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Dr. Martha Paynter: Pharmacare for Contraception

“We absolutely should have publicly funded prevention of pregnancy and not just publicly funded abortion.”

On this episode oh Humans, on Rights we talk with Dr. Martha Paynter, Dalhousie School of Nursing scholar, researcher, writer, nurse, activist and board chair of Wellness Within about why she wrote her book Abortion to Abolition: Reproductive Health and Justice in Canada. Dr. Paynter believes that the history of abortion decriminalization and critical advocacy efforts to improve access in Canada deserve to be better known. Ordinary people persevered to make Canada the most progressive country in the world with respect to abortion care. But while abortion access is poorly understood, so too are the persistent threats to reproductive justice in this country: sexual violence, gun violence, homophobia and transphobia, criminalization of sex work, reproductive oppression of Indigenous women and girls, privatization of fertility health services, and the racism and colonialism of policing and the prison system.

Paynter encourages Canadians to ask their health-care providers about prescribing medical abortion through pharmaceutical drugs such as Mifepristone. Through further conversations with patients on abortion care, Paynter is confident that Canadian health-care providers will grow in confidence around providing access to abortion care, ultimately allowing the topic to become more normalized in Canadian society.


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