reproductive choice in our community, and we would love for you to join us. One-time donations and monthly supporters make a huge difference in our ability to provide these essential health care services.
If you feel, as we do, that these services and this work is essential, make a donation here: https://www.canadahelps.org/en/charities/sexual-health-centre-saskatoon/