Emergency Contraception Pill

Emergency Contraception Pill (ECP) also known as “the morning after pill” is a method of preventing pregnancy after unprotected sexual intercourse or failed contraception. Emergency Contraception is legal in Canada and can be effective if taken within five days. IUDs can also be used as emergency contraception.

Get Your Copy of Beyond the Basics Today!

Beyond the Basics is a resource for educators that offers the tools to teach young people about sexuality and sexual health from a sex positive, human rights perspective. Covering topics that range from anatomy to consent and healthy relationships, Beyond the Basics approaches sexuality education across all gender identities and sexual orientations with activities that help move students from receiving information to making decisions based on critical thinking skills and empowerment. Recognizing the time pressures educators face, Beyond the Basics is written to easily move in and out of chapters, modules, and activities that suit the particular age, maturity, and trust in each classroom.

Click here to purchase today!

Think you need Emergency Contraception?

When it comes to sex, sometimes unexpected things can happen that put people at risk for pregnancy. If you think that this could be you, or your friend, or your partner, we’re here to help. What’s Next for Me has information you should know if you think you might need emergency contraception, also known as ECEC is used after sex to lower the risk of pregnancy.  Most people don’t know there are three kinds of EC.  This site will tell you about all three, so that you can choose the one that’s best for you.

Click here to access the website

SRH2017: That’s a wrap!

Last week was Sexual and Reproductive Health Awareness Week with the theme Ready for some pillow talk? Did you miss it? There are still ways you can get involved.

Click here to learn more!

Support for a Full National Drug Plan

Elections represent key moments when individuals and groups have the opportunity to have their decision-makers, and the parties they represent, make commitments. In anticipation of the 2015 federal election, Action Canada for Sexual Health and Rights has produced a series of thematic briefs outlining what actions we think the Government of Canada should take on a range of sexual and reproductive rights issues in the coming years.

Click here to find our election material outlining how we believe we could work towards better sexual and reproductive health outcomes.

This week, the Canadian Health Coalition, as part of the Health Care for All campaign, brings light to the need for a national drug plan in our country. Action Canada for Sexual Health and Rights supports this initiative as a national drug plan that guarantees access to a comprehensive range of medication, devices and appropriate supports would make an important contribution to the full realization of people’s sexual and reproductive rights.

International law guarantees all people the right to life and the right to the highest attainable standard of physical and mental health, which includes sexual and reproductive health. The Canadian Health Coalition reports that Canada is the only country with public health care and no national drug plan. While most health services are covered through provincial health insurance plans, prescribed medication is not covered through provincial public insurance plans. According to drugcoverage.ca approximately 60% of the population has access to private health insurance which provides reimbursements for prescribed medication, devices and other specialized services. According to a survey by Statistics Canada, 24% of the Canadian population report that they have no drug coverage and so are forced to pay out of pocket for pharmaceutical products, including contraceptive drugs and devices. Those most likely to fall through the gaps are people who are working but who have low earnings as they may not be eligible for public benefits and are less likely to have employer-provided benefits. The remainder of the population is subject to the variable provincial regimes that provide coverage to certain members of their population including recipients of social assistance, seniors and other specific groups through provincial drug formularies that may or may not include certain products depending on the province of residence. This results in differential access to essential health commodities across provinces and territories and in barriers and inequalities in accessing them within each province and territory, particularly for those with limited access to resources.

The ability to manage one’s fertility, have healthy pregnancies, and prevent, treat or manage sexually transmitted infections should not be dependent on income, place of residence or immigration status. People in Canada who require vaccines, medication or birth control devices should not need to rely on insurance or personal savings to afford the resources needed to maintain or realize the best possible sexual and reproductive health outcomes.  Yet, at present, medicines, devices and supports to improve sexual and reproductive health are not covered universally.

Click here to read more about the importance of a national drug plan from a sexual and reproductive rights perspective.

Action Canada for Sexual Health and Rights – Support for a Full National Drug Plan

Conscientious Objection Policy Submission to Saskatchewan College of Physicians and Surgeons

Along with its associate organizations, the Sexual Health Centre of Saskatoon and Planned Parenthood Regina, Action Canada has made a submission to the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Saskatchewan (CPSS) consultation on its conscientious objection policy.

The submission recognizes some of the positive steps made in the draft policy, as well as makes specific recommendations to integrate into the policy for a strengthened document that aligns with international guidance frameworks.

Click here to read the submission


Have questions about your sexual and reproductive health?

The information hub on sexual and reproductive health offers helpful explanations,  health tips and suggestions on a range of topics related to sexual and reproductive health, including the body, healthy relationships, navigating consent, pregnancy options and sexual orientation, gender identity and gender expression, to name a few.

City pulls funding for birth control clinic founded by Dr. Elizabeth Bagshaw

Health Initiatives for Youth (HIFY) Hamilton is a former Action Canada associate organization. 

Source: Hamilton Spectator
By Joel OpHardt

Canada’s first birth control clinic, started in Hamilton nearly 85 years ago, is closing its doors.

At the end of the month, Health Initiatives for Youth (HIFY) Hamilton, the organization that Dr. Elizabeth Bagshaw helped turn into a then-illegal birth control clinic, will come to an end after losing its city funding.

“It’s a proud history that’s now going to disappear,” said Dr. Brian Steele, medical director of the organization, located at 151 York Blvd. “There’s as much need for it now as ever.”

HIFY has previously operated under a variety of banners, including the Planned Parenthood Society of Hamilton (1952-2002), the Birth Control Society (1932-1952), and The Maternal Health Clinic (1931-1932).

The facility is most famous for Bagshaw’s 31 years as medical director of the Birth Control Society during a controversial period for contraceptives. Bagshaw’s work at the facility contributed to her being honoured as Hamilton’s Citizen of the Year in 1970 and being named to the Order of Canada in 1972.

Hamilton Public Health has been funding the organization since 1970 when it operated under the Planned Parenthood Society of Hamilton.

Glenda McArthur, director of clinical and preventive services at the city, says that funding was started because women “weren’t always comfortable going to their family doctor” for their sexual health issues.

Now, she says, the lost services will be picked up by the new McMaster Health Centre facility opening at the end of April.

“It’s downsizing,” said Steele. “(The services) should be expanding to the population of Hamilton, not contracted.”

HIFY offered a variety of services to about 3,000 youth per year, including sexually transmitted infection testing and treatment, pregnancy testing and affordable birth control.

McArthur says public health was only sponsoring the program for its sexual health programs and not for birth control, so the new McMaster facility will meet their needs more specifically.

The city had informed HIFY they would not be renewing a contract as early as 2012.

Steele doesn’t blame the city for the imminent closing of the facility, but rather its inability to garner the interest of “private benefactors” that would have offered the organization some security.

The notion that youth centres such as HIFY might be promoting sex is part of an image problem that Steele believes is detrimental to its cause.

“Young girls are going to have sex, and young guys are going to have sex, so we have to give them better education,” he said.

Sandeep Prasad, executive director of Action Canada for Sexual Health and Rights, said his main concern is that with the closing of HIFY — a former member of his organization — youth won’t feel as comfortable at the new facility.

“When any organization like this closes, we really hope this is part of a really thoughtful process, and that the city engages with the community to ensure that barriers for youth are actively addressed within the new clinic that is set up.”

McArthur said the move is “not part of a cost-saving measure,” adding that the new facility will offer both the university and those seeking sexual health services access to a downtown facility at Main Street West and Bay Street South.

Jane Howard, a staff nurse at HIFY, said she will miss the service she provided and the patients she’s seen.

“It’s going to leave an empty space,” she said.

Special to the Hamilton Spectator

College Council approves new policy that safeguards human rights and puts patients first

Mar 06, 2015
Source: College of Physicians and Surgeons of Ontario

The Council of the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Ontario (CPSO) today approved two policies to better protect patients and improve their access to health care.

The Professional Obligations and Human Rights policy replaces its predecessor, which was entitled Physicians and the Ontario Human Rights Code.  The former policy was reviewed in accordance with the College’s regular policy review cycle and underwent two extensive consultations.

The revised policy sets out physicians’ existing legal obligations under the Ontario Human Rights Code, and the College’s expectation that physicians will respect the fundamental rights of those who seek their medical services. The policy also sets out the College’s expectations for physicians who limit the health services they provide due to their personal values and beliefs.

A key feature of the revised policy is that it requires physicians to provide their patients with an effective referral to another health-care provider for those services the physician chooses not to provide for reasons of conscience or religion.

An effective referral means a referral that is made in good faith with a view to supporting, not frustrating or impeding, access to care.

“The referral requirement strikes an appropriate balance between patient and physician rights; reflects the expectations of the Ontario public,” said CPSO President Dr. Carol Leet.

“The policy protects patient rights by ensuring that patients are not prevented from accessing care that is clinically indicated and legally available because a physician objects to that care on moral or religious grounds, while also respecting physicians’ right to freedom of conscience and religion.”

During the consultation, we received more than 16,000 responses, including from the Ontario Human Rights Commissioner who said it effectively strives to balance the rights of both patients and physicians.

Council also today approved the Marijuana for Medical Purposes policy, which was informed by the federal Marihuana for Medical Purposes Regulations (MMAR), research, as well as the feedback received from physicians, members of the public, and stakeholder organizations in response to our external consultation.

The new policy does not endorse or prohibit the medical use of dried marijuana, but rather emphasizes that the decision to prescribe dried marijuana must be made in accordance with each physician’s own clinical and professional judgment.