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The U.S. Supreme Court Draft Opinion On Abortion Has Led Canadian Leaders To Speak Out

Politicians representing Montreal are condemning the opinion and vowing to protect the right to abortion.

Senior Editor
Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.

News of a draft opinion suggesting the U.S. Supreme Court is poised to overturn Roe v. Wade, the landmark 1973 decision which guaranteed a federal right to abortion, has sent shockwaves throughout the country. Their impact is also crossing the border into Canada. Montreal leaders at all levels of government have taken to social media to denounce any possible ban on abortion.

In a May 4 tweet, Montreal Mayor Valérie Plante added her "voice to those of all American women who demand that their right to control their own bodies be respected."

"Limiting women's rights is unacceptable," she wrote. "Let's not take a step backwards."

"Today, just south of our border, the women who stand up have fewer rights than yesterday," Dominque Anglade, leader of the Quebec Liberal Party and MNA from the Montreal riding of Saint-Henri–Sainte-Anne, wrote on Tuesday.

"What is happening is an unprecedented setback for women's rights and freedoms. It must be condemned without reservation."

It's worth noting that the leaked draft opinion published by Politico isn't actually a ruling — more like a snapshot of debate within the court on a particular case that touches on the precedent set by Roe v. Wade. In a statement, the U.S. Supreme Court explained that "justices circulate draft opinions internally as a routine and essential part of the Court's confidential deliberative work."

"Although the document described in [...] reports is authentic, it does not represent a decision by the Court or the final position of any member on the issues in the case."

For now, abortion is still legal nationwide in the U.S.

But that's not stopping American and Canadian leaders from speaking out and organizing to protect abortion access.

Québec solidaire co-spokesperson Manon Massé, MNA from Sainte-Marie–Saint-Jacques, called on followers to "not give an inch" to "anti-abortion fanatics," who, she charged, aren't motivated by any "pro-life" sentiment, but by a "control of women's lives."

Anglade and Massé have both called on all Quebec provincial parties to preclude anti-abortionists from running as candidates in the upcoming election.

Federal leaders are speaking out too.

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, MP from Papineau, said his government will "never back down from protecting and promoting women's rights in Canada and around the world." It's unclear what role Canada could take in advocating for the right to abortion for Americans specifically.

Foreign Minister Mélanie Joly, MP from Ahuntsic-Cartierville, echoed Trudeau's statement but also targeted Canadian Conservative Party leaders, who she accused of courting anti-abortionists.

"Even in Canada, we can't take for granted the right to abortion," Joly told reporters on Tuesday.

"Currently, there's a Conservative leadership [...] that's trying to get the anti-choice vote."

This article's cover image was used for illustrative purposes only.

    Thomas MacDonald
    Senior Editor
    Thomas MacDonald is a Senior Editor for MTL Blog focused on Montreal public transit and is based in Montreal, Quebec.
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