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Americans can get abortions in Canada if Roe overturned, minister says

▶ Watch Video: Which states would restrict or protect abortion rights if Roe v. Wade is struck down?

The recent leak of the Supreme Court’s draft opinion that states the court’s intention to overturn Roe v. Wade has fueled outrage among advocates for abortion access, with many wondering where they will be able to go should they need the health care service. On Tuesday, a Canadian official said her country will be open. 

Karina Gould, minister of families, children and social development in Canada, told CBC News Network, “I don’t see why we would not,” when asked whether Americans would be allowed to get abortions in the country.

“If they, people, come here and need access, certainly, you know, that’s a service that would be provided,” she said, later adding, “25 million unsafe abortions happen every single year. Criminalizing abortion doesn’t mean that those abortions won’t happen. What it means is that they will be unsafe abortions.” 

A spokesperson for the minister told CBC News that Americans seeking abortions in the country would have to pay for the service out-of-pocket or with private insurance if they’re not covered by Canadian programs.

While she expressed concern for Americans, Gould also highlighted that overturning of Roe v. Wade would impact Canadians 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,” she said. 

Several states along the U.S.-Canada border – Idaho, North Dakota, Michigan, Wisconsin and Ohio – have laws on the books that could be used to restrict abortion rights should Roe be overturned. 

Gould’s comments on abortion access were reiterated in a statement to the House of Commons on Tuesday. 

“Abortion is a fundamental right,” she said. “…it has been a priority for our government to support the reproductive rights of women and girls around the world. We will continue to do so with greater determination than ever.” 

Though he did not make a statement regarding abortion access for Americans, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau also condemned the leaked draft on Tuesday. 

“The right to choose is a woman’s right and a woman’s right alone,” he tweeted. “…We’ll never back down from protecting and promoting women’s rights in Canada and around the world.” 

The court’s draft opinion that was originally published by Politico on Monday, and was later confirmed to be authentic by Chief Justice John Roberts, indicates the court’s consideration of overturning Roe v. Wade, the landmark 1973 decision that permitted the right to an abortion in the U.S. 

The draft opinion, written by Justice Samuel Alito, describes Roe as “egregiously wrong from the start” with “exceptionally weak” reasoning. 

“It is time to heed the Constitution and return the issue of abortion to the people’s elected representatives,” Alito wrote.

When he confirmed the draft, Roberts said that the draft does not represent the court’s final decision.



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