Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Blog for choice - Canadian edition

Today is the 35th anniversary of the US Supreme Court decision in the case of Roe v Wade. Since then, in the United States, the right of a woman to choose whether to carry a pregnancy to term or not, has been under constant assault.

Antonia has raised the challenge for Canadian bloggers. As she points out, there is a considerable difference in both practice and law between Canada and the US. While Canadian women may feel they have easier access to abortions in Canada than women in the US, the law in the US is actually much more firmly established than it is in Canada and has been so for much longer.

Canada's equivalent case, R v Morgenthaler, came to a conclusion on 28 January, 1988. The result was the striking down of a law which made abortion a crime against the person. In short, abortion was decriminalized - it was not established as a woman's right.

What was established was that the Canadian government could no longer throw a medical doctor, a survivor of the Dachau and Auschwitz death camps, into jail for giving women the option of safe abortions.

The problem is that an affirmed right of a woman to choose has not been established in this country and with the crowd that hovers around Harper, that puts the concept of a woman making her own decisions at risk.

So, to our American friends, it's no that we're not in this fight, it's that we'll be joining your blogburst in six days.

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