Ontario Coalition For Abortion Clinics (OCAC)
Organization profile published 1983

Year Published:  1983
Resource Type:  Organization
Cx Number:  CX2704

The ONTARIO COALITION FOR ABORTION CLINICS (OCAC) "believes that the right to control our bodies is a basic human right. Yet women do not have this right. Controlling our bodies means the right to choose if and when to have children. It means the right to safe, free abortions." More than 30 per cent of women live in communities where hospitals do not provide abortions; more than 70 per cent of hospitals in Canada do not perform abortions at all. Abortion is now legal in Canada, but only under extremely controlled conditions. Access is limited, and many women who choose to have abortions are unable to obtain them.

OCAC develops this position in its pamphlet, The Right To Choose. It explains how "in a society where women are sexually and economically exploited, where women make up the largest percentage of the poor, where women are often denied paid parental leave and access to daycare and individually carry the major responsability for child-rearing, where women are raped and beaten, and where contraceptives often fail or have serious side effects, abortion must be an available option."

The COALITION is careful to note that it is neither pro - nor anti-abortion. Rather, it sees the issue primarily as one of choice. The pamphlet points out that "women who are against abortion already have the right to follow their beliefs to continue an unplanned pregnancy to term. But anti-choice proponents should not be allowed to impose their own moral and religious views through legislation or intimidation on those who view abortion as a responsible moral choice."

The COALITION sees free-standing abortion clinics as an effective means of providing women with this choice. A free-standing clinic outside of a hospital where abortions are provided on an outpatient basis. This type of clinic would also offer a supportive enviroment, counselling, and more thorough birth control information. Medically-insured abortions are already provided by community clinics in Quebec (where there is broad public support for the right to choose). OCAC hopes to build such support in Ontario and convince the provincial goverment to legalize free-standing abortion clinics. The COALITION began a public campaign with this goal in October, 1982. To date, many groups (including the Ontario Federation of Labour, the Labour Council of Metro Toronto, the National Action Committee on the Status of Women, the Canadian Abortion Rights Action League, Women Working With Immigrant Women, the Internation Women's Day Committee, the Medical Reform Group of Ontario, and the Law Union of Ontario) have endorsed the legalization of free-standing clinics providing medically-insured abortions.

This abstract was published in the Connexions Digest in 1983.

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