The web-based portal designed by Dr. Roopan Gill to provide women with post-abortion support. (Dr. Roopan Gill)

B.C.-trained doctor creates web portal to reduce stigma, provide care after abortions

Dr. Roopan Gill says woman need follow up, help processing

A web-based portal for women recovering after surgical abortions will provide much needed support and reduce stigma, according to a World Health Organization OB-GYN who trained in B.C.

Dr. Roopan Gill said the idea came together when she was working on a research project with BC Women’s Hospital that focused on how women wanted to be followed up with after an abortion.

“A lot of women told us they needed a tool that provides them with emotional support but also re-informs them about contraception and just basic things about understanding their menstrual cycle,” Gill told Black Press Media by phone from Geneva, where she is currently based with WHO.

It was a gap Gill had noticed herself in post-abortion care.

Often times providers do “the procedure and then they’re off on their way,” said Gill.

“They might get a lot of information at the time but it’s overwhelming.”

The portal comes in two pieces: an automatic email that women receive every other day for a week and weekly for a month.

The tool also provides information for a woman’s partner on how they can best support her.

“We found that women absolutely loved it,” Gill said.

Gill, who does a lot of global health work and is a family planning specialist along with being an OB-GYN, said she was inspired by projects in developing countries that tried to connect patients and doctors virtually.

“Women who are in remote and rural areas of Canada are finding that they have an abortion and then would like post-abortion support.”

But because of the widespread nature of the country, and a lack of abortion services in smaller communities, women often cannot follow up with their abortion provider face to face.

One-third of the women Gill spoke to in designing the portal had “travelled for more than 100 kilometres to come to Vancouver for their abortion.”

Other than sheer physical distance, Gill said, stigma was the other issue that women faced when trying to get post-abortion care and information.

Although abortion is fully legal in Canada, Gill said some women still felt too ashamed to talk about it.

“We’re hoping that this platform can destigmatize abortion,” she said.

“Maybe these kind of digital solutions can get to a point in time when abortion is not seen as this taboo thing but just another medical procedure that women go through, and they don’t have to hide it.”

READ ALSO: ‘No appetite’ to ban abortions in Canada amid U.S. bills, expert says

READ ALSO: No-cost medical abortions ‘a game changer’ in B.C. women’s health: expert

READ ALSO: Trudeau says U.S. state abortion bans are ‘backsliding on women’s rights


@katslepian

katya.slepian@bpdigital.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

UPDATED: MV Balfour ferry returns to service

The 65-year-old ferry had been out of action for a month

Rossland council urges minister to kill Jumbo Glacier Resort project

Mayor writes letter panning ski resort on environmental, legal, and economic grounds

Contempt charge against Balfour logging protesters dropped on technicality

A B.C. Supreme Court justice ruled Cooper Creek Cedar failed to file a contempt application

RCMP renew request for help finding missing Nakusp man

Christopher Sanford was reported missing Aug. 5

Anglican churches in Nelson, Balfour, Kaslo to marry same-gender couples

Rev. Jeff Donnelly says he’d love to host LGBTQ weddings

VIDEO: Could we BE any more excited? ‘Friends’ fans go crazy for merch

Movie theatres will show select episodes to mark the NBC series’ 25th anniversary

Bodies of two missing Surrey men found near Ashcroft

Ryan Provencher and Richard Scurr have been missing since July 17

Five hedgehogs quickly adopted after being left at BC SPCA

Lucky new owners picked up their pets from Maple Ridge branch on Aug. 20

B.C. cricket players get interrupted by racist remark

Community has had protocols in place for years to respond to prejudice

Groovy B.C. wedding a throwback to Woodstock ‘69

Couple hosts themed wedding 50 years after legendary festival

Nearly 50% of Canadians experience ‘post-vacation blues’: poll

48 per cent of travellers are already stressed about ‘normal life’ while still on their trip

More women may need breast cancer gene test, U.S. guidelines say

Recommendations aimed at women who’ve been treated for BRCA-related cancers and are now cancer-free

B.C. manhunt suspects left cellphone video before they died: family

Family member says Kam McLeod, Bryer Schmegelsky recorded final wishes

Most Read