U.S. women to seek abortions in Manitoba: clinic director


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Manitobans should expect Americans to cross the border to access abortion following the U.S. Supreme Court decision to overturn abortion rights legislation

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Hey there, time traveller!
This article was published 24/06/2022 (270 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.

Manitobans should expect Americans to cross the border to access abortion following the U.S. Supreme Court decision to overturn abortion rights legislation

“We have to expect that it will happen. Because the decision was not about making abortion illegal. It’s about making it unsafe,” said Blandine Tona, director of medical programs at the Women’s Health Clinic in Winnipeg.

The Supreme Court decision to overturn its landmark 1973 abortion rights case Roe v. Wade is expected to trigger U.S. states to immediately ban abortion after six weeks — before most women realize they’re pregnant.

“Privileged people will be able to travel to Canada or elsewhere, book their hotel, have the abortion. But less privileged people will not have the same option,” Tona said, adding she feels “we just jumped 50-plus years back in time.”

The clinic, one of Manitoba’s abortion providers, urged residents to donate in support of its work and call on political leaders and representatives to boost funding for abortion providers in Canada.

Asked for a provincial response, Premier Heather Stefanson and Health Minister Audrey Gordon did not respond.

NDP Leader Wab Kinew tweeted about the impact of the U.S. decision, calling it “unjust.”

“Women and gender-diverse folks will be hit hard by this, Indigenous women in America in particular,” Kinew posted.

“As a leader and NDP team member I’m 100 per cent committed to fight against the very real threats to reproductive justice that exist in Manitoba.”

In a written statement, Manitoba Liberal Leader Dougald Lamont described the reasoning used to reject Roe v. Wade as “based on bad law, bad history, bad religion and bad medicine.”

“This is a catastrophe for anyone who cherishes and defends individual freedoms and fundamental democratic rights. It is an assault on justice that gives government horrific powers. It is good for no one,” he stated.

Former Liberal MP Doug Eyolfson, a local physician, said he felt it was important for him to speak out against the U.S. decision because of the risk he perceives in Canadian politics — and to Canadians — as a result. He said Canadians need to be “vigilant” to uphold women’s rights.

“What makes me nervous about this is there is a sense of complacency among far too many Canadians. They believe that we wouldn’t let this happen in Canada, but we see some provinces that are really doing their best to restrict abortion services — not banning it but not making it available,” he said.

“This is not just an American phenomenon.”


Katie May

Katie May

Katie May is a general-assignment reporter for the Free Press.

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