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

First Nations given max compensation for Ottawa’s child-welfare discrimination

2016 ruling said feds didn’t give same funding for on-reserve kids as was given to off-reserve kids

Power restored to 120,000 customers after northern B.C. transmission failure

Lightning is suspected to be the cause of the outage, says BC Hydro

Kitimat fire department halts JFJV Labour Day weekend waste burning

Fire chief says tighter controls are now in place

Three people wanted on warrants

Terrace RCMP asking for public’s help

Belgian man linked as possible missing kayaker in Nass River

Family pleads on Facebook for more information

‘This is where the movement is going to start’: Jessica Patrick remembered at memorial march

The march commemorates the one-year anniversary of the 18-year-old’s unsolved death

VIDEO: Vancouver Island mayor details emergency response after fatal bus crash

Sharie Minions says she is ‘appalled’ by condition of road where bus crashed

Federal party leaders address gun violence after weekend shooting near Toronto

One teen was killed and five people injured in the shooting

Conservatives promise tax cut that they say will address Liberal increases

Scheer says the cut would apply to the lowest income bracket

B.C. VIEWS: Cutting wood waste produces some bleeding

Value-added industry slowly grows as big sawmills close

Fewer trees, higher costs blamed for devastating downturn in B.C. forestry

Some say the high cost of logs is the major cause of the industry’s decline in B.C.

Federal food safety watchdog says batch of baby formula recalled

The agency says it’s conducting a food safety investigation

UVic president offers condolences after two students killed in bus crash

‘We also grieve with those closest to these members of our campus community,’ Cassels says

Most Read