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Reproductive Justice for Medically Uninsured Pregnant People in Manitoba

July 6, 2022 — 
Dr. Lindsay Larios

Dr. Lindsay Larios

Dr. Lindsay Larios, assistant professor, has recently received a Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC) Insight Development Grant to examine the lived experiences of pregnant medically uninsured migrants living in Manitoba.

“There has been a range of different scholarship on the experiences and health outcomes of migrant pregnant people without access to public healthcare insurance in larger Canadian urban centres, including my previous work in Montreal. We know that the substantial financial costs push people to put off necessary healthcare and check-ups during and after their pregnancies; that people experience racism, discrimination, and powerlessness when trying to navigate these systems; and that concerns about ramifications for their immigration trajectories are always front of mind” says Dr. Larios.

The CBC News recently reported on one example of this in Manitoba. A former UM international student was left medically uninsured after graduating and as a result, had to face stress and hardship during the birth of her child.

“Pregnancy can be a time of joy and empowerment, but it can also be a time of extreme racialized and gendered vulnerability.”

“Smaller cities, such as Winnipeg and Brandon, host increasing numbers of precarious migrants with barriers to health care access. There is very little documented about how pregnant medically uninsured migrants navigate the Manitoba health system and what their experiences are. The immigration and healthcare contexts in Manitoba are very different from those of provinces where this research has been done so far.”

By talking with migrant pregnant people and different service providers in Manitoba, we can get a better understanding of what’s happening and what supports can be put in place to support these community members and their families,” says Dr. Larios.

Dr. Larios is an interdisciplinary critical policy researcher. She studies citizenship and immigration in the Canadian context as it intersects with family and reproductive politics and policies. More information on Dr. Larios can be found here.

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