Disappointing, concerning and even terrifying for women and girls in the U.S.
That’s how the Vice President of the Quesnel Women’s Resource Centre describes the leak from the Supreme Court in that country on potentially striking down abortion rights.
Alex Valoroso says she can’t believe this is even taking place.
“I’m almost at a loss for words that we’re, like Roe versus Wade I think it’s been 46 years in the making, and to see it continually come up and to see where it’s at right now, I just really am fearful for women and girls in the U.S. around what’s going on.”
Valoroso says the draft basically says that women don’t have rights.
We asked Valoroso what her thoughts were on the fact that it’s mostly men making this decision.
“Well I mean it just falls in line with the fact that our society, it’s a patriarchal society where men do tend to make the decisions. It’s not to say that women have not been a part of this decision, but it is just a system where women are undervalued, and we’re not seen as human beings, and we’re not seen as being able to make the decisions and have our own rights regarding governing our body and what happens. Basically if you don’t have a uterus, and you’re not a woman, I don’t think you should be making these decisions.”
She adds that this draft, if it does go ahead, won’t get rid of abortion, it will just get rid of safe abortions and drive it underground.
As for can this happen in Canada, Valoroso says she doesn’t think it would fly with the public and a lot of things would need to change at the highest level.
“And I don’t think that that would occur even for a Conservative government that seems to lean more towards pro life than pro choice. I don’t think they would win enough majority to have that take place. It’s always a concern and I think when something happens in the U.S., we hear a bit more rhetoric in Canada. It seems to embolden folks that have I would say pretty unprogressive views on sexual and reproductive health, but I don’t see this happening in Canada.”
Valoroso does say however, that Canada isn’t perfect.
“Canada needs better access and rights to abortion. It is publicly funded as a healthcare piece, but depending on where you live you just don’t have the same access and resources as you would in maybe an urban centre. Wait times are still long and the time limit to access abortion also varies. Usually it’s between 12 and 15 weeks. In a couple of provinces it’s up to 23 or 24 weeks.”
Valoroso says there is still a lot more work that can be done in our country around sexual reproductive health, but compared to the U.S., she is thankful that we are in Canada.