One Year Since Roe v. Wade Was Overturned: The fight to defend reproductive rights and gender equality continues

One year ago, Roe v. Wade was overturned. It was a monumental setback in the ongoing global fight to defend abortion rights.

This open-letter has been drafted in partnership with the Women's Legal Education and Action Fund and signed by the 128 organizations and advocates listed below.

One year later, we see it was also so much more than that. It has made visible a larger battle being waged against our rights and our bodies.

When people are denied their sexual and reproductive rights, it has life-altering consequences. It perpetuates gender inequality and restricts people’s ability to make informed decisions about their health and lives. It contributes to social and economic inequalities, trapping people in cycles of poverty and limiting their opportunities and potential.

It also crucially undermines democracy.

Right now, we’re witnessing a coordinated global movement that opposes sexual and reproductive rights, bodily autonomy, and gender equality. There are political actors and influential individuals that are actively working to roll back the progress made in advancing these rights. This coordinated mobilization is inherently connected to heightened hyper-nationalism and religious fundamentalisms and wider attacks on human rights globally. From the anti-2SLGBTQIA+ laws being passed in the United States, Uganda and Russia, rollbacks on the rights of queer and trans youth in New Brunswick and beyond, racist anti-migrant laws and policies across Europe, book bans, attacks on drag story times, disinformation, restrictions on gender-affirming care and heightened anti-trans hate on and offline, these efforts all reinforce a vision of the world with rigid social hierarchies and norms of gender, sexuality, race, ethnicity, class, and more.

We reject it.

Instead, we are united in a vision of the world where we can all claim our rights, and make our own choices for our bodies, our relationships, our families, and our health. A world where people are treated equally, where health and economic systems are built to support us all, and where diversity is celebrated and nurtured.

We reaffirm our unconditional commitment to dreaming of and building just societies and communities where all people have control over their bodies and lives and have access to the resources needed to make that a reality.

We recommit to speaking up against hate and discrimination as well as policies and laws that dehumanize and disempower.

We acknowledge that none of us are free until all of us are free.

As we continue the fight to protect and advance access to abortion in this country and around the world, we do with the full knowledge that standing up for this right also commits us to fight together for all human rights.

Today, we stand more committed than ever, to defending sexual and reproductive rights, gender equality, and to collectively fighting against hate and discrimination. We believe that having control over our own bodies is essential for having control over our lives.

We call on all levels of government to continue to take action until abortion access is a reality for everyone in this country. While abortion’s legal status in Canada has been settled since 1988, access to abortion is far from equitable and opponents of reproductive rights continue to attempt to restrict what access we do have.

We call on our governments to work to stem the unprecedented tide of anti-2SLGBTQIA+hate and discrimination across the country.

We call on our governments to challenge rising disinformation and to invest in a strong civil society which centres diverse intersectional feminist movements, because they are the key to strong, stable democracies that work to leave no one behind.

Let the overturning of Roe v. Wade ending 50 years of constitutional protections for abortion in the U.S. be a wake-up call and a call to action for everyone in Canada and globally.

This is what defending the right to abortion looks like.
The fight to defend reproductive rights and gender equality continues.

How you can take action

  • Share this letter widely with your communities.
  • Become a monthly donor to feminist organizations to help sustain our work of defending and advocating for reproductive rights and gender equality in Canada and globally!
  • Contact your elected officials about the demands outlined above.

Signed by the following organizations and advocates

Abortion is Healthcare Signs Inc

Abortion Rights Coalition of Canada

Abortion Support Services Atlantic

Action Canada for Sexual Health and Rights / Action Canada pour la santé et les droits sexuels

AGT Foods Canada

Alberta Abortion Access Network

Alberta Pro-choice Coalition

Alberta Society for the Promotion of Sexual Health (ASPSH)

Alliance du personnel professionnel et technique de la santé et des services sociaux (APTS)


Anti-Heroine Media

Asian Community AIDS Services

Barbra Schlifer Commemorative Clinic

BC federation of labour

British Columbia Nurses' Union

BWSS Battered Women's Support Services

CALACS Longueuil inc.

The Canadian Association of Elizabeth Fry Societies

Canadian Centre for Gender and Sexual Diversity

Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives

Canadian Federation of Nurses Unions (CFNU) / Fédération canadienne des syndicats d'infirmières et d'infirmiers (FCSII)

Canadian Federation of University Women (CFUW)

Canadian Labour Congress (CLC)

Canadian Mental Health Association (National)

Canadian Union of Postal Workers (CUPW)

Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE)

Canadian Women's Foundation

Centrale des syndicats du Québec

Centre-femmes de Rimouski

Centre Au Coeur des Femmes

Centre d'éducation et d'action des femmes de Montréal

Centre de femmes l'éclaircie

Centre de formation de l'alimentation et du commerce du Québec

Centre de santé des femmes de Montréal

Centre des femmes de Forestville

Centre des femmes de la Basse-Ville

Centre de solidarité lesbienne

Centre Entre-Femmes

Center for Sexuality

Child Care Now (Child Care Advocacy Association of Canada)

Club Sexu


Comité d'actions féministes de l'agglomération de Longueuil (CAFAL)

Comité sur la condition féminine du Québec

ConcertAction Femmes Estrie

Confédération des syndicats nationaux (CSN)

Conseil Régional Fédération des travailleurs et travailleuses du Québec (CRFTQ) Montréal métropolitain

CRFTQ Montérégie

Department of Women and Gender Studies University of Lethbridge

Egale Canada

Elementary Teachers' Federation of Ontario

Ending Violence Association of Canada 

FemDev Consulting

Fierté Canada Pride

Fédération des femmes du Québec

Fédération des travailleurs et travailleuses du Québec (FTQ)

Fédération du Québec pour le planning des naissances

Fédération interprofessionnelle de la santé du Québec

Gender Affirming Care Nova Scotia

Grain and General Services Union

Halifax Sexual Health Centre

HIV Legal Network / Réseau juridique VIH

Hospital Employees' Union

Inter Pares 

International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees (IATSE / AIEST)

Intersex Canada

Island Sexual Health Community Health Centre

Jeunesse Lambda

Klinic Community Health

L'R des centres de femmes du Québec

Les Passeuses

MAM autour de la maternité

Manitoba Federation of Labour

La Marie Debout, centre d'éducation des femmes

Moms at Work

National Abortion Federation Canada

National Association of Women and the Law / Association nationale Femmes et Droit

National Union of Public and General Employees

National Union of Public and General Employees

Niagara Reproductive Justice

The Obstetric Justice Project

Options for Sexual Health

Oxfam Canada

Planned Parenthood NL Sexual Health Centre

Planned Parenthood Ottawa

Planned Parenthood Toronto

Planned Parenthood Regina

Polonia Inclusive

Le Projet Stérone

Public Service Alliance of Canada (PSAC) / Alliance de la fonction publique du Canada (AFPC)

Rainbow Faith and Freedom

Rainbow Railroad

Rainbow Refugee Association of Nova Scotia

Réseau des lesbiennes du Québec

S.O.S. Grossesse

S.O.S. Grossesse Estrie

Saskatchewan Federation of Labour

Saskatoon Sexual Health




The Sexual Health Network of Quebec

Sexual Health Nova Scotia

SHORE Centre

Social Planning Council Winnipeg

Society of Queer Momentum

South Asian Legal Clinic of Ontario

South Shore Sexual Health


Status of Women Committee, Douglas College

Stella, l'amie de Maimie

Syndicat canadien de la fonction publique (SCFP) 4628

Trans Legal Collective


Unifor Québec

Unifor Québec (Comité d'action féministe)

The Union for Gender Empowerment

United Steelworkers

University of Regina Faculty Association

Wellness Within

West Coast LEAF

Women's Health Clinic (Winnipeg)

The Women’s Legal Education & Action Centre (LEAF) / Fonds d'action et d'éducation juridique pour les femmes (FAEJ)

Women's Shelters Canada / Hébergement femmes Canada

YWCA Canada

Posted on 2023-06-19
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