Supporting reproductive rights
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This article was published 15/10/2021 (595 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.
The fight for reproductive rights is never over. We recently saw lawmakers in Texas attempt to ban abortion in every situation after just six weeks from conception – before many people even know they are pregnant.
In December the Supreme Court in the U.S. will hear a case from Mississippi that could overturn Roe vs. Wade, the case that enshrined reproductive health rights in law in 1973. On Oct. 2, hundreds gathered at the legislature in solidarity but also to send a message to the government that we will not tolerate any threat to our reproductive rights here at home.
The Supreme Court of Canada decriminalized abortion in 1988 and I was on the front line of that fight as an activist and volunteer at the Toronto Morgentaler clinic. I’ve met many Wolseley constituents who were fighting for our reproductive rights for well over 50 years. To these trailblazers, I say thank you.
Still, women and gender-diverse persons seeking reproductive healthcare are often subject to verbal abuse outside abortion clinics by non-peaceful protesters. My colleague Nahanni Fontaine, the MLA for St. Johns, has brought forward legislation three times that would require protesters to maintain a safe perimeter around health care facilities offering abortion services, to protect patients and health care providers from harassment and intimidation.
This bill will come to a vote days after you are reading this article, and it is time that the Progressive Conservative government finally supports this bill.
The government has named three health ministers in a row who have refused to be responsible for abortion care – including current Premier Kelvin Goertzen and Progressive Conservative leadership candidate Heather Stefanson.
This sends a message to Manitobans that abortion is not a normal and essential part of health-care services and remains up for debate. Therefore, we must stay vigilant to protect these hard-won rights. Abortion is a medical decision and I firmly believe that all people have the right to access safe reproductive health care.
After months of wonderful constituency visits and events, I am back in the legislature this month.
Earlier this year, the Manitoba NDP used its power as official Opposition to delay five government bills that Manitobans told us would be especially harmful to them and their families — and, thanks to efforts of Manitobans across the province, the government announced that it would no longer move forward with these bills.
In addition to stopping Bill 64, we have prevented the government from raising your Hydro rates without independent oversight; from preventing peaceful protest; from reducing funding for addictions treatment and from weakening workers’ rights.
You can reach me by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or calling 204-792-2773.
Wolseley constituency report
Lisa Naylor is the NDP MLA for Wolseley.