Canada will open its doors to Americans seeking abortions if “Roe v. Wade” is repealed | International

Families and Social Development Minister Karina Gould speaking at Parliament in Ottawa on May 27, 2019.CHRIS WATTIE (REUTERS)

The publication of Policy about a possible abortion ban in the United States by that country’s Supreme Court has had an impact in Canada. A document – leaked to US media – showed a conservative majority in the highest court was considering overriding a right enshrined since 1973, after the judgment in the case Roe vs. Wade. The northern neighbor offers itself as a kind of sanctuary if the ban is finally carried out. For its part, the Canadian political class has closed ranks on the issue by defending the right of women to decide about their bodies, with the exception of the Conservative Party.

Karina Gould, Federal Minister for Family and Social Development, said on the show on Tuesday power and politics chain Radio Canada that American women will be able to have access to abortion in the event that their country’s Supreme Court decrees a ban. “I don’t see why we wouldn’t. If they come here and need it, that’s definitely a service that could be offered,” he said.

Women who do not live in Canada have access to voluntary termination of pregnancy, but must pay for it (unlike Canadian women and residents, since it is covered by the country’s free public system), unless they have private insurance. If the judges finally decide to repeal Roe vs. WadeAs the draft suggests, the Court would restore the right to legislate on voluntary termination of pregnancy to each of the 50 states of the Union. And this could increase the demands for this service in the neighboring country.

“A very troubling factor is that many Canadian women don’t live near a major city in Canada, but have access to abortion in the United States,” Gould said. The Minister said she was very distressed by the publication of Policy. “I am very concerned about all that this means, especially for Americans, but also for Canadians,” she added.

This Wednesday, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said his government was studying the strengthening of the legal framework related to the right to abortion. It is a Liberal election promise that reappeared with force after the news from the United States. A fundamental problem is that some provinces have a limited number of clinics and hospitals where this service is offered. Trudeau said the bottom line is “to ensure that, not just now, but under any government in the future, women’s rights are well protected.”

The day before, Trudeau had insisted on Twitter to defend abortion as a women’s right. “The right to choose is a woman’s right, period. All women in Canada have the right to a safe and legal abortion. We will never stop protecting and promoting the rights of women in Canada and around the world,” she wrote. Liberal parliamentarians supported their leader’s remarks. Jagmeet Singh, leader of the New Democratic Party, expressed concern about reports from the United States. “When abortion is banned, the result is that there are women who die,” he said. The Bloc Québécois was also pointing in the same direction.

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The Conservative Party did not take a position, even if it was a surprise fact. The newspaper The Globe and Mail published that the leadership of this group sent a message to its deputies asking them not to comment on the case. Abortion was a criminal act in Canada until 1988, when the country’s Supreme Court struck down the provision, ruling it unconstitutional. Women’s right to have access to this health service has been consolidated over time, although some conservative politicians have sometimes called for reopening the debate on this issue.

Conservative Party members will elect a new leader in September; Candice Bergen has been in charge since last February. Despite the leaders’ request not to comment on the issue of abortion, two of the candidates have said that a government led by them will never introduce or support a bill to limit the right. They are MP Pierre Poilievre and Jean Charest, former premier of Quebec.

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