Frequently Asked Questions
What is The Obstetric Justice Project?
The Obstetric Justice Project (formerly The Reproductive Justice Story Project) is a grassroots patient advocacy initiative working to expose obstetric and gynaecological violence across Canada.
This is a platform to help patients and professionals speak up about wide systemic issues in order to hold these harmful systems accountable and influence change across the country.
The current work revolves around mixed methods research reports and our Community Story Blog; a communal space for stories to be widely shared that might not otherwise have a platform. Story submissions from patients and professionals across Canada are now welcome. Click here for the story submission form.
New surveys will be posted on our social media pages. Click here to view our first survey report.
What sorts of stories are welcome on the Community Story Blog?
•Stories from patients and families about mistreatment and abuse from healthcare providers, healthcare institutions, and systems.
•Stories from students, doulas, and healthcare professionals related to the systems here in Canada. Including funding, policy, politics, access, education/training, culture, and the delivery of reproductive healthcare services in your communities.
Once submitted, your story will be lightly proofread/formatted for the blog - the questions are removed and just your answers are published.
Some themes that continue to come up in story submissions and in the news include:
•care without consent, unnecessary procedures, routine use of non-evidence-based interventions
•poor bedside manner, poor communication, ignoring or dismissing patient concerns
•lack of respect, empathy, and compassion
•medical mistakes and negligence, breeching practice standards
•bullying, threats, coercion, lies, and pressure to submit to care provider's plans
•disproportionate rates of morbidity and mortality in groups that are targets of discrimination
•shaming, mocking, & belittling comments from care providers
•ineffective and inaccessible complaints processes
Why bother going public? How is my story going to change anything?
Going public with our stories is essential because there is so little transparency and accountability in professional complaints channels. For the few who are able to speak up, the process of doing so can sometimes feel disempowering, disappointing, or re-traumatizing and does not always provide a sense of justice and closure or bring about meaningful change.
This doesn't mean that sharing our stories is futile - it just means it will take many more of us speaking out together, loudly and publicly on all available channels, to bring about change in the culture of reproductive healthcare in Canada.
Speaking up in any way may be difficult - and is not possible or safe for everyone - but it can be worthwhile if you're up for it! Our Community Story Blog is just one way to go public with your experience.
See our page of resources for more information about providing feedback and filing formal complaints against professionals who do harm.
Can you provide accessibility support for folks who require it in order to participate?
If you have accessibility needs or you’d prefer to have your story transcribed, record it as a voice memo on your phone and email it directly to email@example.com
Phone or skype sessions can be arranged and in-person transcription is also available in the Greater Toronto Area. Please reach out if you’d like some help to tell your story. If a translator is needed, we can figure out a way to make that happen too.
How can we support the project?
The Obstetric Justice Project has no funding and is run entirely on volunteer power. We rely on the generosity of friends, colleagues, and supporters to cover web & survey hosting and the cost of print materials.
Donations are always welcome by e-transfer to firstname.lastname@example.org if you'd like to help keep things going.
The biggest way to show support and spread the word about the project is to share & engage with posts on social media!
Donations of landscape-aligned photos of hospitals and clinics (inside and out) in your area for use on the blog are also needed. Please send photos to email@example.com if you’d like to help.
Who did the website art?
Our custom illustrations are by Halifax-based illustrator Mollie Cronin:
We would like to respectfully acknowledge that the land on which The Obstetric Justice Project is based in Tkaronto (Toronto) is the territory of the Wendat, the Anishnaabek, Haudenosaunee, métis, and the Mississaugas of the Credit First Nation. We acknowledge the intergenerational impacts of settler-colonial violence and their implications on Indigenous reproductive health, rights, and justice - historically and into the present day.
The Obstetric Justice Project © 2017-2019