Bea Bruske: Canada’s unions express solidarity and demand action on reproductive rights

June 24, 2022

OTTAWA–– Bea Bruske, President of the Canadian Labour Congress, released the following statement:

“Today, the Supreme Court of the United States delivered a devastating decision to overturn the landmark precedent set 50 years ago in Roe v. Wade. The decision to rule against the constitutional right to access safe and legal abortion care jeopardizes the reproductive rights of millions of Americans.

“Canada’s unions are reacting to this decision with deep concern and a renewed commitment to redouble our efforts for equitable access to abortion care and reproductive health services across our country.

“Access to safe, legal abortion is a fundamental human right that must be guaranteed to everyone and should not be a privilege related to the colour of your skin, where you live or how much money you have. Taking away peoples’ reproductive health and rights is wrong and will inevitably impact poor and racialized communities the most.

“Abortion bans do not stop abortion. They only make abortions harder to access and more dangerous, particularly for communities who are already marginalized. The World Health Organization estimates that 25 million unsafe abortions take place each year, and identifies that the lack of safe, respectful, timely abortion care services is a critical public health issue and leading cause for maternal deaths and morbidities world-wide.

“While abortion is decriminalized in Canada, barriers to accessing this essential health service persist. These barriers include a lack of accurate information, travel and other costs associated with accessing care, wait times, and gestational limits. These barriers disproportionately impact low-income, young, newcomer and racialized populations, as well as people with disabilities, and those living in rural and remote communities.

“Anti-abortion movements, attacks on 2SLGBTQI communities, and the growing tide of right-wing extremism, are well funded movements that have no borders. We must remain vigilant in standing up for the rights of all people.

“While there is still much work to do here in Canada, we remain committed in our solidarity to all advocates and activists continuing the fight for bodily autonomy and gender justice, in the United States and around the world.”

For more information about sexual and reproductive health and rights in Canada:

Abortion Rights Coalition of Canada: https://www.arcc-cdac.ca/

Action Canada for Sexual Health and Rights: https://www.actioncanadashr.org/

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