183 research outputs found

    When there are no abortion laws: A case study of Canada.

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    Canada decriminalized abortion, uniquely in the world, 30 years ago. We present the timeline of relevant Canadian legal, political, and policy events before and since decriminalization. We assess implications for clinical care, health service and systems decisions, health policy, and the epidemiology of abortion in the absence of criminal legislation. As the criminal abortion law was struck down, dozens of similar private member's bills, and one government bill, have been proposed, but none were passed. Key findings include that initially Canadian provinces attempted to provide restrictive regulations and legislation, all of which have been revoked and largely replaced with supportive policies that improve equitable, accessible, state-provided abortion service. Abortion rates have been stable over 30 years since decriminalization, and a falling proportion of abortions occur late in the second trimester. Canada demonstrates that abortion care can safely and effectively be regulated as a normal component of usual medical care

    Contraception Practices Among Women on Opioid Agonist Therapy.

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    OBJECTIVE: Despite increased public awareness and use of opioid agonist therapy (OAT), there is little published data on contraception among women on methadone or buprenorphine/naloxone. This study aimed to characterize patterns of contraception use among this population. METHODS: We conducted a cross-sectional survey between May 2014 and October 2015 at 6 medical clinics, pharmacies, and community organizations in British Columbia. Trained surveyors used the Canadian Sexual Health Survey (CSHS) to collect information on contraceptive practices and barriers to health care access. Descriptive analysis was performed on the subset of women on OAT who were at risk for unintended pregnancy. RESULTS: Of the 133 survey respondents, 80 (60.2%) were at risk for unintended pregnancy. Among the 46 respondents with a recent pregnancy, 44 (95.7%) reported it as unintended. Of those at risk for unintended pregnancy, the most common contraceptive methods used were "no method," male condom, and depo-medroxyprogesterone at 28.8%, 16.3%, and 12.5%, respectively. Only 5% reported dual protection with a barrier and hormonal or intrauterine method. Barriers to contraception access included difficulty booking appointments with providers and cost, although 97% of all respondents reported feeling comfortable speaking with a physician about contraception. CONCLUSION: We found that most respondents using OAT reported prior pregnancies that were unintended, and used less effective contraceptive methods. Health care professionals who provide addiction care are uniquely positioned to address their patients' concerns about contraception. Incorporating family planning discussions into OAT services may improve understanding and use of effective contraceptive methods. Addressing unmet contraceptive needs may enable women on OAT to achieve their reproductive goals

    Leadership for success in transforming medical abortion policy in Canada.

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    OBJECTIVES: Mifepristone was approved for use in medical abortion by Health Canada in 2015. Approval was accompanied by regulations that prohibited pharmacist dispensing of the medication. Reproductive health advocates in Canada recognized this regulation would limit access to medical abortion and successfully worked to have this regulation removed in 2017. The purpose of this study was to assess the leadership involved in changing these regulations so that the success may be replicated by other groups advocating for health policy change. METHODS: This study involved a mixed methods instrumental design in the context of British Columbia, Canada. Our data collection included: a) interviews with seven key individuals, representing the organizations that worked in concert for change to Canadian mifepristone regulations, and b) document analysis of press articles, correspondence, briefing notes, and meeting minutes. We conducted a thematic analysis of transcripts of audio-recorded interviews. We identified strengths and weaknesses of the team dynamic using the Develop Coalitions, Achieve Results and Systems Transformation domains of the LEADS Framework. RESULTS: Our analysis of participant interviews indicates that autonomy, shared values, and clarity in communication were integral to the success of the group's work. Analysis using the LEADS Framework showed that individuals possessed many of the capabilities identified as being necessary for successful health policy leadership. A lack of post-project assessment was identified as a possible limitation and could be incorporated in future work to strengthen dynamics especially when a desired outcome is not achieved. Document analysis provided a clear time-line of the work completed and suggested that strong communication between team members was another key to success. CONCLUSIONS: The results of our analysis of the interviews and documents provide valuable insight into the workings of a successful group committed to a common goal. The existing collegial and trusting relationships between key stakeholders allowed for interdisciplinary collaboration, rapid mobilization, and identification of issues that facilitated successful Canadian global-first deregulation of mifepristone dispensing

    Nurses are Key Members of the Abortion Care Team: Why aren’t Schools of Nursing Teaching Abortion Care?

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    Abortion is a common and safe procedure in Canada, with the Canadian Institute for Health Information reporting approximately 100,000 procedures per year. Yet access remains problematic. As abortion is unrestricted by criminal law in Canada, access is limited by geographic barriers and by a shortage of providers. We present a feminist critical lens to describe how the marginalization of nursing and nurses in abortion care contributes to social stigma and public misunderstanding about abortion access. The roles of registered nurses and nurse practitioners in abortion advocacy, service navigation, counselling, education, support, physiological care and follow up are underutilized and under-researched. In 2015, decades after its availability elsewhere in the world, Health Canada approved mifepristone (a pill for medical abortion). In 2017, provincial regulators began to authorize nurse practitioners to independently provide medical abortion care, as appropriate given the inclusion in nurse practitioner scope of practice to order diagnostic tests, make diagnoses, and treat health conditions. Ensuring nurse practitioners are able to practice medical abortion has the potential to significantly increase abortion access for rural, remote and other marginalized populations. There is also an opportunity to optimize the registered nurse role in abortion care. However, achieving these improvements is challenging as abortion is not routinely taught in Canadian Schools of Nursing. We argue that to destigmatize abortion and improve access, undergraduate nursing and nurse practitioner programs across the country must begin to include abortion and family planning competencies

    Let's keep our eye on the ball.

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    No abstract available. Editorial commen

    Trends and determinants of postabortion contraception use in a Canadian retrospective cohort.

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    OBJECTIVES: We aim to describe demographic trends associated with postabortion contraceptive choice, characteristics of intrauterine device (IUD) users and relation to subsequent abortion. STUDY DESIGN: Our retrospective chart review study included all patients obtaining an abortion from 2003 to 2010 at the primary service provider in the Interior Health Region of British Columbia, tracking each patient for 5 years to detect subsequent abortion. We used descriptive statistics to analyze demographic trends and logistic regression to examine determinants of choosing an IUD and likelihood of subsequent abortion per contraceptive method. RESULTS: Our study cohort included 5206 patients, 1247 (24.0%) of whom chose an IUD. Patients increased IUD use from 10.14% to 45.74% of the cohort over the study period. Mean age of those choosing an IUD significantly decreased over the study period [30.9±7.3 years in 2003 to 26.2±6.5 years in 2010 (p<.001)]. In multivariable analysis, factors associated with choosing an IUD postabortion were prior delivery [aOR=2.77 (95% CI 2.40-3.20)] and being older than 20 years [20-29 years: AOR=1.87 (1.51-2.32); or 30+ years: AOR=1.96 (1.54-2.50)]. Patients choosing an IUD were less likely to have a subsequent abortion compared to those selecting oral contraceptives [aOR=1.96 (95% CI 1.54-2.52)] or depomedroxyprogesterone acetate [aOR=1.84 (95% CI 1.36-2.49)]. CONCLUSIONS: We found an increasing trend of choosing an IUD after an abortion in our population, especially among youth. Patients who chose an IUD postabortion were less likely to have a subsequent abortion over the next 5 years. IMPLICATIONS: An important strategy for reducing subsequent abortion is to ensure that those seeking abortion have accurate information on the comparative effectiveness of postabortion contraception methods. Educational efforts, alongside removal of cost and other barriers, will contribute to the prevention of subsequent abortion and improve equitable access to IUDs among the population

    The perspective of rural physicians providing abortion in Canada: qualitative findings of the BC Abortion Providers Survey (BCAPS).

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    BACKGROUND: An increasing proportion of Canadian induced abortions are performed in large urban areas. For unknown reasons the number of rural abortion providers in Canadian provinces, such as British Columbia (BC), has declined substantially. This study explored the experiences of BC rural and urban physicians providing abortion services. METHODS: The mixed methods BC Abortion Providers Survey employed self-administered questionnaires, distributed to all known current and some past BC abortion providers in 2011. The optional semi-structured interviews are the focus of this analysis. Interview questions probed the experiences, facilitators and challenges faced by abortion providers, and their future intentions. Interviews were transcribed and analyzed using cross-case and thematic analysis. RESULTS: Twenty interviews were completed and transcribed, representing 13/27 (48.1%) rural abortion providers, and 7/19 (36.8%) of urban providers in BC. Emerging themes differed between urban and rural providers. Most urban providers worked within clinics and reported a supportive environment. Rural physicians, all providing surgical abortions within hospitals, reported challenging barriers to provision including operating room scheduling, anesthetist and nursing logistical issues, high demand for services, professional isolation, and scarcity of replacement abortion providers. Many rural providers identified a need to "fly under the radar" in their small community. DISCUSSION: This first study of experiences among rural and urban abortion providers in Canada identifies addressable challenges faced by rural physicians. Rural providers expressed a need for increased support from hospital administration and policy. Further challenges identified include a desire for continuing professional education opportunities, and for available replacement providers

    Non-use of Contraception by Canadian Youth Aged 15 to 24: Findings From the 2009-2010 Canadian Community Health Survey.

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    OBJECTIVES: Non-use of contraception is an important contributor to unintended pregnancy. This study assessed non-use of contraception and its determinants among Canadian youth aged 15 to 24. METHODS: Data from the 2009-2010 Canadian Community Health Survey respondents aged 15 to 24 were used to identify non-users of contraception among heterosexual youth who had had intercourse within the previous 12 months, were not pregnant or sterilized, and felt it was important to avoid pregnancy. Sociodemographic, behavioural, and geographic factors were compared for non-users and users of contraception. RESULTS: Among youth at risk for unintended pregnancy, 15.5% were non-users of contraception. There were no differences between sexes. Across regions of Canada, Quebéc had the highest proportion of at-risk youth, but at-risk Quebéc youth were the least likely to be non-users (7.4%; CI 5.7%-9.0%) compared with at-risk youth in the Territories (28.3%; CI 21.6%-35.0%). In the multivariable analysis, aside from residence outside of Quebéc, younger age, lower income, Aboriginal identification (adjusted OR [aOR] 1.67; CI 1.18-2.37), and smoking (aOR 1.55; CI 1.24-1.92) were associated with non-use. Canadian-born youth (aOR 0.61; CI 0.39-0.96) and those enrolled in school (aOR 0.63; CI 0.50-0.81) were less likely to be non-users. CONCLUSION: The 15.5% of Canadian youth at risk for unintended pregnancy who were non-users of contraception represent an estimated 300 000 Canadian youth. Policies and programs to promote and support access to sexual health services and effective contraception with specific attention to supporting the needs of younger teens, Aboriginal youth, newcomers, low-income youth, and youth who are not in school are needed
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