Past Programs

Below is a timeline of some of Planned Parenthood Ottawa’s (PPO) programs that are no longer active. This is not a complete list of everything our organization has done over the past 60 years, but it’s a start. If you have further information to share with us about PPO’s past programs, feel free to contact us!

Research Project on Sexual and Reproductive Health Needs of Muslim Youth in Ottawa (2010)

Project outline

In 2010, PPO staff and research from Carleton’s School of Social Work collaborated to to a research project entitled, “Beyond the Absence of Disease: Identifying Barriers, Gaps and Needs in Sexual and Reproductive Health Services Offered to Muslim Youth in the Ottawa Area.” You can read the final report here. The hope of the project was to work with Muslim communities to assess and support in filling sexual health gaps for youth. However, in the last five years our organization has received feedback that this project caused harm and extracted resources from racialized and faith based communities without truly working with these communities to create meaningful, culturally competent, and reciprocal relationships. We are deeply sorry for the harm that happened to anyone involved in this project and do wish to do better. We are currently in the process of working with Safety Labs, a project run through Kind Space Ottawa, to address harms that PPO has caused. To read more about the Safety Labs project, you can visit this link here.

Insight Theatre (1982-2016)

Project outline

PPO’s Insight Theatre program (in combination with the Teen Info Jeunesse – the Teen Health Bus) ran from 1982-2016.

Insight Theatre was an educational theatre program created by and for youth. With staff support, youth from 14-18 (otherwise called Troupe members) created and performed drama skits about sexual health topics and travelled around Ottawa performing at local schools and community settings to other youth. Young people from many generations were involved in this program, and it’s always a joy when new PPO staff stumble upon an old photo or Insight Theatre Advertisement in our office.

This program was a highly effective form of sexual health education for youth, and inspired other work in Canada, specifically the Sex Education by Theatre (SEXT) program which you can learn more about here.

Parent Peer Leadership Program (2016-2018)

Project outline

From 2016-2018 funded by the Trillium Foundation, PPO ran a Parent Peer Leadership Program modelled after the Raising Sexually Healthy Children (RSHC) Peer Parent Leadership Training Project run by Toronto Public Health.

The project aimed to work with newcomer, immigrant, and refugee parents to start conversations about sexual health within their communities and with their children in a culturally competent way. This program was run by and for newcomer communities working with South Asian, Chinese, Somalian, Bhutanese-Nepalese, Punjabi, and Syrian parents. The program was awarded the 2017 Bentley Award through Action Canada for Sexual Health and Rights. From everything we understand this was a successful program.

If you were a part of this program and wish to share personal testimonials of how we did (good or bad), feel free to contact us!

Disability and Sexuality Program (2016-2018)

Project outline

PPO has heard from the Ottawa community that a program on the topic of Disability and sexuality is in high demand. Through various other programs (our Outreach Program, our Education Program, Our Options Program, various summer programs, and placement students) we have attempted to incorporate a better understanding of ableism within accessing sexual and reproductive health services.

While our organizations has attempted to provide pro-choice, sex-positive education and counselling to folks with disabilities, we have identified that working with people with intellectual and development disabilities requires the ability of staff to adapt materials and workshops with more accessibility in mind.

(For example, if we teach consent to people with physical disabilities, adapting that work might be as simple as ensuring that mobility needs are taken into full consideration such as being mindful if an exercise has moving or providing a note taker or alternative formats for texts based materials. However, when working with people with some intellectual disabilities, unpacking the nuances of body language and slang language to negotiate consent can take more time.) We have had a number of wonderful staff and students who have laid the groundwork for a successful project of this nature, but have yet to establish consistent funding for this work.

If you would like to discuss potential funding opportunities for this work, please contact our executive director here.

The Trans Health Navigation Project (2017-2018)

Project outline

In 2017 we partnered with Trans Health Information Ottawa (THIO) and Kind Space to develop a program inspired by PPO’s Options Program, focused on supporting Trans and Gender Diverse People navigate the health system to access trans competent health care.

This was a one year project funded by Trillium Foundation and was envisioned as a project by and for trans and gender diverse people. This project was led by two staff and trained volunteers who provided information and peer counselling to trans and gender diverse people. We have since been informed that this project caused harm to our partners and the staff who ran the program. We are deeply sorry for the harm that happened to anyone involved in this project and do wish to do better.

We are currently in the process of working with Safety Labs, a project run through Kind Space Ottawa, to address harms that PPO has caused. To read more about the Safety Labs project, you can visit this link here.

Reproductive Coercion Project (2017-2021)

Project outline

Funded by Women’s and Gender Equity Canada (formerly Status of Women Canada), in 2017 we launched a three year project to address Reproductive Coercion. Reproductive Coercion (RC) is any behavior limiting someone’s ability to decide when and under which conditions they will parent. It is limiting someone’s choice to parent or their options for preventing or ending a pregnancy through the use of manipulation, intimidation, threats, and/or actual acts of violence.

This project was inspired by a report created by sexual health, anti-violence against women (VAW) and anti- gender based violence (GBV) advocates. You can read the report here. This project aimed to work with sexual heath and GBV service providers to bridge the gap between services to address the topic of RC. You can read an updated report on community needs to address RC that was done during the project’s time here.

During the project we aimed to provide training and information to service providers on the topic. In this endeavour, we facilitated a two part webinar series on the topic found here:

  1. Beyond Choice: Bridging the Gap between Rights & Access
  2. Sexual and Reproductive Coercion

Furthermore, we aim to keep an updated list of resources that clients can access related to the topic of RC. For further information regarding our list of resources, contact our Options Program here.

The Education Program (1982-2019)

Project outline

For the past 30 years PPO has worked with a volunteer team to provide sexual health education to youth, service providers, and parents.

Staff and volunteers would facilitate workshops across Ottawa teaching about consent, puberty, anatomy, STIs, birth control, and relationships. Due to limited funding and the ever expanding types of requests received for this program, in 2019 a decision was made to shut down the program as it stood in order to evaluate the program and strategically plan it’s future.

As of 2021, the program is still under evaluation and no longer provides such broad scale education services.

Medical Abortion Access Project (Mife Project- 2017-2019)

Project outline

In 2017, Mifegymiso (a two step pill process for medical abortion) became avaliable for use in Canada. While pills used for abortion were avaliable and used previous to 2017 in Canada, Mifegymiso is seen as the best medication option for abortion and has been effectively used in other parts of the world for years. While primary health care providers (like family doctors) could prescribe MIfegymiso (or for short, Mife), after Mife became available in Canada lots of primary health care providers weren’t providing the medication. In order to address the many barriers stopping primary health care providers from providing Mife, the Medical Abortion Access Project was born.

You can read more about the work the Medical Abortion Access project did here.

The Outreach Program (2016-2019)

Project outline

In 2016, PPO received a three year trillium grant to run an “Outreach Program”. The goal of the program was to work with priority populations that sometimes do not receive sexual and reproductive health support by working alongside the service providers who already worked with those populations. The priority populations were: people who were marginally housed, youth, newcomers, Indigenous people, and people with disabilities.

While the outreach program ran, the program worked with 30 organizations and provided training for 755 service providers with the hope of better equipping them to support their clients on the topic of sexual and reproductive health.

If you have an experience from working with any of the above programs that you wish to share to help inform our descriptions of a program, feel free to contact us.

ppottawa@ppottawa.ca