The Association of Ontario Midwives believes that reproductive health care is an integral part of people’s health, including contraception, family planning and access to legal, safe abortion care. In particular, the AOM recognizes access to legal and safe abortion as a fundamental right regardless of where people live.
Unsafe abortion is a major cause of maternal mortality and morbidity. 8–18% of maternal deaths worldwide are due to complications from unsafe abortion. The number of abortion-related deaths in 2014 ranged from 22,500 to 44,000 and almost all abortion-related deaths occur in developing countries. Estimates for 2012 indicate that 6.9 million people survive unsafe abortion but sustain long-term damage or disease. As well, there is a large disparity in accessible and safe abortion available worldwide; in developed regions, nearly all abortions (92%) are safe whereas more than half (55%) are unsafe in developing countries.
Historically, midwives have played an important role in reproductive health around the world. The AOM has always supported midwifery care—provincially, nationally and internationally—as a broader part of reproductive rights and recognized that all people should have access to contraception, family planning, and legal and safe abortion as a part of their basic right to health care. This position is in line with that of the Canadian Association of Midwives.
The AOM will continue to advocate for every person’s rights to reproductive health care everywhere, including access to legal and safe abortion care.
Updated June 2017 for gender inclusive language and current statistics.