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Where is the Abortion Issue Going in Canada?

Where is the Abortion Issue Going in Canada?

Peter Naus - CLC Youth Washington D.C March for Life Delegate

Washington D. C. March For Life 2023 Recap

After an eleven hour bus ride, 36 Canadians from Campaign Life Coalition Youth and Oblate Youth Canada arrived in Washington, D.C. on Friday, January 20, 2023 to participate in the first March For Life since Roe v. Wade was overturned by Dobbs v. Jackson Women's Health Organization ending almost fifty years of abortion on demand in all fifty states. The March For Life started with a Pre-Rally Concert at 11 am ET before the March for Life Rally at 12 pm ET on the National Mall home to the Lincoln Memorial and Washington Monument with a view of the U.S. Capitol and the White House.

Actor in TV series, “The Chosen,” Jonathan Roumie, Mississippi Attorney General, who won the Dobbs Supreme Court case that overturned Roe v. Wade, Lynn Fitch, House Majority Leader, Steve Scalise, Congressman and Co-Chair of the Congressional Pro-Life Caucus, Christopher H. Smith, Connecticut State Representative, Treneé McGhee, and the Most Reverend Bishop Burbidge of the Diocese of Arlington all gave statements before the March began.

Canadians positioned outside the Embassy of Canada to the United States cheered on the march. Before the march began, several men joined in prayer to pray a rosary for souls of the unborn and for mothers in crisis pregnancies to receive help, hope and healing. During the march, CBC interviewed a few from our group asking why we were at the American March for Life. Several counter protestors heckled our group. 

National Pro-Life Summit 2023 Recap

The National Pro-Life Summit followed the March For Life on Saturday, January 21, 2023 at the Omni Shoreham Hotel and featured many distinguished speakers especially Kristan Hawkins, President of Students For Life of America, Trent Horn, Apologist for Catholic Answers, Abby Johnson, Founder of And Then There Were None and Pro Love Ministries, Seth Dillon, Ceo of The Babylon Bee, Allie Beth Stuckey, Podcast Host of "Relatable" & Author, Roger Severino, Vice President of Domestic Policy and The Joseph C. And Elizabeth A. Anderlik Fellow at The Heritage Foundation, and MC Isabel Brown, Senior Ambassador For Students For Life of America.

In addition, various breakout sessions featured discussion panel discussions on various topics like: 1) Winning the Court of Law & the Court of Public Opinion: What is the Post-Roe Battle? 2) Men & The Pro-Life Movement 3) What's in the Water? Is Chemical Abortion Poisoning the Environment? 4) Advanced Apologetics and 5) Don’t Back Down Now: Protecting Pro-Life Clubs From Your School’s Discrimination. These sessions provided valuable information on how to discuss the issue of abortion in legal, scientific, and many other contexts.

America’s Abortion Laws

When the United States became independent in 1776, most U.S. states continued to apply English common law to abortion. Under common law, abortion was legal, and only after quickening (fetal movements) it was not allowed.

In 1821, Connecticut became the first state to regulate abortion. Connecticut outlawed abortion after quickening and forbade the use of poisons to induce abortion post-quickening.

In 1829, New York made post-quickening abortions a felony and pre-quickening abortions a misdemeanor. The 1860s and 1870s saw 10 of 26 states creating similar restrictions.

In 1965, the U.S. Supreme Court case Griswold v. Connecticut struck down one of the remaining contraception Comstock laws in Connecticut and Massachusetts. Griswold only applied to marital relationships, allowing married couples to buy and use contraceptives without government restriction.

In 1972, Eisenstadt v. Baird extended the precedent of Griswold to unmarried persons.

On January 22, 1973, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled 7 - 2 on Roe v. Wade, declaring that the Constitution of the United States conferred the “right to choose” to have an abortion. Roe proposed that restrictive state regulation of abortion is unconstitutional. In a majority opinion written by Justice Harry A. Blackmun, the Supreme Court held that a set of Texas statutes criminalizing abortion in most instances violated a woman’s constitutional right of privacy, which is found to be implicit in the liberty guarantee of the due process clause of the Fourteenth Amendment, “…nor shall any state deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law.”

On June 29, 1992, Planned Parenthood of Southeastern Pennsylvania v. Casey created and maintained federal protections for a pregnant woman's right to get an abortion.

On June 24, 2022, the U.S. Supreme Court announced the decision of Dobbs v. Jackson Women's Health Organization, finding that the Constitution of the United States does not confer a right to abortion. Dobbs v. Jackson overturned two historic Supreme Court rulings, Roe v. Wade (1973) and Planned Parenthood v. Casey (1992), which had respectively established and affirmed a constitutional right to obtain an abortion. Dobbs upheld (6–3) Mississippi’s prohibition of pre-viability abortion and overruled (5–4) both Roe and Casey. An apparent draft of a majority opinion of the case written by Justice Samuel A. Alito, Jr. was leaked to Politico on May 2, 2022 which was an extraordinary breach of the confidentiality in which the Court traditionally conducts its deliberations. The Supreme Court says it has still not determined the source of Dobbs leak as of January 19, 2023.

Canada’s Abortion Law

On January 28, 1988, The Supreme Court of Canada struck down the abortion law as unconstitutional R. v. Morgentaler case. In the Morgentaler decision, the Supreme Court did not explicitly state that access to abortion is a fundamental right. No other Canadian court has said so since. Experts say the landmark 1988 ruling R. v. Morgentaler did not establish abortion as a charter right.

Canada is one of the only nations with no criminal restrictions on abortion. Abortion availability is, however, subject to provincial health-care regulatory guidelines for physicians. Abortion is publicly funded as a medical procedure under the Canada Health Act.

Human Rights: Right to Abortion or Right to Life?

In Loving v. Virginia, Griswold v. Connecticut, Roe v. Wade, and Lawrence v. Texas, the Supreme Court of the United States struck down several laws criminalizing sexual and reproductive decisions between consenting adults in private activities, citing a right to privacy.

The US Constitution does not explicitly mention a right to privacy anywhere. The US Supreme Court has recognized the right to privacy as a fundamental right through the decision in the wiretapping case of Olmstead v. United States (1928) where Justice Brandeis wrote, “the right to be let alone [is] the most comprehensive of rights, and the right most valued by civilized men.”

The Canadian Charter or Rights and Freedoms (CCRF) is the Canadian equivalent to the American Bill of Rights. Under fundamental freedoms in article 2, the CCRF protects (a) freedom of conscience and religion; (b) freedom of thought, belief, opinion and expression, including freedom of the press and other media of communication; (c) freedom of peaceful assembly; and (d) freedom of association. Later in the CCRF, article 7 protects, “the right to life, liberty and security of the person.”

In political science, we are taught that there are three different classes of rights, civil liberties, civil rights and human rights. Rights are enshrined in a constitutional document. Usually rights are ranked based on their importance, but this is now subject to debate. In the abortion argument, the rights of women versus the rights of the child are considered. The right to privacy is given supremacy over the right to life in various supreme court decisions. In Canada, to fight abortion, we need to promote the value of the right to life for pre-born babies based on science and logic to stop the genocide of abortion because all human lives matter.

How are people reacting to abortion today?

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau tweeted May 3, 2022, "The right to choose is a woman’s right and a woman’s right alone. Every woman in Canada has a right to a safe and legal abortion. We’ll never back down from protecting and promoting women’s rights in Canada and around the world."

Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas wrote on page three in his concurring opinion of Dobbs v. Jackson that the court, “should reconsider all of this Court’s substantive due process precedents, including Griswold, Lawrence, and Obergefell.” essentially challenging the supremacy of the right to privacy over the right to life.

Babylon Bee Chief Seth Dillon was invited on the very popular Joe Rogan's podcast, The Joe Rogan Experience episode #1857 - Seth Dillon, where the topic of abortion happened to come up. Dillon defended preborn life, “I don’t think two wrongs make a right. I don’t think murder is the answer to abortion.”

Where is Abortion going in Canada?

On May 11, 2022, the Government of Canada announced more than $3.5 million in funding for projects by Action Canada for Sexual Health and Rights (Action Canada) and by the National Abortion Federation Canada (NAF Canada), coming out of the Sexual and Reproductive Health Fund. These projects will improve access by removing barriers to vital abortion services and offer accurate reproductive health information to Canadians.

The Trudeau Liberal government keeps pushing abortion access on the national and international stage. With Canadian funding set to expire in 2020, dozens of non-governmental organizations (NGOs) urged the federal government to set aside $1.4-billion a year until 2030 to support international abortion under the guise of “women and children’s health and rights.” Canada will fund abortion gradually increasing its international funding for women and girls’ “health and rights” to $1.4-billion annually in 2023 and maintaining that yearly amount until 2030. Half of  that yearly spending will be dedicated to sexual and reproductive services. That is up from $1.1- billion spent right now, $400-million of which is spent on sexual and reproductive needs.

Peter Naus is a second-year student at the University of Toronto Scarborough studying Environmental Physics and Public Policy.



1. Griswold v. Connecticut, 381 U.S. 479 (1965),; Lawrence v. Texas, 539 U.S. 558 (2003),; Roe v. Wade, 410 U.S. 113 (1973), Loving v. Virginia, 388 U.S. 1 (1967). Obergefell, 576 U.S. 556 (2015), 576 U.S. Planned Parenthood v. Casey,

2. Politico. “Supreme Court has voted to overturn abortion rights, draft opinion shows.”

3. Globe and Mail. “Abortion activists rally 50 years after Roe v. Wade decision.”

4. CNN. “The surprising history of abortion in the United States.”

5. Spectrum News 1. “Supreme Court says it has not determined source of Dobbs leak.”

6. Canada. “Government of Canada Strengthens Access to Abortion Services.”

7. Joe Rogan. “”

8. Reagan, Leslie J. When Abortion Was a Crime: Women, Medicine, and Law in the United States, 1867-1973. Berkeley: University of California Press,