May 4, 2022 - World

Americans can get abortions in Canada if Roe is overturned, official says

Women with signs show their support for abortion rights in the United States on May 3 after a leaked draft suggested that the U.S. Supreme Court is about to overturn Roe v. Wade. Photo: Pablo Monsalve/VIEWpress

A Canadian official said on Wednesday after a Supreme Court draft ruling overturning Roe v. Wade was leaked that Americans would be able to obtain abortions in Canada, NPR reports.

What they're saying: "If they, people, come here and need access, certainly, you know, that's a service that would be provided," said Karina Gould, the minister of families, children and social development.

The big picture: A Supreme Court document authored by Justice Samuel Alito leaked on Monday indicated that the court was prepared to overturn Roe v. Wade.

  • Such a ruling would make abortion immediately illegal in at least 13 states, Axios' Oriana Gonzalez reports.
  • Canada does not have a federal law governing abortion, making it legal at all stages of pregnancy, NPR writes.

Between the lines: Access to abortion services in Canada would be more complicated in practice, the Detroit Free Press writes.

  • Obstacles include the distance from an abortion provider, pandemic precautions at the international border and the cost of travel.
  • Americans seeking an abortion in Canada would have to pay for the service out-of-pocket or with their own private insurance, Gould said.

Worth noting: Overturning Roe v. Wade would also affect Canadians who travel to the U.S. for abortions, Gould said.

  • "One of the concerning factors here is that there are many Canadian women who maybe don't live near a major city in Canada but will often access these services in the United States," she said.
  • "I'm very concerned about the leak yesterday. I'm very concerned about what this means, particularly for American women, but also for Canadian women."
  • Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau was among the world leaders to express concern over the possibility of the Supreme Court overturning Roe v. Wade.
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