British Columbia

Threats to sex education a concern, says head of B.C. Women's Hospital Foundation

British Columbians need to be remain aware about the threats to women's reproductive rights and contraceptive awareness as debates about abortion and sex education continue across North America, says the president of B.C. Women's Hospital Foundation.

Genesa Greening’s message coincides with World Contraception Day

Genesa Greening says it's a dual responsibility between schools and parents to discuss sex education and contraceptive options but 'we should be able to rely on our school system to have a science, fact-based approach to what kids deserve to know.'

British Columbians need to be remain aware about the threats to women's reproductive rights and contraceptive awareness as debates about abortion and sex education continue across North America, says the president of the B.C. Women's Hospital Foundation.

Genesa Greening's warning coincides with World Contraception Day Wednesday and comes as Ontario is reverting to a 1998 sex education curriculum that leaves out some information about contraceptives.

Although it's a debate happening on the other side of the country, Greening said it has implications for all Canadians and B.C. is not immune to similar conversations.

"It's absolutely essential that we ensure that we don't see that being stripped away like it currently is in Ontario," Greening said.

Greening emphasized the importance of age-appropriate discussions around STI protection, contraception options and how to make informed decisions to avoid "leaving our youth to make choices that have lifetime consequences."

"It's not just about women's rights in this particular issue," she told Stephen Quinn, the host of CBC's The Early Edition.

"We are doing everybody a disservice when we choose not to share the fulsomeness of information to be able to have the discussion around choice but also around protection."

British Columbia needs to be remain cognizant about the threats to women's reproductive rights and contraceptive awareness as debates about abortion and sex education continue across North America, says the president of the B.C. Women's Hospital 7:44

Reality of unintended pregnancy

She highlighted the importance of the issue by drawing a correlation between contraception and women's equality.

"The statistics play out that women under the age of 20 who are not using contraception at first sex are twice as likely to get pregnant," she said.

"The reality is an unintended pregnancy at the wrong time in a woman's life can completely change the trajectory: her ability to get an education and to have the career she wants."

B.C. has made progress on the contraception front, she said, by recently allowing nurse practitioners to prescribe the abortion pill, Mifegymiso, and covering the cost but there is always more to be done,

"We hope that [the government] is going to take it one step further and provide free universal care when it comes to the access that women need to contraception."

With files from The Early Edition.

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Corrections

  • An earlier version of this story said Genesa Greening is the CEO of B.C. Women's Hospital. In fact, she is the CEO of the B.C. Women's Hospital Foundation.
    Sep 26, 2018 12:35 PM PT

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