Happy Birthday, Elizabeth Bagshaw. Bagshaw was a pioneer for women’s rights and health in Canada. Bagshaw was the Director of the very first birth control clinic in Canada. She ran the clinic from 1932-1966. Yes, much of that time it was illegal for women in the United States to use many different forms of birth control and it was illegal to have an abortion. This disparity in health care between the Unites States and Canada points not only to our care for women, but specifically the issue of class. In the U.S., women with resources could purchase birth control or have a safe abortion in Canada, whereas women with few or no resources had no access to birth control and no access to safe abortions.
Fortunately, at least for today, women have the legal right to an abortion and to birth control–I know this vexes many men that cannot control the reproductive organs of women, as well as right wing women who have internalized deep rooted misogyny. It is also very fortunate that Canada maintains the Elizabeth Bagshaw Women’s Clinic:
The Elizabeth Bagshaw Women’s Clinic is a registered non-profit, accredited medical facility committed to providing reproductive and abortion services with full counseling, in a safe and confidential atmosphere.
We have much to learn from our neighbors to the north regarding standard of health, human dignity, and gender parity in health care.