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.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Comments are closed

Just Posted

Hwy 1 flooding causes massive delays on certain Arrow Lakes ferry routes

Motorists have been waiting around three hours to get on ferries

RDCK: spring flooding financial relief available

The provincial funds are for those affected by flooding in May and early June

Nakusp celebrates Canada Day with parade

Around 50 people from various business and organizations participated in parade

QUIZ: Put your knowledge of Canada to the test

How much do you know about our country?

Selkirk College offering employees voluntary resignations

The college is canvassing employees for those who may want some time off or reduced work loads

B.C. accommodators need phone lines to light up as in-province travel given green light

Travel restrictions during the COVID-19 pandemic have decimated the tourism and hospitality industries

300 Cache Creek residents on evacuation alert due to flood risk as river rises

Heavy rainfall on Canada Day has river rising steadily, threatening 175 properties

First glimpse of Canada’s true COVID-19 infection rate expected mid-July

At least 105,000 Canadians have tested positive for COVID-19 since the coronavirus was identified

Police ramp up efforts to get impaired drivers off B.C. roads this summer

July is dedicated to the Summer CounterAttack Impaired Driving Campaign

Migrant workers stage multi-city action for full status amid COVID-19 risks

‘COVID-19 has exacerbated an existing crisis’

Okanagan school drops ‘Rebels’ sports team name, citing links with U.S. Civil War

Name and formerly-used images “fly in the face” of the district’s human rights policy, says board chair

PHOTOS: B.C.’s top doc picks up personalized Fluevog shoes, tours mural exhibition

Murals of Gratitude exhibit includes at least one portrait of Henry alongside paintings of health-care workers

In troubled times: Independence Day in a land of confusion

Buffeted by invisible forces and just plain worn out, the United States of America celebrates its 244th birthday

Stop enforcing sex work laws during COVID-19, advocates say

There are provisions in Canada’s prostitution laws that make workers immune from prosecution, but not from arrest

Most Read