Approve #RU486now

OCAC is demanding that Health Canada make RU-486 available in Canada without delay.  

Sign the petition at Health Canada approve RU-486 now!

Tweet:  @MinRonaAmbrose, @PMHarper, @JustinTrudeau, @ThomasMulcair, @ElizabethMay  #RU486now

RU-486 or Mifepristone, better known as “the abortion pill”, is a safe and effective non-surgical option for terminating early pregnancy. The drug was developed in France and became available in1988. It used by women in 60 countries, including the US, the UK, Australia, and New Zealand. In many countries where RU-486 is available, approximately 50% of women choose this option.

Medical abortion (or abortion induced by pill/s) is an alternative to surgical abortion during the first two months of pregnancy. Medical abortion requires a visit to an accredited clinic or hospital, where an ultrasound determines the gestational age of the fetus. Medical abortion is currently available in Canada up to 7 weeks of gestation, using a combination of methotrexate and misoprostol. RU-486, however, is faster and more effective than the two-pill regime, and can be used up to 9 weeks gestation instead of 7 weeks.

There are no legal restrictions to abortion in Canada but access varies greatly in each province and territory. Approval of RU-486 would provide greater access to abortion in rural and remote parts of Canada, where travel for surgical abortion can be time-consuming, expensive, and can compromise confidentiality. In PEI, one must travel off-island to access abortion. There is only one hospital in Nunavut that performs abortion. RU-486 would also reduce lengthy wait times for surgical abortion in areas of the country where it is available.

Even though it usually takes 9 months for pharmaceuticals to go through Health Canada’s approval process, RU-486 has inexplicably been under review since December 2012. Health Canada has said that it will not be ready to announce its results until fall 2015.

Take action:  Sign the petition Health Canada approve RU-486 now!

Tweet  #RU486now  to:






“Often when we talk about abortion or when we hear about it in the media, it is either in a political or moral context. Thus, when we think about women making the decision to have an abortion, it iseasy to get caught in the idea that their decision is based on a moral stand or that it is a reflection oftheir values and belief system. While this may be a factor in the decision-making process, for most women trying to decide what to do with an unplanned pregnancy, their decision is based on thereality of everyday practicalities. The circumstances of their lives are often a crucial part of thedecision to choose abortion. It is also imperative to remember that women take their decision to abort very seriously.” “Pregnancy outcomes are inescapable and time-sensitive … Once a woman is pregnant, she must decide relatively quickly to either give birth or have an abortion. Abortion in particular is very time-sensitive.”

“Abortion is often called a ‘settled issue’ in Canada, an area where ‘social peace’ has been achieved. In reality, however, abortion is still politicized in Canada. Much remains to be done to improve access to abortion in Canada, even though significant progress has been made since the Supreme Court threw out Canada’s unconstitutional law in 1988. [OCAC’s] focus is to ensure that women can exercise their right to this health service equitably and without barriers.” “Evidence clearly shows that medical abortion is a safe alternative to surgical abortion. Intense lobbying [thus] must be undertaken to pressure politicians to ensure that this method is available to Canadian women.”

You can make a difference by signing this petition Health Canada approve RU-486 now!, as well as by tweeting #RU486now to Minister of Health Rona Ambrose @MinRonaAmbrose and federal party leaders in the lead-up to the 2015 federal election: @PMHarper, @JustinTrudeau, @ThomasMulcair, @ElizabethMay.

Reproductive Justice: Equal Access Now! September 20, Toronto

Pan-Canadian Day of Action – Reproductive Justice: Equal Access Now! September 20, Toronto

Abortion Rights Coalition of Canada (ARCC) and OCAC held a rally outside Ryerson University as part of a Pan-Canadian Day of Action for Reproductive Justice – Equal Access Now.


Rabble coverage at


Remembering Bob Gardner

This Saturday October 18, 2014 a memorial will take place to celebrate the life of Dr. Bob Gardner. Between 2:00 p.m. and 4:00 p.m. friends, family, and colleagues will be gathering at the United Steelworkers Hall at 25 Cecil Street.

Read Bob Gardner’s Obituary.

For more information and to sign the guest book, visit Rosar-Morrison Funeral Home & Chapel.

In lieu of flowers, donations are welcome to AIDS Action Now (c/o 102 Salem Ave., Toronto, ON M6H 3C1) or to the Ontario Coalition for Abortion Clinics (427 Bloor St. West, Box 3, Toronto, ON M5S 1X7).

Very Sad News

It is with great sadness that we learned on Thursday that Bob Gardner, a long-time activist in OCAC, had passed away.

Bob was a leader and stalwart in OCAC and in Aids Action Now. He made a huge contribution to the fight to overturn the federal abortion law, and to stop the recriminalization of abortion. His keen sense of strategy and his tremendous ability to synthesize perspectives helped OCAC produce so many of the briefs and documents that guided our work. His determination, humour and intelligence will be missed terribly.

We mourn his loss, and extend our deepest condolences to his life partner, Linda. And we celebrate his many achievements and contribution by carrying on the struggle that he was so passionate about and committed to – for social justice and true liberation.

A celebration of his life is being planned for early fall. In lieu of flowers, donations are welcome to AIDS Action Now (c/o 102 Salem Avenue, Toronto ON M6H 3C1) or to the Ontario Coalition for Abortion Clinics * (427 Bloor St. West Box 3, Toronto ON M5S 1X7). Condolences can be sent to funeral home

*Please note that OCAC is unable to take online donations but cheques can be mailed to the address listed above.

We mourn the loss of Dr. Henry Morgentaler


Today we mourn the passing of Dr. Henry Morgentaler, a man of great courage and humanity who bravely fought to advance women’s equality in our society. Across this country there has been an outpouring of support and admiration for Dr. Morgentaler. We offer our heartfelt sympathies to his family and many, many friends. While we mourn today, our task tomorrow is to continue his legacy.

There are individuals who, at certain moments, rise to a challenge at great personal cost – and it makes an incredible difference. Henry Morgentaler did that. If he had not agreed in 1982 to open an abortion clinic in Toronto – a clinic which became a symbol of women’s resistance to an unjust law – we would not have had the historic Supreme Court decision which struck down Canada’s abortion law. It was a mass movement of women and men across the country that made that change, but it was Henry Morgentaler that sparked that movement and the tens of thousands across this country who mobilized against the federal abortion law.

The fight for reproductive justice is far from over.  We need to keep fighting to make sure that women everywhere in this country have full access to free abortion. As we reflect on the incredible role that Dr. Henry Morgentaler played, we honour his legacy and his sacrifice by keeping up the struggle.