Planned Parenthood needs more funding, clinics and employees in Canada to be as effective for reproductive care as it is in the United States.
Planned Parenthood offers birth control, emergency contraceptives, STI testing, prenatal care, HIV help, pregnancy testing, women and men’s health and abortion services.
While there are clinics in Canada’s bigger cities such as Ottawa and Toronto, they aren’t accessible for the people living in rural areas.
According to an article in the Regina Leader-Post, Planned Parenthood Regina had to turn away 1,287 women in 2016 — all because there wasn’t a nurse or physician available. This means there are a considerable amount of women attempting to get services from Planned Parenthood.
A bill was passed this past March for Planned Parenthood in Ottawa to receive $285,000 of federal government aid over the next three years to help women who have experienced gender-based violence. This is definitely a step in the right direction, but the funds still won’t cover the cost of the other services that Planned Parenthood provides.
When a friend of mine recently tried to get a general appointment with an OB/GYN in Kingston, the wait time she was given was five years.
Additionally, services on campus like Student Wellness Services can’t provide referrals to gynecologists. That means if there really was something wrong with my friend’s reproductive system, she potentially wouldn’t have gotten the help she needed.
If there had been a Planned Parenthood in Kingston, she would’ve been able to visit the clinic, schedule an appointment and be covered by OHIP.
Two things need to be changed for the future of Planned Parenthood in Canada. The first is opening more clinics around Canada — especially in university towns where the need for sexual health services is likely more necessary.
According to a study by the Kinsey Institute, people ages 18-29 are having sex on average 118 times annually in comparison to the average of 77.5 times per year for ages 30-49. This means people our age are having sex on average twice a week, as opposed to less than once a week in the other age range.
The second is allotting more government spending to Planned Parenthood. If more than a thousand women were turned away in one year in Regina alone, Planned Parenthood needs more funding to ensure that more people can be taken care of.
Planned Parenthood is an amazing service that provides help to millions of people. With necessary services at costs affordable to the average person, this important service could continue to expand in Canada as well.
Author: Julia Balakrishnan