International Reproductive and Sexual Health Law Programme

From 2007 to 2011, the International Reproductive and Sexual Health Law Programme piloted the Health Equity and Law Clinic (HEAL Clinic) with Joanna Erdman as Clinic Director.

A clinical legal education course, the HEAL Clinic provided upper year and graduate students with an opportunity to explore the role of the law in shaping equitable health policies and practices in domestic, regional and international contexts.

Students provided legal research, analysis and advocacy support on diverse projects relating to health equity in collaboration with Partner Organizations, which included among others:

  • Canadian HIV/AIDS Legal Network
  • Center for Reproductive Rights
  • International Planned Parenthood Federation (Western Hemisphere Region)
  • Ipas (Mexico and U.S.)
  • Law and Health Initiative, Public Health Program, Open Society Foundations
  • National Abortion Federation (Canada)
  • Tshwaranang Legal Advocacy Centre (South Africa)
  • Women on Waves (Netherlands)
  • World Health Organization

With the involvement of more than 30 students, the HEAL Clinic completed research memoranda and reports, advocacy letters, educational case studies, scholarly articles and amicus curiae or third party interventions to improve equality in sexual and reproductive health.

The following is a sample of our HEAL Clinic Projects:

Case Studies in Health and Human Rights (2010): A collaboration with the Law and Health Initiative, Open Society Foundation's Public Health Program:

  1. Women living with HIV/AIDS and Forced Sterilization (Russian)
  2. Transgender Rights to Gender-Affirming Medical Treatment and Change of Registered Sex on Identity Documents (Russian)
  3. Women who Use Drugs and Maternal Care (Russian)

Advocacy Letter: Google Adwords Restrictive Policy on Abortion Services (2009): A collaboration with Women on Waves.

Medication Abortion in Canada: A Right-to-Health Perspective (2008): An article published in the American Journal of Public Health.

Advocacy Letter: Interprovincial Funding of Abortion Services in Canada (2008): A collaboration with the National Abortion Federation – Canada. 

Bridging the Gap: Developing a Human Rights Framework to Address Coerced Sterilization and Abortion – Articulating the Principle of Free and Informed Decision-Making (2007): A collaboration with ATHENA and the Center for Reproductive Rights.