US Supreme Court kills abortion rights, Canada may open borders for US women seeking abortions
Canadian PM Justin Trudeau described the U.S. Supreme Court's decision as “horrific”.
Washington: After the US Supreme Court in Washington ended constitutional protections for abortion that had been in place for nearly 50 years, an animated debate on the right of women to choose what to do with their own bodies has been revived with redoubled vigour all over North America.
Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau described the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision to overturn decades-old jurisprudence on abortion as “horrific”, a section of Conservatives, the official Opposition party, hailed the verdict calling what’s unfolding south of the border a “horrific” development that threatens the right of women to choose what to do with their own bodies.
However, one of the Conservative party’s leadership contenders, Leslyn Lewis, MP, in a letter to supporters on Friday, said Conservatives shouldn’t be afraid to discuss anti-abortion policies.
She also released a policy platform promising what she calls “pro-life” policies if elected, including a ban on “sex-selective” abortions, criminal penalties for “coerced” abortions, increased funding for pregnancy centres (organizations that persuade pregnant women against having abortions) and an end to federal funding for abortion services overseas.
Another leadership candidate, MP Pierre Poilievre, however, has an altogether different stand on the issue.
In the past, Poilievre supported initiatives such as Motion 312 — which would have prompted a review of when a child becomes a human being in Canadian law — and a private member’s bill that would have stiffened criminal penalties for the murder of an unborn child.
But, in this leadership election, Poilievre has been categoric that he was not interested in legislating against abortion, if elected.
During the party’s French-language leadership debate last month, Poilievre said he was “pro-choice.”
A spokesperson for Pierre campaign also told a section of media on Friday that “a Poilievre government will not introduce or pass any laws restricting abortion.”
The other two leading candidates for the party’s top job, Brampton Mayor Patrick Brown and former Quebec premier Jean Charest have are also solidly pro-choice.
In a social media post, Charest said he was “disturbed” that Roe vs Wade has been overturned.
“While I recognize there are strongly held beliefs on this issue, reproductive rights in Canada are non-negotiable,” he said.
Justin Trudeau, in a social media post, said, “My heart goes out to the millions of American women who are now set to lose their legal right to an abortion. I can’t imagine the fear and anger you are feeling right now,” Trudeau said in a social media post.
He said “no government, politician, or man” should force a woman to carry out a pregnancy, reiterating that, under his Liberal government, “women in Canada know that we will always stand up for your right to choose.”
Deputy Prime Minister Chrystia Freeland also condemned the ruling, saying she had a “visceral reaction” when she first heard of the court’s decision.
“I was just shocked and horrified and so worried, actually,” Freeland said in an interview with a major news channel.
Freeland said generations of feminists fought for abortion access in Canada, and she’ll do what she can to help preserve that right.