The web-based portal designed by Dr. Roopan Gill to provide women with post-abortion support. (Dr. Roopan Gill)

B.C.-trained doctor creates web portal to reduce stigma, provide care after abortions

Dr. Roopan Gill says woman need follow up, help processing

A web-based portal for women recovering after surgical abortions will provide much needed support and reduce stigma, according to a World Health Organization OB-GYN who trained in B.C.

Dr. Roopan Gill said the idea came together when she was working on a research project with BC Women’s Hospital that focused on how women wanted to be followed up with after an abortion.

“A lot of women told us they needed a tool that provides them with emotional support but also re-informs them about contraception and just basic things about understanding their menstrual cycle,” Gill told Black Press Media by phone from Geneva, where she is currently based with WHO.

It was a gap Gill had noticed herself in post-abortion care.

Often times providers do “the procedure and then they’re off on their way,” said Gill.

“They might get a lot of information at the time but it’s overwhelming.”

The portal comes in two pieces: an automatic email that women receive every other day for a week and weekly for a month.

The tool also provides information for a woman’s partner on how they can best support her.

“We found that women absolutely loved it,” Gill said.

Gill, who does a lot of global health work and is a family planning specialist along with being an OB-GYN, said she was inspired by projects in developing countries that tried to connect patients and doctors virtually.

“Women who are in remote and rural areas of Canada are finding that they have an abortion and then would like post-abortion support.”

But because of the widespread nature of the country, and a lack of abortion services in smaller communities, women often cannot follow up with their abortion provider face to face.

One-third of the women Gill spoke to in designing the portal had “travelled for more than 100 kilometres to come to Vancouver for their abortion.”

Other than sheer physical distance, Gill said, stigma was the other issue that women faced when trying to get post-abortion care and information.

Although abortion is fully legal in Canada, Gill said some women still felt too ashamed to talk about it.

“We’re hoping that this platform can destigmatize abortion,” she said.

“Maybe these kind of digital solutions can get to a point in time when abortion is not seen as this taboo thing but just another medical procedure that women go through, and they don’t have to hide it.”

READ ALSO: ‘No appetite’ to ban abortions in Canada amid U.S. bills, expert says

READ ALSO: No-cost medical abortions ‘a game changer’ in B.C. women’s health: expert

READ ALSO: Trudeau says U.S. state abortion bans are ‘backsliding on women’s rights


@katslepian

katya.slepian@bpdigital.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

A case of COVID has been detected within School District 33. (School District 33 photo)
UPDATE: Case of COVID confirmed at a Chilliwack school

Fraser Health has not informed parents but district sent letter to parents Friday

Record-low returns of salmon have been recorded on the Fraser River in recent years. (Fisheries and Oceans Canada)
Time for Indigenous-led salmon strategy on the Lower Fraser, says Alliance

‘Closures of First Nations, commercial and recreational salmon fishing’ have huge impact: LFFA

The City of Chilliwack says there’s too much spitting going on at the Sardis Sports Complex. (City of Chilliwack photo)
Too much spitting a problem at Chilliwack’s Sardis Sports Complex

The City of Chilliwack is asking the minor hockey community to ease up on expectorating

The number of new COVID-19 cases has risen sharply in Vancouver and the Fraser North region over the last week.
Chart: Tyler Olsen
CHARTS: Weekly COVID-19 case counts continue to rise in Fraser Valley

The number of new COVID-19 cases has risen sharply in Vancouver and the Fraser North region.

The Excelsior 4 are set to make their second court appearance in Abbotsford on Monday (Nov. 2). (Ben Lypka/Abbotsford News)
‘Excelsior 4’ making second Abbotsford court appearance on Monday

Animal rights activists expected to plead not guilty to charges, protest for Vancouver scheduled

Physical distancing signs are a common sight in B.C. stores and businesses. THE CANADIAN PRESS
272 more COVID-19 cases for B.C., outbreak at oil sands project

Three new health care outbreaks, three declared over

A Mercedes SUV is covered at a gas station in the Clayton area following a deadly shooting there on Sept. 28, 2019. (File photo)
This house at 414 Royal Ave. became notorious for its residents’ and visitors’ penchant for attracting police. It was also the site of a gruesome torture in August 2018. It was demolished in 2019. KTW
6-year sentence for Kamloops man who helped carve ‘rat’ into flesh of fellow gang member

Ricky Dennis was one of three men involved in the August 2018 attack

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Among the pumpkin carvings created this year by Rick Chong of Abbotsford is this tribute to fallen officer Cont. Allan Young.
Abbotsford pumpkin carver’s creations include fallen police officer

Rick Chong carves and displays 30 pumpkins every year

An online fundraising campaign in support of the six-year-old boy, Edgar Colby, who was hit by a car on Range Road Oct. 25 has raised more than $62,000 in a day. (Submitted)
$62K raised in 1 day for boy in coma at BC Children’s after being hit by vehicle in Yukon

The boy’s aunt says the family is “very grateful” for the support they’ve received from the community

Health care employees take extensive precautions when working with people infected or suspected of having COVID-19. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chris Young
WorkSafeBC disallows majority of COVID-19 job injury claims

Health care, social services employees filing the most claims

Vancouver Symphony Orchestra Maestro Otto Tausk. (Photo: vancouversymphony.ca)
50/50 lotto players buck up for Metro Vancouver musicians hit hard by COVID

‘Rapidly growing jackpot’ for VSO’s 50/50 draw as they go online with TheConcertHall.ca

Most Read