15 July 2022
Some assert that the lack of a law, in itself, means that abortion rights cannot be fully realized, or makes our rights vulnerable to attack and subject to the vagaries of politics. [...] Abortion is explicitly legal in Canada because of the 1988 Morgentaler decision, which struck down the old abortion law because it violated the right to bodily security (and the rights to life, liberty, conscience, and privacy according to Justice Bertha Wilson). [...] Both laws have harmed people and restricted their rights, thereby serving as examples of the danger of laws intruding into medical affairs.4,5 In Canada, we leave medical protocols to the discretion of provincial Colleges of Physicians and Surgeons, and the Canadian Medical Association. [...] This is what needs to happen instead of a law enshrining abortion rights: • The federal government must properly enforce the Canada Health Act to equalize and expand abortion access across the country. [...] • The provincial Colleges of Physicians and Surgeons, and the Canadian Medical Association, must encourage and support abortion providers, and work with the provinces to provide abortion care in every region.