Canada Opens Its Arms to Abortion-Seeking Americans

'That's a service that would be provided,' families and children minister Karina Gould said Tuesday
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted May 5, 2022 7:21 AM CDT
Canada Opens Its Arms to Abortion-Seeking Americans
A person holds a sign referencing the US Supreme Court as they take part in a rally in favor of abortion rights on Tuesday at the Capitol in Olympia, Wash.   (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren)

With Roe v. Wade apparently on the cusp of being overturned, Americans who may soon see their abortion access denied will have at least one other option, though depending on where they live, it could be a pretty distant one. On Tuesday, Karina Gould, Canada's minister of families, children, and social development told the CBC that if the US Supreme Court follows through with their draft opinion and votes to return the issue of abortion to state legislatures, effectively ending abortion access in many states, Americans would be welcome north of the border to seek the health care they need. "If they, people, come here and need access, certainly, you know, that's a service that would be provided," Gould said. Canada has no federal law regarding abortion, and abortions are legal at any stage and for any reason, per NPR.

A Gould spokeswoman, who noted that Americans can already seek such health care in Canada, said those patients need to have their abortion covered through private insurance or paid for out of their own pocket, unless they fall under the umbrella of a Canadian provincial health plan. Read: Canada's universal health-care system won't be picking up the tab. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau also on Tuesday spoke up about abortion rights, with a similar message of support. "The right to choose is a woman's right and a woman’s right alone," Trudeau tweeted. "Every woman in Canada has a right to a safe and legal abortion." Trudeau didn't mention support for Americans in particular, but he did add that "we'll never back down from protecting and promoting women's rights in Canada and around the world."

Still, even with such a neighborly gesture, there are roadblocks to Americans heading north for the procedure. The Detroit Free Press notes the distance can be a detriment, not to mention the added cost for making the trip. Plus, with the pandemic still plugging along, travel restrictions remain in place at the border. And while Canada is opening its arms to neighbors down south seeking abortions, some of its own citizens should be worried about the US Supreme Court's upcoming decision as well. "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," Gould told the CBC. "I'm very concerned about what this means, particularly for American women, but also for Canadian women." (More abortion stories.)

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