A pro-choice rally in Calgary took place following a potential overturning of the Roe v. wade
About 200 people gathered at the Olympic Plaza in downtown Calgary on Sunday to show their support for abortion access and reproductive rights in the province.
The rally follows news from the United States earlier this month in which a leaked draft of the United States Supreme Court’s opinion to overturn Roe v. Wade sparked protests and conversations about how the ripple effects of the decision could affect Canada.
Reversing the 1973 ruling would give states the power to decide the legality of abortion. About half of them, mostly in the South and Midwest of the United States, are likely to quickly ban abortion.
Adora Statuesse-Nwofor is the organizer of the Calgary event. She thinks that what happens in the United States will have repercussions in Canada.
“It affects 100% the decisions that are made here,” Statuesse-Nwofor said.
“Canada very often does what happens in the United States, or at least people are influenced by the ideas that are shared [there].”
She said the issue goes beyond just access to abortion and reflects larger truths about the fragile state of public reproductive health care in Alberta generally, citing her own years-long struggle to get a hysterectomy. .
“I didn’t get the healthcare I needed. Too many of us have had horrific experiences being pregnant, having children and navigating healthcare.”
Although there is no law prohibiting women in Canada from having an abortion, it is also not considered a constitutionally protected right under the Charter of Rights and Freedoms.
Wendy Walker, an Indigenous singer-songwriter who performed at the event, said that while she is not worried about the changes in access to abortion that are occurring under the current government of Canada, she is concerned about future policy changes.
“Maybe there is some kind of law that [could be] put in place that protects the rights of women to determine what happens to our bodies.”
Walker added that often it is people of color and those of lower socioeconomic status who are most affected by restrictions on reproductive rights.
Although the Supreme Court’s draft decision is not yet final, data analyzed by the Associated Press showed that if abortions in the United States are further restricted or banned, minority women will bear the brunt.
Becki McLean said she attended the event on Saturday in part to remind the Canadian government not to fall back on progress already made.
“R. vs. Morgentaler was a fight that Alberta women fought very hard for approval,” McLean said.
“We fought very hard to have access to abortion clinics that didn’t involve a panel of male doctors telling us what was good for our bodies. That’s something we don’t want to take lightly. slight and see it disappear through the chipping away of the various bills that are passed.
The R. v. Morgentaler from 1988 — Canada’s Leading Abortion Rights Cause — was a landmark decision by the Supreme Court of Canada which ruled that the abortion provision in the Criminal Code was unconstitutional because it violated women’s rights under section seven of the Canadian Charter.