Canada’s government should offer real help to U.S. women seeking abortions, Michigan advocacy group says

A political group in Detroit is calling on Canadian politicians to back their words with action regarding access to abortion for US citizens in that country.

Last week, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau weighed in on the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision overturning the landmark Roe v. Wade, calling it a “horrible” development that threatens women’s rights.

“It’s a reminder of how unequivocal we must be in our defense of peoples’ rights…Canada will be there, not only for Canadians, but also for friends around the world,” he said. he told Commonwealth heads of state on Saturday. Government meeting in Rwanda.

Danielle Atkinson, founding director of the group Mothering Justice, which advocates for mothers of color in Michigan, said the prime minister needed to do more than issue a statement.

“We so appreciate his willingness to open up the country, but there’s the logistics of immigration, right?” she says.

“So we need the prime minister to really make sure people can get into the country safely and easily.”

Barriers worse for marginalized women

Atkinson said she was “grateful” for Trudeau’s statement, but said there are many barriers for women who may turn to Canada for abortion care outside their own state – and in particular marginalized women.

Danielle Atkinson is the founding director of Mothering Justice and Mothering Justice Action Fund, advocacy groups that support mothers of color. (State of Michigan/www.michigan.gov)

“Things that are just everyday issues for marginalized people: do you have gas in your car to get there?” she said. “Do you have someone who can babysit your children?” Is it a secret? …

“The same reason rolling back these federal protections hurts marginalized people is the same reason it’s incredibly difficult to cross state lines or cross the border.”

Families Minister Karina Gould said in the first leak of a draft Supreme Court ruling that American women will be able to get abortions in Canada. Public Safety Minister Marco Mendicino also asked Canada Border Services Agency officials to allow free passage to American women seeking abortions.

Currently, abortion services are still legal in Michigan, but the law could change.

A handful of US states, including Texas, Missouri and Utah, have already banned abortion following last week’s ruling, but for some states, including Michigan, the future of the right to abortion is still unclear.

Abortion still legal in Michigan so far

In May, a judge suspended Michigan’s dormant 1931 abortion ban — which offers no exclusions for incest or rape — meaning the procedure is legal in the state despite the decision of the Supreme Court of the United States.

The judge granted a preliminary injunction requested by Planned Parenthood of Michigan; however, this injunction has been appealed.

“We want to make it clear that abortion is still legal in Michigan…We continue to provide abortion to everyone who needs it,” said Ashlea Phenicie, communications director for Planned Parenthood Michigan.

“Currently, Michigan is planning to receive an influx of patients ourselves.”

Ashlea Phenicie, director of communications for Planned Parenthood Michigan, said the group is working on national strategies to help women cross states to access abortion care. (Radio Canada)

Phenicie said Planned Parenthood is currently working on a national strategy to help women cross state lines to access safe and legal abortions if it’s illegal in their home state. However, if Michigan loses its fight to keep the process legal, Planned Parenthood may seek other strategies.

“I’m not aware of cross-border collaboration, but if we were in a scenario where Michigan would lose access, I think that would be the next step,” Phenicie said.

Providers in Canada who might be willing to offer abortions to U.S. citizens should be aware of the barriers faced by marginalized groups, especially when it comes to crossing an international border, Phenicie said.

Meanwhile, health officials in Windsor are not talking about what the reversal of Roe v. Wade could mean for the area given its proximity to Detroit. CBC News contacted Windsor-Essex Hospitals and Public Health, but they declined interviews.

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