28 January 2015 – As Action Canada for Sexual Health and Rights, we celebrate the historic Supreme Court decision (often referred to as the Morgentaler Decision) that changed the face of reproductive health in Canada. The decision, which recognized Canada’s abortion law as unconstitutional and a violation of a woman’s right to life, liberty and the security of person, is a legal acknowledgment of every person’s right to health and to bodily autonomy.
While abortion is legal in Canada, access to the essential service is limited across the country. Only 16% of Canadian hospitals offer abortion services, many of which are located in urban areas and within 150 km of the US border. Such barriers to accessing safe and legal abortion remain a challenge in Canada and globally.
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), in countries where abortion is highly restricted or unavailable, rates of induced and unsafe abortion are high and the health and lives of those who seek abortion services are often at risk.
Access to safe and legal abortion services is part of every person’s right to health and the human right of all people to make autonomous decisions about their bodies. Action Canada continues to advance and uphold the right of all people in Canada and globally to access safe and legal abortion services.