May 4, 2023 –For all media requests please contact (interviews available in French):

Full Moon Ceremony to commemorate National Day of Awareness for Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women, Girls and Two-Spirit Peoples

WINNIPEG, MB, May 4, 2023 – At tonight’s Full Moon Ceremony, we will honour National Day of Awareness for Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women, Girls and Two-Spirit Peoples (May 5th, also known as Red Dress Day). This Full Moon Ceremony is celebrated by the following partners; Women’s Health Clinic (WHC), The Link, Ka Ni Kanichihk, Sunshine House, Manitoba Moon Voices, Manitoba Keewatinowi Okimakanak Inc. (MKO), Huddle, and Queer People of Colour (QPOC) Winnipeg.
National Day of Awareness for Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women, Girls and Two-Spirit Peoples exists to remind everyone that there continues to be many sisters, mothers, daughters and gender diverse folks that are still missing and that the violence causing the genocide against Indigenous women, girls and gender diverse folks must end.
We would like to invite everyone to join us to celebrate the Full Moon. Following this event, we will walk to the pedestrian walkway on the Provencher Bridge to tie red ribbons as a memorial to MMIWG2S and gender diverse folks. This practice started over eight years ago as a way to remind folks that this issue is still alive and well across Canada. Many of our sisters have never returned home and their whereabouts or what happened to them remains as unsolved cases.
In conjunction with this Ceremony, we call upon the federal government to support Gigaanaawenimaanaanig, the Implementation Committee for missing and murdered Indigenous women, girls and 2SLGBTQQIA+ peoples – to declare the ongoing violence against Indigenous women, girls, and two-spirit people a national state of emergency.
Jeannie Whitebird, co-chair of the Manitoba Coalition of families and survivors of MMIWG2S+, agrees.
“In this context we are also supporting the families of survivors of violence. The numbers keep growing with our sisters and aunties as they continue to go missing and get murdered due to the ongoing colonial violence that still exists,” says Whitebird.
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 gender diverse 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.
Full Moon Ceremony May 4, 2023 8:30 PM Oodena Celebration Circle, 1 Forks Market Road (behind the Old Spaghetti Factory)
For more information or to schedule an interview, please contact:
Kristen Einarson Lead Communications Specialist, Women’s Health Clinic 204-612-1776

WHC speaks out about North Dakota banning abortion past 6 weeks

WINNIPEG, MB, April 26, 2023 – WHC is extremely disappointed and angered by North Dakota’s decision to ban abortion after 6 weeks effective immediately. This is one of the strictest abortion laws that we have seen coming out of the United States, and we are fearful for what this means for other states in the future.
Republican Senator Janne Myrdal of Edinburgh endorsed this legislation by saying that “North Dakota has always valued the moms and babies both”, confirming its stance as a pro-life and pro-pregnancy state.
Banning abortion after 6 weeks is not valuing the life of the pregnant person who does not want to become a parent. We endorse abortion for any reason, because people should be in control of their own destinies and know what is best for them.
It doesn’t value the life of someone struggling to afford childcare and food for their existing family.
It doesn’t value the life of the international student who doesn’t have medical insurance.
It doesn’t value the life of someone in an abusive relationship who does not want to bring another life into the home.
It doesn’t value the life of someone who has never wanted to become a parent and now cannot access safe abortion care in their home state.
According to the Turnaway study, there are significantly worse socioeconomic outcomes for children whose parents were denied abortion care. These children were more likely to live below the poverty level or were living in a household without enough money to cover food, housing and transportation costs. In fact, people who are able to access abortion care often become parents in the next 5 years, with the right partner, at the right time for them and with more resources.
“What we need to remember is that people are experts in their own experiences. When someone can choose when the right time to become a parent is for them, they are better equipped to handle the challenges of parenthood and the children are better off as well,” says Kemlin Nembhard, WHC Executive Director. “We will never stop fighting for anyone to have the right to agency over their own body.”
We have said it before and we will say it again: WHC’s doors will not close to anybody who needs to access abortion care. And we need to keep in mind that this ruling will not stop abortions from happening: it will just stop access to safe abortion for mainly marginalized people.
The best way to help, right now, is to donate money to organizations that are advocating for abortion access in the United States, or to donate to WHC as we anticipate an increased need for services.
Currently, WHC performs 25-30% more abortions than we are funded for every year. We are able to do this thanks to generous donations for our community.
To donate to WHC, click here:

Fertility is fickle AF: WHC is here to support community this National Infertility Awareness Week with Dragonfly Support Program

WINNIPEG, MB, April 25, 2023 –
This National Infertility Awareness Week (April 23-29), Women’s Health Clinic (WHC) is here to let people know they are not alone, and speaking out about struggles can help more than you’d think.
Medical technology has come a long way, but our fertility is often outside of our direct control. Some of the ways that folks commonly respond to infertility aren’t always helpful. To encourage folks to “just relax” or tell them “everything happens for a reason” doesn’t change the fact that struggling with fertility is a painful and common experience for many people trying to start a family. It is a major cause of grief and stress.
The WHO released a report in the beginning of April stating that 1 in 6 adults struggle with infertility over their lifetime. Additionally, 20% of pregnancies will end in a miscarriage. Infertility is such a common issue, but it is still stigmatized. There is no right or wrong way to feel after a miscarriage, termination, pregnancy loss, infant loss, or when struggling with infertility. People often feel alone and like they can’t talk about what happened. Having support – being acknowledged, validated, and understood – can help.
“This program has helped to foster a sense of community and connection for clients, peer volunteers, community members and staff,” says Erin Bockstael, Manager of Family and Community Programs at WHC. “With support, people find different ways to make meaning from their experiences.”
WHC offers peer support and counselling for individuals, couples or families via the Dragonfly Support Program for those who have been impacted by infertility, pregnancy loss, termination of pregnancy, or had babies born into the spirit world. Community connection, counselling, or even just normalizing the issue by talking about it with a group of people can help when folks are feeling alone.
“People often feel isolated or alone when they have a complicated or unexpected pregnancy. We want them to know that there are people that will understand and offer you compassion and caring in what you are feeling. Everyone deserves support.” Erin Bockstael
If you are a community service provider and would like to join a free virtual workshop on adopting the Dragonfly Support Program care model, please contact us.
People can find out more about any of these programs from our website, or by contacting or calling 204-947-2422 ext 544.
We acknowledge that Indigenous pregnancy and birth practices, and teachings about babies born to spirit have existed on this land for millennia, and that we have benefited from the guidance of elders and knowledge keepers.
We acknowledge the historical and ongoing colonization of this land. Colonization has and continues to impact Indigenous people’s experiences of pregnancy and infant loss, including apprehension. As a
program, WHC aims to offer services rooted in anti-oppression, and to work in a way that actively challenges colonialism.

WHC announces strategic plan for 2023-2028

WINNIPEG, MB, April 4, 2023 – Women’s Health Clinic (WHC) is proud to announce its new strategic plan, to be in effect from the 2023-2028 fiscal years.

“WHC began with the belief that people should be in control of their own bodies and their health care. Over 40 years later, we know that something so straightforward is still being called into question. Now, more than ever, it is important to make sure anybody can get the care they need on their own terms. WHC’s new strategic plan puts our words into concrete action. We believe it is transformational step forward to put this into writing and to make this our main focus for the next five years of business,” says Kemlin Nembhard, WHC’s Executive Director.

“At WHC we go all-out to become the leading practice, instead of the best practice and it is this plan that will guide our journey to make that happen!” says WHC Elder Wa Wa Tei Ikwe.

“After celebrating the Clinic’s 40th anniversary in 2021, it was important to our Board of Directors that we set out a path for the future of our organization.  This plan establishes a clear vision for the Clinic:  one that is rooted in meeting the needs of those who experience the greatest barriers to health equity,” says Karen Sharma, WHC Board Chair. “This plan also affirms the values that we have carried with us since the Clinic’s inception:  of providing feminist, anti-oppressive, anti-racist, intersectional and inclusive care that honours the knowledge, experience and agency of those we serve.  We will not only honour our past by continuing to build upon these values, but we will also continue to stand firmly and resolutely for the right of every person to safe, accessible and timely abortion care across the province of Manitoba.”

The strategic plan was created over a few years, with several internal and external stakeholders. The plan was informed by a Strategic Plan Steering Committee with feedback from staff, volunteers, and community members, and in consultation with Health In Common.

MISSION: Women’s Health Clinic offers sexual, reproductive and mental health care and support for people of all genders.

VISION: We promote people’s agency as we believe that all people should be empowered to take care of their mental, emotional, physical, sexual, and spiritual health and well-being.


  • We listen and learn – We believe people are experts in their own health care.
  • We believe that everyone has the right to make their own choices.
  • We recognize and honour intersectionality – multi-layered experiences and identities.
  • We embrace anti-oppressive, feminist, anti-racist, intersectional, inclusive and 2SLGBTQ+ experiences and frameworks. This is also reflected in our staff, volunteers and Board of Directors.
  • We commit to the principles of decolonization and reconciliation, and the integration of the TRC calls to action in our work
  • We are mindful about amplifying people’s voices.
  • We advocate.
  • We celebrate our diversity and embrace having fun together.

Areas of work

  • Women’s Health Clinic provides access to sexual and reproductive health services
  • Women’s Health Clinic provides wellness education, counselling and support
  • Women’s Health Clinic advocates for system change, equity & social justice

Strategic priorities

  1. Women’s Health Clinic will strengthen capacity to provide services to communities that experience inequitable access to health.
  2. Women’s Health Clinic will strengthen relationships and identify partnership opportunities that extend service reach.
  3. Women’s Health Clinic will strengthen organizational culture and processes to support staff well-being, equity and organizational effectiveness.

Over the next few months, we will share more strategic documents to illustrate our new path forward.



WINNIPEG, MB: January 31, 2023 – During one of the coldest, most difficult times of year, Women’s Health Clinic (WHC) Family Programs are seeing that our community is still struggling. People have increased need for food supports and are experiencing more anxiety or isolation due to inflation, loss of income, and loss of community programming and connection. Becoming a parent is a big shift in anybody’s life, but doing it during a pandemic has a completely different set of challenges. Connecting to community groups helps break isolation, build confidence, make friends, share knowledge and find other supports. Families are finding their way back to group programming with the lifting of restrictions and return to “normalcy”, but there are many families who haven’t had a chance to connect.
“Finding connection and support for the difficult experiences in pregnancy and parenting can make us all feel more confident and less alone in facing challenges.” Says Erin Bockstael, Manager of Family and Community programs at Women’s Health Clinic.
WHC offers free family and community programming at Ode’imin, formerly called the Birth Centre, as well as six different family sites across Winnipeg.

Families Connecting groups help pregnant people and new parents meet with other parents, families, and health professionals. Healthy snack, coupons for free milk, bus tokens, and childcare for older children are also available.

Coping With Change is a group where new parents can talk openly and honestly about the wide range of feelings one experiences after a baby joins their lives, and to learn that they are not alone.

Nobody’s Perfect is a group to support parents of children from birth to five. We invite you to meet other parents and share your experiences. Together with a trained group leader, participants will learn from one another and discover ways of positive parenting.

The Dragonfly Support Program supports people through the experience of pregnancy loss, infant loss, and babies born into the spirit world, providing counselling and resources for individuals and families affected. We are currently open for counselling individual and couple/family intake. We welcome formal and self-referrals. Drop-in group sessions occur on the first Saturday of each month.

Families and parents can find out more about any of these programs from our website, or by contacting or calling 204-947-2422 ext 113.


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 Lead Communications Specialist, Women’s Health Clinic