The Reproductive Justice Story Project exists to bring attention specifically to mistreatment and abuse within our healthcare system as a result of a culture that is not always patient-centred and does not always prioritize informed decision-making and consent.
We’re using our platform to speak up about disrespectful and abusive care during pregnancy, childbirth, postpartum, and while accessing other forms of reproductive healthcare, in order to hold harmful systems accountable and influence change across the province.
If you have a personal story to share about reproductive healthcare you've received in recent years, consider sharing it for our Community Story Blog.
Our next planned initiative, an Ontario-wide birth trauma survey, is currently in the works.
The results of our independent patient feedback survey for St. Joseph's Health Centre, Toronto are now available:
About the Project
Since the launch of our Community Story Blog in January 2018, stories have come in from across the province of healthcare providers failing to meet the clinical and emotional needs of their patients. The absence of dignity, compassion, and respect in reproductive healthcare is an issue affecting patients across demographic lines.
However, this lack of respectful and inclusive healthcare in Ontario disproportionately affects marginalized individuals and communities including Indigenous, Black, and people of colour, young people, those living on low incomes, with disabilities, whose first language is not that of their care providers, people with diverse gender expression or presentation, less conventional family structures, mental health or trauma histories, and many others.
Research shows that racialized populations lack access to culturally safe care, face implicit bias and overt discrimination from care providers and health systems, and experience higher rates of complications and infant/maternal mortality as a result. The intergenerational impacts of settler-colonial violence on the reproductive health and rights of Indigenous communities in Canada are omnipresent; from forced and coerced sterilizations, to high rates of Indigenous children in care across the country.
Many barriers exist for LGBTQIA2+ identified individuals and families seeking out and accessing quality care. For two-spirit, trans, non-binary, agender, and gender non-conforming people, care providers and care settings that are truly inclusive and gender-affirming are scarce.
Reproductive Justice is about much more than the freedom to plan our own families. It's about autonomy, choice, and self-determination in all stages of our reproductive lives - including pregnancy, childbirth, postpartum, and beyond.
Though the medical community is slow to change, we believe that change can happen if we all speak up together!
content note: the community story blog contains difficult subject matter that may
be triggering for some readers. please practice self-care while reading
We would like to respectfully acknowledge that the land on which The Reproductive Justice Story Project is based in Tkaronto (Toronto) is the traditional territory of the Wendat, the Anishnaabek, Haudenosaunee, Métis, and the Mississaugas of the New Credit. We acknowledge the intergenerational impacts of settler-colonial violence and their implications on Indigenous reproductive health, rights, and justice - historically and into the present day.