Roe v. Wade Statement
Doctors and reproductive health advocates condemn overturning of Roe V. Wade
TORONTO – The recent overturning of Roe v. Wade represents a significant step backwards in the history of reproductive rights. With 13 states placing immediate bans on most abortions, and many more likely to do so in the coming months, millions of Americans have lost their fundamental right to a safe abortion (1).
The consequences of this decision are far-reaching, with social, economic, and medical consequences for people with a uterus who are forced to carry a pregnancy and give birth (2, 3). Choice is essential to independence. The inability to have choice over a pregnancy continuation is associated with diminished social and political participation, reduced employment opportunity, lower educational achievement and reinforces cycles of poverty.
Moreover, this ruling will expose childbearing persons, particularly marginalized folks, to potential life-threatening medical complications of pregnancy. A dearth of access to abortion may force patients to take extreme measures to protect their health and wellbeing, including unsafe abortions which can cause serious complications including bleeding, infection, and damage to organs (4). Moreover, pregnant persons who carry fetuses with anomalies or whose pregnancies may pose significant threats to the person’s health may be forced to carry the pregnancy harming both their physical and mental wellbeing. Above all, this decision will revoke the universal right to bodily autonomy from millions.
CoverContraception stands with the American majority in opposing this ruling (5). We support a person's right to choose, always. Although abortion is legal in Canada, it remains inaccessible to many. These services are least accessible to those living in rural and Northern communities and for individuals from low income and racialized communities. For example, New Brunswick will only fund abortions provided in one of three hospital sites, which is inaccessible to many and which experts posit is a violation of the Canada Health Act (6). Nationally, the majority of abortion providers in Canada are within 150 km of the US border, making access in Northern communities nearly impossible without significant travel and cost (7). This contributes to the ongoing cycle of health inequities in Canada. Now more than ever we must fight for improved abortion access nationwide.
We are committed to continuing to advocate for universal access to abortion, contraception, and family planning tools for all persons in Canada, the USA, and worldwide. To learn more about abortion access in Canada and support organizations leading this cause nationally, visit Abortion Rights Coalition of Canada and Action Canada.
To support American abortion rights organizations, visit National Network of Abortion Funds, Center for Reproductive Rights, and Planned Parenthood.
About Us: Cover ContraceptiON is a grassroots, non-partisan, volunteer-run campaign with the goal of providing universal, no-cost contraception to all people in Ontario. The Cover ContraceptiON campaign started at the beginning of the pandemic, when a group of frontline physicians at the University of Toronto recognized that the COVID-19 pandemic was intensifying pre-existing inequities among marginalized populations – those of low socioeconomic status, cultural minorities, Black and Indigenous peoples and residents of rural communities. The time to act in Ontario is now.
For further information, please contact: Drs. Nour Bakhache and Dr. Hava Starkman, Campaign Chairs, at covercontraceptionON@gmail.com or Mary Boulos, Communications Lead, at firstname.lastname@example.org
Image credit - AccessBC Campaign