The publication of Politician about a possible ban on abortion in the United States by the Supreme Court of that country has had an impact in Canada. A document – leaked to the American media – showed that a conservative majority of the highest court contemplates annulling a right enshrined since 1973, after the ruling in the case Roe vs. Wade. The neighbor to the north offers itself as a kind of sanctuary if the interdiction is finally carried out. In turn, 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 of Family and Social Development, declared this Tuesday in the program Power & Politics of the chain CBC that American women will be able to have access to abortion in the event that the Supreme Court of their country decrees the ban. “I don’t see why we wouldn’t. If they come here and need it, it is certainly a service that could be offered”, he stated.
Women who do not live in Canada have access to voluntary termination of pregnancy, but must pay for it (unlike Canadians and residents, since it is covered by the country’s free public system), unless they have insurance private. If the judges finally decide to repeal Roe vs. WadeAs the draft suggests, the court would return the right to legislate the voluntary interruption of pregnancy to each of the 50 states of the Union. And that could increase the requests for this service in the neighboring country.
“A very disturbing factor is that many Canadian women don’t live near a big city in Canada, but have access to abortion in the United States,” Gould said. The minister herself said she felt very distressed by the publication of Politician. “I am very concerned about everything that it represents, particularly for Americans, but also for Canadians,” she added.
This Wednesday, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said that his government is studying strengthening the legal framework related to the right to abortion. It is an electoral promise of the liberals that has reappeared with force after the news coming from the United States. A fundamental issue is that some provinces have a limited number of clinics and hospitals where this service is offered. Trudeau said that the fundamental thing is “to ensure that, not only now, but under any other government in the future, the rights of women are well protected.”
The day before, Trudeau had insisted on Twitter in defending abortion as a women’s right. “The right to choose is a woman’s right, full stop. 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 backed their leader’s words. Jagmeet Singh, leader of the New Democratic Party, said he was concerned about the information coming from the United States. “When abortion is prohibited, the result is that women die,” he said. The Bloc Québécois also pointed in the same direction.
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The Conservative Party did not take a position, although it was a fact out of surprise. 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 matter. Abortion was a criminal act in Canada until 1988, the year in which the country’s Supreme Court invalidated said provision, considering it unconstitutional. The right of women to have access to this health service has been consolidated over time, although some conservative politicians have called at times to reopen the debate on this issue.
Conservative Party members will elect a new leader in September; Candice Bergen has been at the helm on an interim basis since last February. Despite the leadership’s request not to comment on the issue of abortion, two of the candidates have stated that a government led by them will never present or support a project to limit this right. They are deputy Pierre Poilievre and Jean Charest, former Quebec premier.
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