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Why These 12 Canadians Support Abortion Rights In P.E.I.

"Bottom line: if it’s not your body, then it’s not your choice."

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After more than 20 years without abortion providers, activists are suing the government of Prince Edward Island. Unlike other provinces, women must travel off-island to obtain an abortion.

P.E.I. is the only province without services, so last summer he photographed and talked to provincial reproductive rights advocates. about what being pro-choice means to them.

"Now that the pro-choice movement has started a case against the provincial government, I think it’s time that this project is brought up again so that the momentum continues," said Sedighi.

This is what those women and men had to say.

1. "Being pro-choice is about respecting women enough to respect their choices."

Sina Sedighi

"Bottom line: if it’s not your body, then it’s not your choice."

— Hannah Gehrels

2. "Pro-choice is about allowing a woman to make a choice about what happens to her body. When we take the choice away we are not letting her live."

Sina Sedighi

"Life is all about making choices so until you can make a choice you are not really living."

— Tyler Murnaghan

3. "Being pro-choice means respecting a woman’s right to choose what happens to her body, trusting that a woman can make choices about her own body, and supporting a woman before, during and after making her choice."

Sina Sedighi

"I have two daughters and in their toddler years they are already learning about bodily autonomy. Within the next few decades they will face some big decisions, possibly involving abortion. It’s important to me that the bodily autonomy we are teaching them now isn’t voided by a fertilized egg.

"My body is mine; my daughters’ bodies are theirs. That is not conditional."

— Julia Conway

4. "The pro-choice movement to me exists an an extension of our basic human rights to liberty and security of person; preventing women from making such a deeply personal decision is not simply a women's issue, but a human rights violation."

Sina Sedighi

"Each person should have sovereignty over their own body, and that's the bottom line."

— Bethany Koughan

5. "I didn't join the pro-choice movement. I am part of the reproductive justice movement."

Sina Sedighi

"[Reproductive justice] is social justice activism that focuses on the complete physical, mental, spiritual, political, economic, and social well-being of women and girls, and believes that reproductive justice will be achieved when women and girls have the economic, social and political power and resources to make healthy decisions about our bodies, sexuality and reproduction for ourselves, our families and our communities in all areas of our lives.

"When thinking about this approach I can't come up with an answer to justify not being a part of this movement."

— Becka Viau

6. "For me, pro-choice refers to the basic understanding that access to abortion needs to be available, without barrier or judgment."

Sina Sedighi

"I see Prince Edward Island's pro-choice movement as only one facet of a larger movement for social and reproductive justice for all. There is so much work to do on women and trans* health, on poverty, and so much more. It's really frustrating to be in Canada in 2015 and still be fighting the battles of the 1980s."

— Josie Baker

7. "For me, it's the radical notion that pregnancy should be taken seriously and not be left up to chance."

Sina Sedighi

"Being pro-choice simply means respecting the unique circumstances behind each person's decision to have children or not."

— Isaac Williams

8. "For me, being pro-choice is not being forced to carry an unwanted pregnancy which allows me to live my life the way I see fit and continue to grow as a person, a musician, and an activist."

Sina Sedighi

"I've known from a young age that I didn't want to have children. To be forced to carry an unwanted pregnancy would destroy me mentally, physically, and spiritually.

"I am so grateful to know that I am not the only one who feels this way, and happy that our community is taking steps to make life easier for Island women."

— Sarah Chace

9. "Pro-choice is part of a reproductive justice frame for me. Reproductive justice is the power for a woman to decide if and when she will have children, how many she will have, and the resources to parent her children effectively."

Sina Sedighi

"I have been aware of misogyny and violence targeting girls and women for most of my life and I see coerced motherhood as part of that violent misogynistic continuum. Without choice we are left with coercion, and I am working so that choice is inclusive of the values of reproductive justice."

— Colleen MacQuarrie

10. "My body isn't a political pawn. My body isn't property. It is mine, and mine alone."

Sina Sedighi

"I don't really look at it from the point of view that I 'joined' the pro-choice movement. I think I've just always had that mind-set. But my experiences with making my own reproductive decisions has definitely made me feel that I need to use my voice to help others. It's kind of whack to think that allowing people to make basic medical decisions about their own bodies needs a movement. Yet here we are."

— Moe Chandler

11. "Being pro-choice is about trusting and respecting women enough to allow them to make their own decisions."

Sina Sedighi

"There is only one person who knows if the time is right to carry and bear a child who will be loved and well cared for, and this person must be able to make her own decision."

— Darcie Lanthier

12. "Just like a happy pregnancy should be celebrated, the choice to end a pregnancy needs to be respected. If abortion stigma wasn’t so pervasive everyone would know dozens of personal stories that show how far one may go to end a problem pregnancy, it would be common knowledge."

Sina Sedighi

"It would be absolutely clear that being forced to continue a problem pregnancy is a violation of bodily integrity.

"One in three women will have an abortion. If that fact seems unbelievable, try listening without judgement. I can relay so many reasons that I’ve heard as to why people choose abortion: abuse, poverty, rape, forced-conception, being underage, illness, mental health… I could go on but it is so much more powerful when you hear the stories first-hand.

"Respect women and girls by listening and trusting them to make their own decisions about their bodies and lives. Reproductive rights are human rights."

— Emily Rutledge

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