Rights Continue to be Rolled Back One Year After Roe v. Wade

There is a battle being waged against our rights and our bodies. The overturning of Roe v. Wade one year ago was a monumental setback in the ongoing global fight to defend abortion rights, but it did not stop there.

“Right now, we’re witnessing a coordinated global movement that opposes sexual and reproductive rights, bodily autonomy, and gender equality,” says Frédérique Chabot, Director of Health Promotion at Action Canada for Sexual Health and Rights, “Political actors and influential individuals are actively working against advancement of these rights.”

The denial of sexual and reproductive rights has life-altering consequences and is happening in Canada and globally. Anti-2SLGBTQIA+ laws are being passed in the United States, Uganda and Russia, racist anti-migrant laws and policies are being enacted across Europe, and protections for queer and trans students are being threatened in New Brunswick alongside book bans, attacks on drag story times, disinformation, restrictions on gender-affirming care and heightened anti-trans hate on and offline across Canada. This coordinated mobilization is inherently connected to heightened hyper-nationalism and religious fundamentalisms and wider attacks on human rights globally.

In recognition of the Roe v Wade overturn anniversary, Action Canada for Sexual Health and Rights and the Women’s Legal Education & Action Fund (LEAF) join 127 signatories in reaffirming our commitments to building just societies where all people have control over their bodies and lives and speaking up against hate and discrimination as well as policies and laws that dehumanize and disempower.

“An attack on rights anywhere is an attack on rights everywhere,” says Chabot, “we are more committed than ever to defending sexual and reproductive rights, gender equality, and to collectively fighting against hate and discrimination.”

The overturning of Roe v. Wade ended 50 years of constitutional protections for abortion in the U.S.  The fight against our sexual and reproductive rights is not over.

Abortion’s legal status in Canada has been settled since 1988, but access to abortion is still far from equitable and opponents of reproductive rights continue to attempt to introduce new restrictions.

Action Canada and its partners are calling on all levels of government to continue to take action until abortion access is a reality for everyone in this country.

“We cannot be complacent as we witness human rights being attacked on multiple fronts,” says Jen Gammad, Communications and Advocacy Manager at LEAF. “We cannot let hate and discrimination be the new normal in our communities, let alone legislated into existence.”

We are also calling on our governments to work to stem the unprecedented tide of anti-2SLGBTQIA+ hate and discrimination across the country and to challenge rising disinformation by investing in a strong civil society that centres diverse intersectional feminist movements.

This is the key to strong, stable democracies that work to leave no one behind.

Media Contact

Quinn Lazenby
613-241-4474 Ext. 13200 

Jen Gammad, Communications & Advocacy Manager, LEAF

About Action Canada for Sexual Health and Rights

Action Canada is Planned Parenthood Canada. We are a Voice for Sexual Health and Rights in Canada and Globally. We are an organization that works in Canada and around the world to promote health, well-being, and rights related to sexuality and reproduction. Building on the 50-year legacy of the organizations that formed Action Canada, we provide direct support, referrals, and information to the people who need it most, partner with groups and organizations on a range of campaigns using a collaborative, movement-building approach, and work with decision-makers to advance progressive policies on access to abortion, stigma-free healthcare, gender equality, LGBTQ rights, and inclusive sex-ed. www.actioncanadashr.org

About LEAF

The Women’s Legal Education and Action Fund (LEAF) is a national not-for-profit that works to advance the equality rights of women, girls, trans, and non-binary people in Canada through litigation, law reform, and public legal education. Since 1985, LEAF has intervened in more than 130 cases that have helped shape the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms. To find out more, visit www.leaf.ca.

Posted on 2023-06-19
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