Abortion conference set for UPEI

TC Media newsroom@journalpioneer.com
Published on August 5, 2014

UPEI associate professor Colleen MacQuarrie stands over the Women’s Abortion Access Maze research project during the Sexuality, Gender, Health Expo held at Murphy’s Community Centre.

©Guardian photo by Mitch MacDonald

Charlottetown will host Canada’s first-ever international abortion and reproductive justice conference this week.

Abortion: The Unfinished Revolution International Conference takes place Aug. 7 and 8 at the University of Prince Edward Island.

More than 70 local, national, and international delegates will come together from across North America, the United Kingdom, Europe, Australia, India and Africa to present papers on a range of abortion-related issues.

Conference organizers Colleen MacQuarrie, Tracy Penny Light and Shannon Stettner say they were surprised by the response to their call for papers.

“It is clear from the response, that we have touched a nerve — or lit a spark,” said Stettner in a news release.

The organizers’ choice of location was deliberate, noting that MacQuarrie’s UPEI study on the impacts of P.E.I.’s lack of local abortion services show that changes to the Island’s abortion policy are overdue.

“The ways P.E.I. women self-abort bear disturbing similarities to findings from studies conducted on illegal abortion in the late 19th and early 20th centuries,” said MacQuarrie.

Some of the topics explored in the presentations will include the experiences of physicians, abortion providers and supporters, and of women in a wide range of access contexts including the military. Delegates will explore the history of the reproductive justice movement and also become part of making history with this conference. Renowned reproductive justice authors Rickie Solinger and Marlene Gerber Fried will offer the opening and the closing keynotes.

The conference also includes an opportunity for delegates to participate in the Rants and Reflections video booth and an evening banquet.

To register or for more information go to:http://abortionpeiconference.blogspot.ca.