The Sexual Health Network of Quebec (SHNQ) has been operating since 1964 under former names.
Family Planning Association of Montreal
The founding group, initially composed of sixteen individuals, met on May 19, 1964 to discuss the formation of a family planning organization. This bilingual organization was lead by Rabbi H.L. Poller as president, and by two vice-presidents: Mrs. Parizeau and Dr. Anne Batshaw. In 1967, the Family Planning Association of Montreal became a member of the Family Planning Federation of Canada. One of the main objectives of The Family Planning Association of Montreal was to fight for abortion rights. During this time, the organization had formed links with social agencies in the area and put together a Symposium on Family Planning, which took place in January 1967 at the Queen Elizabeth Hotel in downtown Montreal. Throughout the years, the organization offered school visits, trainings, programs, and other services related to family planning
Planned Parenthood Ville Marie Inc.
On February 18, 1982, the organization was renamed the Planned Parenthood Ville-Marie in order to be a part of the Planned Parenthood Federation of Canada (formerly known as the Family Planning Federation of Canada). This organization was lead by Rhoda Cohen as president, Rose Marcus Alper as vice-president, and other members, such as Sue McKenzie and Judy Clark. The aim of the group was to link with other groups in order to bring about the repeal of provisions in the Canadian Criminal Code that made it illegal to share information on contraception and birth planning.
Planned Parenthood Montreal Inc.
On June 29, 1987, Planned Parenthood Ville-Marie changed its name to Planned Parenthood Montreal in order to dissociate itself from another organization named Ville Marie Social Services. This organization was lead by Patrick Powers as president, Judy Clark as vice-president, and other members, such as Sue McKenzie and Dana Vocisano. The organization’s main activities were: 1) to offer pre-natal and post-partum counselling on an individual or group basis, 2) to provide individual counselling in relation to the different methods of contraception, including abortion, 3) to provide training courses in family planning counselling, and 4) to make use of various resources in the areas that touch upon sexuality and contraception. Nevertheless, in February 1995, the members of the organization were down to five and they lost the office that had been lent to them by Ville Marie Social Service Centre. Finally, in 1998, Planned Parenthood Montreal was completely dissolved due to lack of funding and staff.
Sexual Health Network of Quebec
In 2004, Stephanie Mitelman, Certified Sex Educator, had the vision to relaunch this organization after several years of inactivity. Stephanie Mitelman joined forces with some of the past members, such as Patrick Powers, past president, and recruited new members to examine the need for this type of organization and the role it could play in Quebec. By August 30, 2005, a new group had been formed. In March 2006, Planned Parenthood Montreal changed their long-standing name to the Sexual Health Network of Quebec to better reflect the inclusive issues of sexuality that this organization would now tackle. In October 2006, SHNQ was granted federal charitable status, and by November 2006, SHNQ once again became recognized as an affiliate of the Action Canada for Sexual Health & Rights (formerly the Planned Parenthood Federation of Canada).