Photo Credit: TN
Canada And Mexico Welcome Americans Seeking Abortions
Last week’s leaked draft decision to overturn Roe vs. Wade has women across the U.S. shook. If the decision becomes official, Americans seeking abortions could potentially have to cross international borders, specifically to Canada and Mexico.
Karina Gould, Canada’s minister of families, told CBC News, “If they, people, come here and need access, certainly, you know, that’s a service that would be provided.”
Canada’s supreme court legalized abortions in 1988, but prior to legalization, Canadians traveled to the U.S.
Carolyn Egan, spokesperson for the Abortion Rights Coalition of Canada says, “We had a network of people who could make referrals and help them get there [to the U.S.]. If it’s necessary, that probably would happen again — but the other way.”
According to an estimate by Guttmacher Institute, an American sexual and reproductive health rights research organization, 26 states will ban abortion if the decision to overturn Roe vs. Wade is finalized.
Although Americans seeking abortions can travel to Canada and Mexico, the costs are high. Egan says that non-Canadians will be charged $388 for surgical abortions. Wait times could be one to two weeks in Ontario and up to several months in the Atlantic provinces.
Meghan Doherty, director of global policy and advocacy at Action Canada for Sexual Health and Rights says, “You have to have the financial resources…there will be a limited number of people who will be able to do that.”
“There’s tremendous upset, distress, and anger that Americans would be in the situation of having to face this kind of thing. So my sense is people will do everything they can to make access easier,” Egan says about many Canadians’ feelings towards a potential end to Roe vs. Wade.
In Mexico, advocates are expecting an increase in Americans traveling for surgical abortions. Last year, Mexico’s supreme court declared it unconstitutional to criminalize abortions.
Vero Cruz, an advocacy coordinator with Las Libres, says, “The women who are crossing into Mexico are coming to Monterrey, Tijuana, and other cities to have abortions using medication.”
Abortion pills are free in Mexico; surgical abortions are free in public clinics.