US Abortion Decision Will Have Big Impact on Canada – Chilliwack Progress
Pierre Trudeau famously described the relationship between Canada and the United States as a mouse sharing a bed with an elephant. The elephant, explained the elder Trudeau (to a US audience, of course), hardly notices the mouse, but the mouse senses every “twitch and grunt.”
With the reversal of the Roe v. Wade more than flinched from the US Supreme Court last week.
Several states have already made abortion illegal or severely restricted, and overall about half of this country could not have legal access to abortion within weeks.
While the greatest impact will be on American women who no longer have access to safe abortions, this ruling will also have a direct and indirect impact on Canada.
The biggest direct impact will be a sudden demand in some provinces bordering the US for abortion services for Americans who may find it easier or safer to cross an international border than to another state where the procedure remains legal.
This is because our healthcare system in general is already under pressure. Canadian women may have the right to access abortion services, but these are not always readily available, particularly in rural and remote areas where any type of medical care is difficult to obtain.
Indirectly, it can rekindle a debate that has been considered settled for decades, at least at the Canadian Parliament level.
Although there are, and always have been, a number of pro-life politicians and activists this side of the border, no major political party has made any serious attempt to revisit the issue in years.
The courts and medical colleges were the arbiters, relying on precedent and best practice established by physicians.
Politically, our situation is still very different from that in the United States. Roe v. Wade was founded on a right to privacy, but Canada’s R v. Morgentaler, the ruling that overturned Canada’s previous abortion laws in the 1980s, was based on our right to “life, liberty and security of person.” in the Charter of Rights and Freedoms.
– Black press media
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