Have you ever wondered whether a certain drug is safe to take during pregnancy, or how certain beauty products might affect a new baby or nursing mother? Since 1985, Motherisk,run by the Hospital for Sick Children, has counseled close to a million Canadians, from parents to families to health care providers. A helpline sponsored by Shopper’s Drug Mart LOVE. YOU. program since 2010 gives anyone taking care of children easy access to drug safety information for pregnancy, nursing, and beyond. Each day, about 200 callers are given guidance and advice, and 10-20 callers per week are referred to a Motherisk clinic for follow-up.
This kind of program, and the encouraging, informative website behind it, are part of the framework we need to continue building and promoting as we fight for laws regulating abortion in Canada. Access to this information, and the confidence that comes with knowledge and support, are crucial to helping women face pregnancy unashamed and unafraid.