WHY CANADIANS SHOULD CARE
ABOUT ROE v. WADE
by Abbigale Kernya,
Youth Editor, KBI Inspire Magazine
Our Youth Editor, Abbigale Kernya, is a first year University student with a passion for music, art, reading, and film.
"First and foremost, we have to stop the normalization of policing women’s bodies. Each person with a uterus has a fundamental human right to choose what to do with it, and it is no one’s business but their own."
The recent news that emerged from our neighbours down south is absolutely frightening. The draft decision to overturn Roe V. Wade, a ruling that has stood for nearly fifty years, endangers the lives of thousands of people. Let me be clear: banning abortions only bans safe abortions. Though it is a scary future to imagine, it is not entirely surprising. The fixation on policing women’s bodies has been a longstanding focus in American politics for years. Yet American lawmakers are not alone in the attempt to restrict fundamental reproductive rights, Canada is very closely intertwined with America in more ways than one. Although abortion is decriminalized, it is not a constitutional right in Canada, meaning it could happen here too.
In times like these, we tend to have a “well that won’t happen here” mindset, which is not only wrong - it is also dangerous. The discussion that restricting abortions is “ethical” in the United States Supreme Court is creating a snowball effect; one that we are already starting to see here. America
and Canada pull off of each other in a lot of ways. From gas prices, energy, and now the move to overturn abortion rights, we can expect to see a lot more discussions about whether or not it is a person’s right to an abortion right here at home. The lead-up to the Supreme Court’s vote to overturn Roe did not happen overnight. Years of lawmakers and politicians backing or supporting “pro-life” organizations allowed a platform for abortion rights to find its way under fire, and radical right-wing hate to find its voice in central politics. It has caused healthcare to become political - something that has already begun happening here.
So, what can we do to stop it?
First and foremost, we have to stop the normalization of policing women’s bodies. Each person with a uterus has a fundamental human right to choose what to do with it, and it is no one’s business but their own. It is time for us as Canadians to hold our lawmakers and politicians accountable. The decision to restrict abortions happens small at first, but as more people are elected into office with ties to anti-abortionist organizations, the closer Canadian law becomes to infringing on lifesaving reproductive healthcare.
The Abortion Rights Coilition of Canada has a list of some things you can do to help secure safe and accessible abortions in Canada. Some of them inclue:
Email your local MP to state the importance of abortion acess in Canada and their duty to keep personal/religious views outside of provincial law and legislations.
Participate in online pro-choice forums to inform and educate others about reproductive rights.
Squash the stigma around abortions. Share/support abortion stories to educate about the life-saving healthcare.
Have the conversation. Talk with your friends and family and urge them to join you in the activism to protect a person’s right to control their body.
Again, restricting abortions will only prevent safe abortions. The vote to overturn Roe V. Wade is a massive setback in women’s rights, and Canada is not entirely safe from the infringement on this life-saving healthcare. Now more than ever, we need to come together as a country in support to ensure the safety of reproductive rights.