Burnaby MLA Janet Routledge advocates for safe abortion services

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VICTORIA – New Democrat MLA Janet Routledge rose in the House earlier this week to share powerful words about accessible abortion services, a woman’s right to choose, and the harm done to women and the health care professionals when bans are enacted.

Routledge helped establish Everywoman’s Health Centre, the first freestanding abortion clinic in British Columbia, and shared her first-hand experiences.

“I remember being part of a human shield to protect [women] from being pushed, spit on and verbally abused. Supporters serving as human shields became a daily activity, and it was common for staff to arrive for work to find someone chained to the front door,” said Routledge.

“We learned how to check the washroom for bombs, and we were urged to look under our cars for bombs before we drove home. I remember discussing what kind of Kevlar vest we should buy for the doctors and how to get them to wear one, even after one of our doctors, Gary Romalis, was shot by a sniper through his kitchen window.”

This statement was made just weeks after two BC Liberal MLAs, Laurie Throness and Rich Coleman, spoke to an anti-choice rally on the lawns of the legislature. Throness is the official BC Liberal spokesperson for Children and Families.

Coleman said at the rally that abortion is “totally, totally wrong.”

Routledge concluded her statement with a somber reminder of how abortion accessibility impacts women.

“Making abortions illegal doesn’t stop women from ending unwanted pregnancies. It just stops them from ending them safely.”

Watch the full statement: https://bit.ly/2wthT0E