It's time to talk about self-managed abortion care as a safe alternative in Canada — and the legal risks involved.
BY JULIANNE STEVENSON & JENNIFER TAYLOR
16 SEP 2021
The new Texas law that bans abortion after six weeks of pregnancy is obviously horrific. It also proves that legal protection for abortion — which we think of as relatively robust in Canada — is more fragile than it seems. But this tragic moment presents an opportunity to reframe our thinking around abortion. That is, we should think of abortion not just in relation to the law, but as something that can happen safely at home in appropriate circumstances, without direct medical supervision or state involvement.
Inspired by the work of scholars like Prof. Joanna Erdman, we believe self-managed abortion (SMA) needs to become a more mainstream part of the abortion conversation in Canada. As part of that conversation, it’s important to evaluate some of the legal risks involved — because, while the law shouldn’t always dictate how we think about abortion, we can’t ignore it either.