While many Americans were taken aback by Monday’s leaked Supreme Court draft opinion, which appears poised to roll back federal protections against abortion, a Canadian official has assured those thinking of traveling north for the procedure They will have secure access.
In an interview with CBC on Tuesday, Karina Gould, minister for families, children and social development, told the station that Canada would continue, as it has in the past, to allow Americans to travel to the country for abortions.
“I don’t see why we wouldn’t,” he said in an interview with CBC’s Power and Politics. “If they, the people, come here and need access, certainly, you know, that’s a service that would be provided.”
The costs of these procedures, a representative for Ms. Gould for the network later clarified in a statement, would continue to be paid by Americans traveling to the country, either out of pocket, through private insurers or, if covered. by one of the country’s provincial health plans, through that.
Concerns about the neighbors of the south who flood the north to receive the procedure, in case the milestone Roe vs. Wade The decision was reversed, they were later relieved by Marco Mendicino, the country’s public safety minister, who told Canada’s Global News that he was in talks with the federal border agency to ensure that Americans crossing into Canada for the procedure had access.
“I have engaged with the CBSA, my office is currently working with them to make sure there are clear guidelines for women who are unable to access health care, including abortions, to be able to come to Canada,” reported Mr. Menicino, GlobalNews.
“If some women want to come to Canada to access those procedures, I have given them the directive to welcome them,” he added, speaking in French.
Those sentiments were similarly echoed across the federal branch of government, with Chrystia Freeland, the country’s deputy prime minister and finance minister, tweeting Wednesday in response to the news first reported by politician: “As part of Canada’s feminist foreign policy, it has been a priority for our government to support the reproductive rights of women and girls around the world. We will continue to do so with more determination than ever.”
The news even brought Canada’s Prime Minister himself into the fold, with Justin Trudeau tweeting immediately after the news on Tuesday morning that, “The right to choose is a woman’s right and a woman’s only.”
“We will never back down in protecting and promoting women’s rights in Canada and around the world,” the prime minister added, just a day before heading to meetings where he and his cabinet began discussions to discuss the “legal framework” to guarantee that the right to abortion is protected “not only under this government, but under any future government”, the toronto star informed.
Canada decriminalized abortions in 1969, but only for pregnant women facing threats to their lives or general health. The country subsequently decriminalized the procedure for the general population in 1988 in the Morgentaler decision and, in a grim reversal of roles, in the years before that decision, northern women would travel south across the Canadian border- American for the procedure.
But critics and advocates of abortion access in Canada are quick to point out that legality does not immediately translate into equitable or affordable access.
Especially in smaller provinces and rural regions, accessing abortions can be cumbersome and expensive if the nearest provider is in a major city or neighboring province that has a nearby clinic offering the procedure.
One province in particular has drawn scorn from both advocates and federal leaders in recent years for its lack of abortion clinics. Last August, Trudeau withheld federal health care transfers in New Brunswick, which borders the US state of Maine in the northeastern US, due to the province’s policy of prohibiting government funding. of abortions performed outside approved hospitals.
“This means that abortions performed in clinics are not government funded,” Action Canada writes for Sexual Health Writes. “This is a violation of human rights and contravenes the Canada Health Act, which requires that all medically necessary services be covered by provincial health insurance.”
Unlike in the US, those aligned on the political right in Canada have not indicated any intention to change the country’s laws on access to abortion.
Candice Bergen, Trudeau’s main opposition in Parliament and interim leader of the Conservative Party of Canada, has stated that her party has no intention of introducing legislation imposing restrictions on abortion.
Following Monday’s leaked opinion, the same interim leader reportedly sent a memo to caucus members to keep quiet about news coming from their allies south of the border.
“Conservatives will not comment on leaked draft rulings of the Supreme Court of the United States,” the emailed memo said, according to CBC.