Committee Opinion No. 419: Coercion Free Contraceptive Care



      To provide guidance on culturally competent contraception counselling that is free of coercion and promotes shared decision-making and patient autonomy.

      Target population

      Individuals of reproductive age who seek contraception or counselling for family planning.


      Contraception counselling is provided within a rights-based family planning framework, where the individual's beliefs, culture, preferences, and ability to use the chosen method are respected.


      To promote patient autonomy in decision-making surrounding family planning, including the right to access and use their contraceptive method of choice, to decline contraception or use less effective methods of contraception, and to freely choose to discontinue a method of contraception, as well as the right to unbiased, non-coercive contraception counselling and evidence-based information from their health care provider

      Benefits, Harms, and Costs

      Implementation of these recommendations would reduce real or perceived coercive contraceptive care, particularly among vulnerable populations, resulting in improved patient autonomy and a better patient experience in health care settings.


      Databases searched: MEDLINE, Cochrane, PubMed, and CanLII. Medical terms used: contraception, family planning services, informed consent, coercion, decision making, sterilization, permanent contraception, counselling. Legal terms searched: forced sterilization, and aboriginal. Initial search conducted in 2020 and updated in 2021.

      Intended Audience

      This committee opinion is intended for health care providers (obstetricians, gynaecologists, family physicians, general surgeons, nurse practitioners, nurses, midwives, undergraduate/postgraduate medical trainees, and other health care providers) who provide sexual and reproductive health services.


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