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App that connects users with abortion providers launches across Canada

CBC News with Lyndsey Butcher 19 June 2019

A smartphone app that matches people with their nearest abortion provider launches across Canada on Wednesday.

The web-based app was developed by Waterloo region’s Shore Centre, a sexual health resource centre. 

Choice Connect was developed with the help of Kitchener’s Zeitspace and was first launched in southwestern Ontario in 2017.

The app has users enter information about their pregnancy as well as their health care needs or preferences and then instantly matches them with the nearest or most appropriate abortion provider. 

“Often patients really have difficulty navigating the system and finding the provider that best fits their needs,” Lyndsey Butcher, executive director of Shore Centre, said.

Butcher said people will often make appointments with family doctors or walk-in clinics simply to get a phone number of an abortion provider.

“We wanted to find a direct way where they could just go online in their own time, put in the information they’re looking for and find a provider that best fits their needs,” she said.

On Wednesday, the app’s national version launched with referral information for more than 120 abortion providers and clinics across the country.

Butcher said the app not only allows people to access abortion care privately, it also presents patients with several providers to choose from. 

“They can connect with the provider they are interested in and find the quickest appointment,” Butcher said.