225244 “Abortion, I'm scared to even talk about it.”: Two decades of systemic violence targeting and silencing women in Prince Edward Island

Monday, November 8, 2010 : 1:00 PM - 1:15 PM

Colleen MacQuarrie, Dr , Department of Psychology, University of Prince Edward Island, Charlottetown, PE, Canada
Emily Rutledge , Psychology, University of Prince Edward Island, Charlottetown, PE, Canada
James'(2003) structural model of violence highlights how the political socio-cultural structures impact upon women's health and well being. The development of a feminist critical consciousness has been strongly implicated in the resources women might use to heal from the effects of violence. Through a concerted heated and rancourous public campaign, women's access to abortion was withdrawn in the late 1980s and remains in effect still today. Women in Prince Edward Island are refused access to abortion services in their provincial hospitals. In order to obtain an abortion, women must have access to substantial resources, both tangible and intangible. This paper will trace the praxis implications of this regressive public policy. This presentation will explore the relevance and long term potential of liberation psychology to make a difference in how victims of this state sanctioned violence heal from the effects. The role of feminist critical consciousness will be explored within the context of a liberation psychology workshop with implications for shifting personal and political horizons so that women's equality can be supported and advanced. Change is explored not only at the personal level, but also at the level of interactions with others and with changing the structural basis for sustaining various forms of violence in our culture.

Learning Areas:
Advocacy for health and health education
Planning of health education strategies, interventions, and programs
Provision of health care to the public
Public health or related public policy
Social and behavioral sciences
Systems thinking models (conceptual and theoretical models), applications related to public health

Learning Objectives:
1. Identify and describe the praxis implications of regressive and oppressive public policy. 2. Articulate and assess how a liberation psychology framework can be applied to analyze structural oppressions. 2. Demonstrate how psychopolitical validity can be formulated as integral aspect of research within an academic activist approach.

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am qualified to present because I have conducted research and teaching in women's health using a liberation psychology framework as part of my academic career. Also, I have been a feminist activist for women's reproductive health for more than 25 years.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.