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Kandace Hagen

Charlottetown, PE

Kandace Hagen, native to Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island has a story to tell. Her personal struggle attempting to access reproductive freedom in her own province led her to a province wide battle with political officials regarding the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms. In 1988 The Supreme Court of Canada made a firm decision that to deny a woman the right to abortion care was to interfere with her body and therefore violate the security of her person. PEI is the only Canadian province which does not provide women with safe, accessible abortion care on its own soil and Kandace, along with other like-minded Island women, is speaking out about this taboo issue in an attempt to highlight a reality that is in essence a barrier to the realization of full human rights for women everywhere. Kandace and the women she works with do not stand alone against barriers to reproductive freedom. Access to reproductive health care, including abortion services, was recently upheld as an inextricable part of  our Human Right to Health as recognized by the United Nations Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights.

In 2011 Kandace co-founded PEI Reproductive Rights Organization (PRRO). PRRO’s goal is to inform residents of PEI what reproductive rights women are entitled to, but are currently being denied.  Kandace is an active spokesperson for PRRO and is often found lending her voice to speak up for those who can’t. Within the first six months of creation, with the help of Kandace and her team PRRO appeared on CBC Television, CBC Radio, The Guardian and in Shameless Magazine.

Kandace is heavily involved in her community and with PRRO’s ongoing campaigning. When not in front of the camera, she is often found behind the scenes creating speeches, updating PRRO’s website and Facebook page and collaborating with local writers, bloggers, photographers and citizens. When asked what inspires Kandace to take action she says, “women. I am inspired by the raw brilliance that I see in the phenomenal female figures that I have had the greatest pleasure in knowing.”

“I feel that we are on a new brink of a feminist age as we see women laying claim to their bodies in such a plethora of ways. The declaration of female reproduction justice has been ringing so clearly these past few years as we continue to take strides to claim control of every aspect of ourselves. PRRO will be alongside women every step of the way.”

When asked what kind of world she wants to live in, Kandace says simply “I want to live in a world that trusts women”.