Gathering Advocates to Support Abortion Rights in Vancouver

About 100 people showed up in rainy weather on Saturday at a demonstration in support of abortion rights in downtown Vancouver.

The event was planned in conjunction with hundreds of similar gatherings in the United States and Canada in the wake of a leaked draft U.S. Supreme Court ruling suggesting that it was the landmark 1973 Roe V. Wade case, which involved abortion in the United States. legalized the whole country, would undo.

One of the speakers was Vancouver GP Amada Whitten, who also provides reproductive and abortion care.

“I’m very concerned about the laws in the states, but it really helps draw attention to our access issues in Canada,” she told Global News.

“We have unequal access when it comes to birth control – it is not covered for many patients in this region – we have unequal access when it comes to abortion clinics in this region – Most clinics are in urban areas, patients have to travel long distances, they take time off from work and arrange childcare and school.”

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Whitten said the political situation surrounding abortion in the United States also highlights the ongoing stigma surrounding the procedure, which she says is essential health care.

“If this is how easily even such a precedent law can be eroded in the ‘states, what difference do we have here?’ she said.

“We have a lot of politicians here who are routinely trying to restrict abortion rights, to restrict abortion clinics. We have a very long process here in Canada to approve medical abortion.”

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Roe v. Wade: Abortion Rights Protesters Gather in the US

Vancouver-Mount Pleasant NDP MP Jenny Kwan also addressed the crowd.

She told Global News that while what is happening in the US is “horrific”, Canadians must remain focused on the right to access safe abortion here.

“While it is true that abortion is legal here in Canada, the reality is that many communities do not have access to abortion services and sexual health services for the LGBTQ2+ community because the trans community is also not available if you happen to be in a remote community, in a rural community,” she said.

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Kwan argued that the Liberal government is not doing enough to ensure abortion services are available to Canadians everywhere, pointing to the battle in New Brunswick for clinic 554.

The New Brunswick provincial government refuses to fund abortions in the clinic, the only facility in the province to offer surgical abortions outside of a hospital.

In response, the federal government withheld some transfers of health care to the province, but the clinic operator was forced to scale back services.

Click to play video: 'Canada strengthens access to abortions as US Senate votes on bill'

Canada strengthens access to abortions as US Senate votes on bill

Canada strengthens access to abortions as US Senate votes on bill

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Canada pledges $3.5 million for abortion access, training providers amid Roe v. Wade fallout

Abortion was decriminalized in Canada in 1988 by the Supreme Court in the R v Morgentaler case, but proponents say access remains uneven, especially in rural and remote communities.

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On Wednesday, the federal government pledged $3.5 million for two projects to improve access to abortion in Canada.

© 2022 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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