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Statement: Urgent access to reproductive care and protection of pregnant and vulnerable people and midwives in the Middle East

The Canadian Association of Midwives (CAM) calls for immediate, unhindered, and sustained access to health care services including sexual and reproductive health care in all affected regions of the Middle East. This includes ensuring the safety and security of midwives and other health care workers who are lifelines in crisis zones. They must be adequately resourced to provide essential care.

In situations of war and displacement, pregnant people and young children are amongst the most vulnerable. Women are at an increased risk of sexual violence, unwanted pregnancies, exposure to sexually transmitted diseases and many other devastating health consequences.

At present, there are more than 50,000 people who are pregnant in Gaza of which 5,500 are expected to give birth in the next month according to data from the United Nations Population Fund and the International Planned Parenthood Federation.

Like many, CAM has been watching in horror as the devastation and ongoing loss of life in Palestine and Israel unfold. CAM further recognizes the impact of this conflict on our communities in Canada. No one should feel unsafe and all acts of violence including racism, antisemitism, Islamophobia, and discrimination should be condemned.

CJ Blennerhassett
CAM President