For all media requests please contact (interviews available in French):

Kristen Einarson
Senior Communications Specialist
keinarson3@womenshealthlclinic.org


WHC RESPONDS TO ROE V. WADE BEING OVERTURNED

WINNIPEG, MB: June 24, 2022 – The U.S. Supreme Court has officially declared war on women’s bodily autonomy. This is pushing back progress on equal rights by half a century. We feel rage, fear, and an unwavering commitment to making sure this does not happen in Canada.

This is more than a shame, it’s injustice. The U.S. Supreme Court is making sure that bodily autonomy is no longer an option for people in red states who do not have the resources to access safe, legal abortion.

We have said it before, and we will say it again: abortions will happen whether they are legal or not. The U.S. Supreme Court wants to ignore this fact because, conveniently, their loved ones will always be able to access safe abortion care.

The difference between legal and illegal abortion comes down to a question of class, access, and safety. Wealthy (white) women will always have access to safe abortions. We advocate for everyone, regardless of race and socioeconomic status, to have access to safe, dignified care and for everyone to have agency over their bodies.

For folks accessing abortion care somewhere that is not regulated, by someone who may not be a doctor or nurse practitioner, the opportunities for complications, infection, and even death are many.

“By overturning this ruling,” says Keesha Daniels, Health Services Manager at WHC, “for the first time in the history of the US Supreme Court, it sends a shocking and devastating reminder that women, female-identified and uterus-holding individuals have, in 2022, been subjected to the very same principles that suggested we were not appropriate to vote, earn equal salaries or be seen as HUMAN BEINGS!

“This is war. The abortions will not stop. Access to safe abortions in the US has been decimated. People will suffer and die from illegal abortions. When people with uteruses suffer, all of humanity suffers.”

This is another reminder that we cannot ever take for granted the right to bodily autonomy we have in Canada. As it stands, WHC performs anywhere from 25-30% more abortions per year then we are funded for. Our free/low cost birth control program does not receive any healthcare funding, and we provide that service using generous donations from our community.
WHC will provide abortions to anybody who may need one. But we remind folks that having to travel to receive abortion care means that someone has the privilege to afford taking time away from work, travelling to another place, and finding a place to recover from their procedure.

WHC will never stop fighting for the right to safe, equitable reproductive healthcare. You can rest assured that we will do whatever it takes to help whoever needs it.

To donate to abortion care in Manitoba, click here.

Women’s Health Clinic (WHC) is an inclusive, feminist community health clinic in Winnipeg, Manitoba. Since 1981, WHC has provided accessible woman-centred education and services, created strategic partnerships and advocated for system change.

For more information or to schedule an interview, please contact:
Kristen Einarson
Senior Communications Specialist, Women’s Health Clinic
keinarson3@womenshealthclinic.org


HEY CUZZIN’- INAUGURAL NATIONAL INDIGENOUS PEOPLE’S DAY CELEBRATION WILL TAKE PLACE AT JACOB PENNER PARK ON JUNE 21

Partnership between Neecheewam Inc., Blue Thunderbird Family Care Inc., Women’s Health Clinic (WHC), and Crisis and Trauma Resource Institute (CTRI) behind event.

Winnipeg, MB: June 17, 2022 – June 21 is National Indigenous People’s Day. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, we have not been able to celebrate together. That is why we are thrilled to finally celebrate with Hey Cuzzin’, a free community celebration for National Indigenous People’s Day.

“A gift of this partnership is the synergy it produces – it has the capacity of impacting the lives of all the people each of us work with,” says Elder Wa Wa Tei Ikwe, Northern Lights Woman of WHC.

The celebrations will include pipe ceremonies, prayers, free breakfast, speeches, and will happen rain or shine at Jacob Penner Park (794 Victor Street) on June 21.

“We are all related and the relationships we develop are based on this principle,” says Cory Campbell, Executive Director of Neecheewam Inc.

The group invites folks to bring their own water bottles and lawn chairs. Breakfast will be served by Perfect Place for free and quantities will be available until food runs out.

“We are committed to being part of and influenced by the Reconciliation journey. This is central to our relationships,” says Nathan Gerbrandt, Managing Director of CTRI.

This installation of the event will be the first of many between the four organizations.

“We’re grateful for these incredible opportunities to meet and work on this land together, but land acknowledgments are not enough. We need to pursue truth, Reconciliation, decolonization, and allyship in ongoing active ways to make right with all our relations,” says WHC Executive Director Kemlin Nembhard.

HEY CUZZIN’
June 21, 2022 at Jacob Penner Park
8:30 a.m. – Pipe Ceremony
9 a.m. – Breakfast is served
11 a.m. – Closing Prayer

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Blue Thunderbird Family Care is an Indigenous service organization developing Indigenous solutions for the growing number of children and families in the child and family service system. Blue Thunderbird works with Indigenous families to reclaim traditional ways of providing care, safety, belonging, connectedness and healthy interdependence.

Neecheewam Inc. is an Indigenous organization providing residential care services to children and youth in care of various child and family services agencies.

CTRI provides training (in-person and online), consulting, books, and free resources in the areas of trauma, mental health, counselling skills, and violence prevention. At the heart of everything we do is a belief that everyone should be trauma-informed. We hope that the impact of our work ripples out into the world, inspiring learning and improving lives.

Women’s Health Clinic is an inclusive, feminist community health clinic in Winnipeg, Manitoba. Since 1981, WHC has provided accessible woman-centred education and services, created strategic partnerships and advocated for system change.

For more information or to schedule an interview, please contact:
Kristen Einarson
Senior Communications Specialist, Women’s Health Clinic
keinarson3@womenshealthclinic.org


ODE’IMIN MURAL UNVEILING STEP IN RECONCILIATION FOR WOMEN’S HEALTH CLINIC (WHC) 

Mural to be on front façade of Ode’imin, previously known as The Birth Centre

WINNIPEG, MB: June 9, 2022 – Women’s Health Clinic (WHC) is pleased to announce that a new mural will be unveiled on June 15, 2022 at 10:45 am at Ode’imin (formerly known as The Birth Centre). The mural was created by artists Mandy van Leeuwen and Jeannie White Bird. It depicts the teaching we were gifted in December 2021 by Elders Flora Ruck and Wa Wa Tei Ikwe.

“We have made great strides in our Reconciliation journey at the WHC over the last few years, and this is only the beginning. A bird will gather many twigs before it can make a sizable nest in which it can birth and raise its family – so too at WHC we are gathering twigs to build that strong nest.” Says WHC Elder Wa Wa Tei Ikwe.

White Bird said: “there was a recognition of the need to open the doors of Ode’imin to the wider community and become more inclusive. Dynamic change like that takes a long time.”

Over the last few years, WHC began a reconciliation journey by hiring a traditional Elder as part of its management team. This led to many changes, such as including a Grandmother’s Circle in the hiring of their Executive Director. White Bird was asked to join the Grandmother’s Circle and, upon visiting Ode’imin, immediately recognized the need for a potent visual symbol on the blank façade of the building, facing St. Mary’s Road. The executive committee agreed. Like White Bird, van Leeuwen is an experienced muralist.

“It was a way to heighten the meaning,” says van Leeuwen. “Art becomes part of the sacred work to breathe new life into this special space. There is ceremony in what we are doing.” Both van Leeuwen and White Bird have worked on numerous murals throughout Manitoba.

The mural is part of the clinic’s goal of including the community in Ode’imin. Along with its very public presence, the artwork is the product of engagement with community members, who were invited to share their vision of both the centre and the mural. This process reflects one of the guiding principles of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s Calls to Action: To ensure the community’s voice is being recognized and heard.

“We became part of something greater than ourselves,” say the artists. “Our collaboration was a way of lifting many others as well as each other.”

The mural unveiling on June 15 will include an honour song, speeches from invited dignitaries, and a to-go lunch.

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Women’s Health Clinic (WHC) is an inclusive, feminist community health clinic in Winnipeg, Manitoba. Since 1981, WHC has provided accessible woman-centred education and services, created strategic partnerships and advocated for system change.

For more information or to schedule an interview, please contact:

Kristen Einarson
Senior Communications Specialist, Women’s Health Clinic
keinarson3@womenshealthclinic.org


WHC ANNOUNCES AGM SPEAKERS ARE ARKANSAS ABORTION SUPPORT NETWORK FOUNDERS ROZ CREED AND ALI TAYLOR

A threat to abortion services anywhere is a threat to abortion services everywhere

WINNIPEG, MB: June 6, 2022 – Women’s Health Clinic (WHC) is pleased to confirm that the guest speaker for its Annual General Meeting (AGM) are Roz Creed and Ali Taylor from the Arkansas Abortion Support Network (AASN). AASN is an all-volunteer, nonprofit organization whose mission is to reduce barriers to abortion access in Arkansas.

A link will be provided by email to all registrants prior to the event.

A threat to abortion access anywhere is a threat to abortion access everywhere. Among the many challenges to health care we’ve experienced in the past year, the circumstances surrounding reproductive justice and access to abortion services for our American neighbours have our attention. The need for access to safe, legal abortion services is a global one; threats to reproductive justice are growing, and now, more than ever, abortion providers everywhere are called to support each other.

Founded in April 2016, AASN provides:

  • Volunteer escorts through Arkansas Clinic Escorts, to escort clients at Arkansas’s only procedural abortion clinic.
  • Support with client costs: Abortion Services of Arkansas assists with client costs associated with the procedure, including travel, lodging, and childcare.
  • Community Outreach & Education – participation in educational and advocacy events.

The organization is founded on the beliefs that:

  • Everyone who seeks abortion services deserves to do so free from shame, ridicule, and harassment
  • Abortion should be accessible regardless of a pregnant person’s economic or social status, or zip code.
  • All pregnant people have dignity and the right to make their own decisions about their bodies, without interference from politicians, extremists, or bullies.

WHC Annual General Meeting:
June 14, 2022
1:00-2:00 PM
Register to join us virtually

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Women’s Health Clinic (WHC) is an inclusive, feminist community health clinic in Winnipeg, Manitoba. Since 1981, WHC has provided accessible woman-centred education and services, created strategic partnerships and advocated for system change.

For more information or to schedule an interview, please contact:

Kristen Einarson
Senior Communications Specialist, Women’s Health Clinic
keinarson3@womenshealthclinic.org


WHC TO OBSERVE DAY OF THE MIDWIFE ON MAY 12TH TO GIVE PROPER RECOGNITION TO RED DRESS DAY

The change begins today for an indefinite period of time.

WINNIPEG, MB: May 5, 2022 – To fully recognize and hold space for #RedDressDay on Thursday, May 5th, the Women’s Health Clinic (WHC) will now and forever recognize International Day of the Midwife, which also takes place on May 5th, on May 12th.
WHC has put forward a recommendation to the Midwives Association of Manitoba to permanently change the date recognizing International Day of the Midwife in Manitoba to May 12th.

On this day – and every day – we stand in solidarity with Indigenous peoples and join the call to speak out and to take meaningful action to stop the violence experienced by Indigenous women, girls, and 2SLGBTQQIA people, wherever they may live.

We also remember and honour the people – far too many generations of people – who have lost their lives to colonial, gender-based violence. We carry their memories and the grief of their families and communities with us as we act to answer the calls for Reconciliation.

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ABOUT ODE’IMIN:
Located at 603 St. Mary’s Road, Ode’imin (previously known as The Birth Centre) offers programs and services for pregnancy, childbirth, and parenting so you and your family feel safe, respected, and supported. You don’t have to birth at Ode’imin to access our workshops or parenting courses. Our wide variety of programs and services are available to the public, including prenatal classes and care, birthing at Ode’imin, and groups/workshops for parents.

Ode’imin is the Ojibwa word for strawberry, and the teaching associated with it is “where new life comes from”.

Women’s Health Clinic (WHC) is an inclusive, feminist community health clinic in Winnipeg, Manitoba. Since 1981, WHC has provided accessible woman-centred education and services, created strategic partnerships and advocated for system change.

For more information or to schedule an interview, please contact:

Kristen Einarson
Senior Communications Specialist, Women’s Health Clinic
keinarson3@womenshealthclinic.org


WHC INTRODUCES ONLINE INTAKE FORM FOR ABORTION SERVICES

Online form is available to access immediately on WHC’s website.

WINNIPEG, MB: May 4, 2022 – Women’s Health Clinic (WHC) has developed an online intake form for abortion services, available immediately. This form streamlines the intake process for clients and staff alike, which is game-changing in a time when the COVID-19 pandemic is causing staff shortages.

Before the online intake form was introduced, clients had to leave a voicemail which would get answered as soon as possible, but could take between 3-5 business days. WHC currently offers the only online intake form for abortion care in Manitoba.

“This is just one example of how community health organizations innovate to meet our clients where they’re at, and to simplify the process of accessing critical care,” says Keesha Daniels, WHC’s Manager of Health Services. “This will end a cycle of phone tag and allow folks to access care quickly and in the way that best suits them.”

“In the wake of the news of the potential overturn of Roe v. Wade, making sure abortion access is as easy as it possibly can be is critical,” says Kemlin Nembhard, WHC Executive Director. “This will help increase access and is a huge step forward in making sure we can deliver care to anyone who needs it.”

WHC currently offers both medication and aspiration abortion, and is one of two locations in Winnipeg people can access abortion care. Currently in Manitoba, aspiration abortions are only available in Winnipeg and Brandon.

Clients who receive abortions with WHC also receive free STI testing, birth control counselling, and the option to access post-abortion counselling within our general counselling program or the Dragonfly Support Program following their procedure, should they choose.

To find out more about WHC’s abortion program, click here.

To access the online abortion intake form, click here.

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Women’s Health Clinic (WHC) is an inclusive, feminist community health clinic in Winnipeg, Manitoba. Since 1981, WHC has provided accessible woman-centred education and services, created strategic partnerships and advocated for system change.

For more information or to schedule an interview, please contact:

Kristen Einarson
Senior Communications Specialist, Women’s Health Clinic
keinarson3@womenshealthclinic.org


WHC RESPONDS TO SUPREME COURT’S POTENTIAL DECISION TO OVERTURN ROE V. WADE IN UNITED STATES

Now and moving forward, WHC abortion services are available for anyone who might need access to them.

WINNIPEG, MB: May 3, 2022 – Women’s Health Clinic (WHC) is extremely disappointed following the Politico leak regarding the potential overthrow of Roe v. Wade in the United States. For now, abortion is still legal to access. But the potential of this decision could push equality progress back by decades.

Abortions will happen whether they are legal or not — the issue is access to a safe procedure. The difference between a legal abortion and an illegal abortion comes down to a question of class, access, and safety. Wealthy, white women will likely always have access to safe procedures. WHC continues to advocate for everyone, regardless of race and socioeconomic status, to have access to safe, dignified care as they make the best choices for themselves.

“What we need to remember is, people used to die trying to access abortion. This is not an over-exaggeration – when an abortion is performed by someone who may not be a medical professional, in a setting that is not sterile, the potential complications are many,” says Kemlin Nembhard, WHC Executive Director. “We don’t want to see anyone else’s life put into danger because they no longer have the right to bodily autonomy.”

“The answer to this issue is not Americans seeking abortion care coming to Canada to access it. The answer is the United States needs to create laws that best reflect the needs of its citizens, which includes safe abortion care.”

WHC will continue to provide abortion care to anyone who needs it and will continue to fight for the right for people to decide what happens to their own bodies. North of the US border, we continue to fight to ensure there are no negative impacts here in terms of laws and access. We will support our sister organizations down south in whichever way we can – adding our voices to their cause.

WHC currently offers both medication and aspiration abortion, and is one of two locations in Winnipeg people can access abortion care. Currently in Manitoba, aspiration abortions are only available in Winnipeg and Brandon. Clients who receive abortions with WHC also receive free STI testing, birth control counselling, and an option to access post-abortion counselling following their procedure should they choose.

To find out more about WHC’s abortion program, click here.

To access the newly created online abortion intake form, click here.

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Women’s Health Clinic (WHC) is an inclusive, feminist community health clinic in Winnipeg, Manitoba. Since 1981, WHC has provided accessible woman-centered education and services, created strategic partnerships and advocated for system change.

For more information or to schedule an interview, please contact:

Kristen Einarson
Senior Communications Specialist, Women’s Health Clinic
keinarson3@womenshealthclinic.org

 


Women’s Health Clinic Birth Centre announces new name after Indigenous naming ceremony

Name is Ode’imin: where new life comes from

WINNIPEG, MB, December 9, 2021 – Today, the Women’s Health Clinic (WHC) is proud to announce the new name of The Birth Centre: Ode’imin (ooh-day-min). It is an Ojibwa name meaning “where new life comes from.”

Bestowed by Elder Flora Ruck and Elder Louise McKay on December 9 at 9:30 am, Ode’imin is the name of strawberry, representative of where new life comes from. The colours it has been gifted with are representative of the four nations: red, white, black, and yellow.

“When the idea of The Birth Centre first came to fruition, it was to connect us all to the concept of birthing, and to the unique understanding Indigenous communities have around it,” says Karen Sharma, WHC Board Chair. “Ten years ago, the Board at the time consulted with community members and with someone who had the gift of naming. A name was presented to the board who rejected it. This never should have happened and for that, on behalf of everyone at the Women’s Health Clinic, we are so, so sorry.”

“We gratefully accept the gift of this name and move forward in the spirit of reconciliation with Indigenous communities. This stops the cycle of harm perpetuated by our past actions and we are committed to moving forward in a good way.”

The Birth Centre has created a ceremonial process where clients can use medicines in an Indigenous Smudging Ceremony in the facility. There are four birthing rooms at the Birth Centre that carry the name of traditional medicines. We are in the process to change these names into our local Indigenous languages.

“Our reconciliation journey began over a year ago when our first Indigenous Elder joined us on staff,” says Kemlin Nembhard, WHC Executive Director. “Through her guidance, we held our first Grandmother’s Circle who led us in the recruitment process for our upper leadership.”

Further in that process, we are creating a calendar of events and ceremonies in collaboration with the Grandmother’s Circle.

“For decades, Indigenous people have had many things taken away from them. Today’s ceremony reclaims this space,” says Louise McKay, WHC Elder.

ABOUT THE BIRTH CENTRE:

Located at 603 St. Mary’s Road, The Birth Centre offers programs and services for pregnancy, childbirth, and parenting so you and your family feel safe, respected, and supported. You don’t have to birth at the

Birth Centre to access our workshops or parenting courses. Our wide variety of programs and services are available to the public, including prenatal classes and care, birthing at the Birth Centre, and groups/workshops for parents.

WHC is a non-profit, charitable organization that provides a range of accessible health and mental health services, health education, and advocacy.

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For all media interviews and requests please contact:

Kristen Einarson
Communications Specialist, Women’s Health Clinic
keinarson3@womenshealthclinic.org


 

 

Women’s Health Clinic announces Kemlin Nembhard as Executive Director

WINNIPEG, MB – October 5, 2021 – Women’s Health Clinic (WHC) is pleased to announce the appointment of Executive Director to Kemlin Nembhard, effective immediately.

Nembhard has been serving as Interim Executive Director since June 2020. She comes to WHC with extensive experience as a director, organizer, facilitator, and collaborator. Nembhard has taken positive and innovative approaches with organizations like the Canadian Federation of Students, The Canadian Women’s Health Network, and the Daniel McIntyre/St. Matthews Community Organization. Her involvement as a board member of community organizations includes SEED, Herizons Magazine, and WHC (1996-1999 / 2006-2008).

“Through Kemlin’s extensive leadership experience, vision for WHC and the incredible work she has done over the past year to help maintain the Clinic’s operations through this difficult period, we know Kemlin is well positioned to help steer us into the future,” says WHC Board Chair Karen Sharma. “We are so grateful she agreed to take on the position on a long-term basis.”

With the clinic’s permanent Executive Director in place, the focus is on the future of the organization. The clinic is moving forward with a new strategic planning process to shape the future, while celebrating the milestone of 40 years in advocating for community health.

“I am thrilled to continue working with WHC to shape its next chapter,” says Kemlin Nembhard.

WHC is a non-profit, charitable organization that provides a range of accessible health and mental health services, health education, and advocacy.

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For all media interviews and requests please contact:

Kristen Einarson
Communications Specialist, Women’s Health Clinic
keinarson3@womenshealthclinic.org