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

Just Posted

Health care priorities debated following surprise funding announcement

Surprise provincial funding stirs debate on local health care priorities during regional meeting

Centre 64 gallery reopens with Kaleidoscope exhibit

After a long shut down due to COVID-19 restrictions, the Kimberley Arts… Continue reading

New fire start off Stirton Road, near Marysville

BC Wildfire Service is reporting a new fire start near Marysville, Sunday… Continue reading

Quilt of Valour presented

Cindy Postnikoff of Military Ames is pleased to have presented another Quilt… Continue reading

Kimberley SAR warn of river dangers heading into last weeks of summer

Recent incidents prompt warnings for extra caution and preparedness

Canada to match donations to Lebanon relief

Canada is directing all of its aid for this crisis directly to humanitarian organizations, not the Lebanese government

Small Manitoba town mourning after well-liked teens killed by tornado

Melita residents feeling profound grief after the deaths of Shayna Barnesky and Carter Tilbury

Antonio Banderas says he’s tested positive for coronavirus

Acclaimed actor celebrating his 60th birthday in quarantine

Bear put down after being found on Vancouver Island kitchen counter

Bear trapped and killed near Ucluelet after repeated instances of entering sheds and homes

Who can dismiss the Governor General? A look at protocols and possibilities

The Governor General is appointed by the Queen, on the advice of the prime minister

Second phase of NHL draft lottery set for Monday

Each club eliminated from qualifying round has a 12.5 per cent shot at the No. 1 pick

University of Victoria, rowing coach sued over alleged ‘fat shaming’ and verbal abuse

Lawsuit says Barney Williams subjected coxswain Lily Copeland to offensive and belittling language

1 year since a B.C. teen died in a skate park, his family still waiting for charges

Carson Crimeni’s final moments were broadcast on social media

NHL playoffs: Canucks to meet St. Louis Blues in Round 1

Vancouver takes on defending champs beginning Wednesday

Most Read