Type of entity
Authorized form of name
Parallel form(s) of name
Standardized form(s) of name according to other rules
Other form(s) of name
- B.C. Coalition for Abortion Clinics
Identifiers for corporate bodies
Dates of existence
The Pro-Choice Action Network (Pro-CAN) was formed in 1987 under the name B.C. Coalition for Abortion Clinics (BCCAC) with the mission of securing safe, fully-funded, high-quality abortion services for women. With the support of the labour movement, women’s health groups, student groups, the United Church, and health care professionals, BCCAC opened Everywoman’s Health Centre in November 1988. Although it was illegal for freestanding clinics to offer abortion services at that time, the centre remained open and continues to function today as an abortion and sexual health clinic in Vancouver, B.C.
After establishing the Everywoman’s Health Centre, BCCAC broadened their mandate to begin lobbying and advocating for: full government funding of reproductive health services, including surgical and medical abortion services; the defeat of all laws that criminalize abortion or impede women’s rights or access to choice; enforcement and protection of the Access to Abortion Services Act; provision for universal and federally-guaranteed access to abortion in all regions of Canada; the availability of safe, affordable, and effective contraception; and comprehensive sex education in schools.
In 1995, the Coalition began publishing their quarterly newsletter, The Pro-Choice Press, as a way to further its aims and reach the public. A few years later, in 1998, its name was officially changed to Pro-Choice Action Network. Despite the name change, the group continued to build a broad-based political movement and advocate for public education on women’s right to choice. It also established mutually productive relationships with clinics, hospitals, health care professionals, pro-choice groups, women’s groups, and various local, provincial, and national governmental agencies.
Around the same time in the late 1990s, Pro-CAN found itself increasingly focused on national issues. After the Canadian Abortion Rights Action League (CARAL) disbanded in 2004, the Board realized a new national group was needed to replace its efforts. The need was filled when Joyce Arthur of Pro-CAN led the formation of a new national group known as the Abortion Rights Coalition of Canada (ARCC-CDAC). As the years went on, the Network found itself becoming relatively inactive due to a lack of need for a provincial pro-choice group in British Columbia. As such, Pro-CAN made the decision to close its doors in January 2009 with the assurance that ARCC would take up the mantle on provincial issues as needed.