American women will be able to obtain abortions in Canada if the United States Supreme Court overturns Roe v. Wade and returns abortion law to the state level, says Karina Gould, minister of families, children and social development.
In an interview with CBC News Network’s Power & Politics on Tuesday, Gould was asked if American women would be allowed to access the procedure in Canada.
“I don’t see why we would not,”She told Vassy Kapelos. “If they, people, come here and need access, certainly, you know, that’s a service that would be provided.”
Gould made these remarks after Politico, a U.S. political news outlet published a copy a U.S. Supreme Court justice Samuel Alito’s initial draft opinion. Alito is a Republican appointee. That opinion suggests a majority of justices are prepared to overrule Roe v. Wade — the landmark decision that allowed legal abortions in the U.S. — and return the issue to state legislatures.
According to the opinion, 1973 Roe decision is constitutionally questionable. “egregiously wrong from the start”Because it was based on sound reasoning “exceptionally weak.”
The opinion argues that decades-old decision — which essentially found that the right to privacy extends to reproductive choices like an abortion — has had “damaging consequences”By dividing the nation into pro-choice and anti-abortion factions, and stripping state officials of their ability to regulate the practice.
Justin Trudeau, Prime Minister of Canada, took to Twitter earlier Tuesday to reaffirm his support of women’s reproductive rights. He did not mention the leak from the U.S. Supreme Court.
“The right to choose is a woman’s right and a woman’s right alone,”He said. “Every woman in Canada has a right to a safe and legal abortion. We’ll never back down from protecting and promoting women’s rights in Canada and around the world.”
Coming to Canada
In recent years, numerous Republican-led states have passed abortion restrictions and so-called “trigger laws”If the Supreme Court provides legal support, the ban would be effective immediately and prohibit abortions.
Roe could be overturned. If Roe is not overturned, abortion will likely remain legal in liberal state. More than a dozen countries have laws protecting abortion rights.
California has stated that it will seek out other options to accommodate people from outside of California who want abortions if the law changes.
Judy Chu, a Democrat U.S. representative from California, also told CBC News Network’s Power & Politics Tuesday that her state already is seeing women crossing the border from Texas seeking abortions, a practice she said will only increase if Roe vs. Wade is overturned.
“There is a definite uptick already. Can you imagine if 26 states were banning abortion because of Roe v. Wade falling?”She said. “Yes, there [would] definitely be women coming to Canada, Mexico and to the other states which are upholding abortion.”
Concerns for Canadian women
Gould stated that Canada will still be open to American women who want abortions. However, she is concerned about what Roe v. Wade may mean for Canadian women who are seeking abortions.
“One of the concerning factors here is that there are many Canadian women who maybe don’t live near a major city in Canada, but will often access these services in the United States,”She said. “I’m very concerned about the leak yesterday. I’m very concerned about what this means, particularly for American women, but also for Canadian women.”
The issue of abortion has been the subject of much political debate in Canada — perhaps nowhere more so than within the Conservative Party.
Brian Mulroney, a former Progressive Conservative prime Minister, failed to pass legislation concerning abortion after the Supreme Court’s 1988 R.v. Morgentaler ruling invalidated Canadian law.
As it stands now, there is no federal law that regulates abortion.
In this context, the Conservative Party’s previous leaders, including former prime minister Stephen Harper and MPs Andrew Scheer and Erin O’Toole, have been dogged by questions from the press and the public about their position on legislating abortion access — and successive Liberal and NDP leaders have made Conservative ambiguity on the topic an election issue.