On the Issues
ARCC’s Position Papers set out our official positions and provide background information on a wide range of issues related to reproductive rights and healthcare in Canada.
Abortion Access and Funding
- #1 – Abortion Is a “Medically Required” Service and Cannot be Delisted – Explains various reasons why all abortions are medically required and must be covered under the Canada Health Act.
- #2 – Abortion Clinics Must be Fully Funded under the Canada Health Act – Six key reasons why private abortion clinics deserve full funding.
- #3 – Clinic Funding – Overview of Political Situation – Explains the history and politics behind the funding of private abortion clinics.
- #4 – Abortion and Reciprocal Billing – Abortion is now fully covered if you are in a different province than your residence. The policy only changed in 2015, and this paper explains the history.
- #5 – The Canadian Abortion Provider Shortage – Now and Tomorrow – Discusses some of the barriers to ensuring enough doctors are trained to provide abortions.
- #6 – Training of Abortion Providers / Medical Students for Choice – Future physicians do not receive comprehensive training in abortion care, either in the classroom or on the wards.
- #7 – Access to Abortion in Rural and Remote Areas – People in rural or remote areas often face increased difficulty when they wish to terminate a pregnancy.
- #8 – Problems with Hospital Access to Abortion – Discusses the history of abortion care in hospitals, and barriers to accessing abortion in a hospital.
- #9 – Hospitals vs Clinics: Comparisons of Abortion Care – A table that compares hospital abortion care with clinic care. Clinics generally have more advantages for patients than hospitals.
- #15 – How to Get an Abortion in Canada – Describes where and how to find info on accessing an abortion, and provides resources.
- #16 – List of Abortion Services in Canada – A table listing all clinics and some hospitals in Canada that provide abortions, as well as hotlines, doulas and support services.
- #17 – Pregnancy Options and Abortion Counselling – Provides information and help on how to make a decision, and describes the counselling available at abortion clinics
- #18 – Abortion Methods: An Overview – Describes surgical versus medical abortions using drugs. (More info in #28 below.)
- #19 – All About Your Abortion (From Appointment to Recovery) – Discusses the process for an early abortion, from making your appointment to the procedure itself.
- #20 – After Your Abortion (Aftercare, Side-effects) – What to expect after your abortion, both medically and emotionally.
- #22 – Later Abortions (after 20 weeks) – Describes the incidence of abortions after 20 weeks and explains the reasons they are performed.
- #23 – “Partial-birth” abortion– Explains how anti-abortion activists in the United States invented this propaganda term to curtail abortion rights, and the relevance of this term to abortion practice in Canada.
- #24 – Sex-selection Abortions – – The concern over sex selective abortion is overstated, and is mostly a reflection of abortion stigma, racism, and anti-choice strategy.
- #25 – Abortions for Genetic Reasons / Fetal Abnormalities – All pregnant patients in Canada are offered an ultrasound scan to look for fetal anomalies. An abortion for that reason is not about eugenics or discrimination against disabled people. It is about a person’s ability and preparedness to have a disabled child.
- #26 – Why Do Women Have Abortions? – Explains the main considerations that people report as the reasons why they chose abortion, including relationship issues, finances, not being ready to have a child, birth control failure, and health and genetic reasons.
- #27 – Unwanted Pregnancy / Economics of Unintended Pregnancy – Discusses some of the many reasons why people experience a pregnancy as unwanted, describes the physical toll of pregnancy, and looks at the financial costs of pregnancy and having children.
- #28 – Medication Abortions – Describes the drug Mifegymiso, a combination of mifepristone and misoprostol, used for abortion in Canada since 2017.
- #35 – Emergency Contraception – Describes the emergency contraceptive pill and other emergency contraception, including how to obtain and use, and possible side effects.
- #36 – Contraceptive Methods – Describes the most common methods of contraception including how they work and efficacy rates.
- #37 – Contraceptive Use in Canada – Describes usage rates of different contraception methods in Canada, from the classic condom to IUDs, including factors that influence usage.
- #38 – New Reproductive Technologies / Assisted Reproduction Legislation – Discusses options for helping people get pregnant, the legal environment for assisted reproduction and surrogacy, and genetic screening.
- #39 – Sex Education in Canada – Describes every province and territory’s sex education policies. Most gloss over or omit abortion entirely.
- #40 – Adoption Information and Referrals – Describes how the adoption process works across Canada and provides government links to referrals.
- #41 – Adoption: Why Few Pregnant Women Choose Adoption – This paper describes the wide range of reasons pregnant persons seldom choose adoption.
- #42 – Sex-Education: A Useful Tool to Help Prevent Sexual Assault? – Discusses sexual assault laws in Canada and suggests that comprehensive sex education in schools can act as a significant deterrent of sexual assault.
- #43 – Contraceptive Coverage – Access to contraception is recognized as a human right and basic preventive healthcare. Coverage should be universal and be included under a national public drug plan in Canada.
- #50 – Abortion and the Conservative Party – A history of how the abortion issue has been handled by the Conservative Party of Canada.
- #51 – Free Votes, Private Members’ Bills, and Abortion – Describes the meaning of free votes and private member bills, and how these have been employed in the abortion issue.
- #52 – Statistics and Demographics on Abortion – Gives context to statistics on abortion and provides links to recent statistics.
- #53 – Abortion and Opinion Polls – Pro-choice support has risen in recent years. However, polls on abortion can be very misleading.
- #54 – Abortion Law and Policy: U.S./Canadian Comparisons – Abortion is legal upon request in both Canada and the U.S, but the right to abortion has very different foundations in the two countries.
- #56 – Fetal Insurance Law – The Alberta government passed a law in 2005 enabling lawsuits to be filed against insurance companies for injuries suffered by a fetus in a car accident. This law sets a bad precedent that makes a pregnant person liable for fetal harm.
- #57 – The Case Against a “Fetal Homicide” Law – These laws are an unconstitutional infringement on human rights and would likely result in harms against pregnant people.
- #58 – The Injustice and Harms of Parental Consent Laws for Abortion – Demonstrates that such laws in Canada would contravene and reverse current medical policies and ethics around the consent of minors to healthcare, violate their constitutional rights to bodily security and privacy, and increase risks to their health and safety.
Abortion History and Law
- #60 – History of Abortion in Canada – From 1869 to now, including a timeline of key events.
- #61 – Canadian Abortion Regulation – Abortion in Canada is regulated by a patchwork of laws, policies, guidelines, and codes. We just don’t have any criminal laws restricting abortion.
- #62 – Dr. Henry Morgentaler – Goes to separate ARCC website, with biography and historical information on Dr. Morgentaler and his heroic career at legalizing and normalizing abortion care.
- #63 – Fetal Rights in Canada – Fetuses are not defined as persons under the Criminal Code and are not protected by the Charter. Fetal rights would infringe the Charter rights of pregnant people.
- #64 – Why Abortion Needs No Legal Restrictions – Canada’s experience with no abortion law is proof that such laws are unnecessary. Abortion care can be effectively managed as part of standard healthcare practice without being controlled by any civil or criminal law.
- #65 – Abortion Is a Charter Right – Demonstrates how and why abortion is a Charter right in Canada, and places abortion within the frameworks of women’s rights and international law
- #66 – Why we do NOT need to enshrine abortion rights into law – This could politicize the issue even more, result in a law with restrictions, and subject the right to interference and attacks in the future.
Countering Anti-Choice Misinformation and Harassment
- #70 – Abortion and Breast Cancer – ARCC, in agreement with all reputable medical associations, finds that there is no link between abortion and the development of breast cancer.
- #71 – Abortion and the Hippocratic Oath – Anti-choice reliance on the Hippocratic Oath’s supposed ban on abortion is based on a narrow and historically inaccurate understanding of the Oath.
- #72 – Analyzing the Genocide Awareness Project – Describes the history and current examples of the anti-choice display and distribution of graphic images that allegedly show aborted fetuses, originally in comparison to actual victims of genocide.
- #73 – Anti-choice Violence and Harassment -Describes the history of anti-choice violence, with info on all incidents of murders, attempted murders, arsons, assaults, and other violence by “pro-life” activists in Canada and the U.S.
- #74 – Safe Access Zones – Describes the laws and injunctions in place in Canada to protect patients, staff, and facilities from harassment and violence. Anti-choice protestors are not allowed around facilities that provide abortions.
- #75 – Anti-abortion “Counseling” Agencies – Many agencies that counsel pregnant people are actually anti-abortion Christian ministries. Their main goal is to stop people from having abortions.
- #76 – Anti-choice Research on “Dangers” of Abortion –Anti-choice groups are biased because they fail to list the positives of abortion and the negatives of childbirth, and use flawed research to arrive at false conclusions.
- #77 – Psychological After-Effects of Abortion –High-quality studies show that people who have abortions are not at increased risk of negative psychological effects due to having an abortion.
- #78 – Fetal Pain -Science says that fetuses cannot feel pain until about 27 weeks gestation, if at all.
- #79 – Fetal Personhood and the Moral Status of the Fetus – Since fetuses totally depend on a pregnant person, and pregnancy is life-changing and carries health risks, only pregnant people can make decisions about their pregnancy – even if fetuses are considered human beings with a right to life.
- #80 – Why Anti-choice Groups Should Not Have Charitable Tax Status – Explains the requriments for charitable tax status according to each allowable charitable purpose, and why anti-choice groups fail to fulfill those purposes and therefore do not qualify as charities. (Archived historical version, 2006)
- #81 – Terms in the Abortion Debate: Pro-choice vs. Pro-life – Defines and explains the differences between the terms pro-choice, pro-life, anti-choice, anti-abortion, and pro-abortion, and the shift from pro-choice to reproductive justice.
- #83 – “Crisis Pregnancy Centres” and Sonography – CPCs use non-medical ultrasounds to manipulate people into continuing with their pregnancies, but this can cause serious harm. Non-medical use of ultrasound should be better regulated or prohibited.
- #84 – Cities Should Not Approve Anti-Choice Messaging – All levels of government are obligated to uphold and comply with the Charter and human rights laws; therefore, governments should never give official support to anti-choice rhetoric by approving its display or distribution.
Ethics, Philosophy, Religion
- #90 – What Does Being Pro-Choice Really Mean? – ARCC is pro-woman, pro-trans, pro-gender non-conforming, pro-child, pro-family, and pro-life, in the true sense of that term.
- #91 – Abortion as a Healthy and Positive Moral Choice – Restricting abortion hurts pregnant people, while good access promotes social well-being and good health.
- #92 – The Catholic Church and Abortion – Most Catholics are pro-choice and Papal bills and religious beliefs should never be the basis of public policy.
- #93 – Religion and Abortion – Describes doctrine around abortion in several world religions. Laws should never incorporate a religious perspective when determining abortion rights.
- #94 – The Bible and Abortion – The Bible never condemns abortion and has several pro-choice passages.
- #95 – The Refusal to Provide Health Care in Canada – Doctors in Canada have the “right” to refuse treatments based on their personal or religious beliefs. So-called “conscientious objection” in health care is unethical and unworkable.
- Appendix – Canadian Policies and Laws on “Conscientious Objection” in Health Care – Describes/critiques policies of the Canadian Medical Association and Colleges of Physicians and Surgeons in regards to the refusal to treat and obligation to refer, in relation to abortion care and medical assistance in dying.
- #100 – Why ARCC Supports Reproductive Justice – ARCC recognizes that the sexual and reproductive health and rights of people from many diverse communities are disproportionately affected by marginalization and oppression.
- #101 – Transgender Inclusivity – Some trans men and non-binary people can become pregnant, and all trans people deserve access to sexual and reproductive health services. ARCC fully supports their right to abortion care and healthcare, and to their inclusion when advocating for reproductive justice.
- #102 – Sex Workers’ Rights Are Human Rights – ARCC supports the full decriminalization of consensual adult sex work. Our position is based on the best evidence available and respect for the autonomy and dignity of sex workers.
- #103 – The Case for Universal Childcare in Canada – An analysis of the direct link between the existence of affordable childcare and the rights and equality of women and others who can get pregnant.