March held in Saskatoon to support Americans who have lost access to abortion

About 100 people marched in Saskatoon on Monday in solidarity with those who have lost access to abortion in the United States.

In June, the United States Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade who guaranteed constitutional protections for abortion in the country for nearly 50 years.

« It’s to support people who are going through the struggle right now and it’s a protest to make sure we can move towards better access and safer measures in abortion care, » said Cassidy Povelko, co-organizer of the march.

Angie Kells, executive director of the Saskatoon Abortion Support Network (SASN), said the reversal of Roe v. Wade « felt like a punch in the stomach ».

SASN is a group of volunteers who assist people before, during and after abortion. During the march, Kells spoke of « the deplorable state of abortion in Saskatchewan. »

People who live in northern Saskatchewan or rural areas may have to travel several hours for the procedure, as emergency abortions are only available in Saskatoon and Regina, which means

March co-organizer Cassidy Povelko said Monday’s event was aimed at supporting Americans who have lost access to abortion and improving access to abortion in Canada. (Yasmine Ghanaia/CBC)

The timelines for an abortion also vary across the province. A person can get a surgical abortion up to 18 weeks and six days pregnant in Regina, but only up to 12 weeks pregnant in Saskatoon.

Meanwhile, provinces like Alberta, British Columbia and Ontario have longer lead times. In British Columbia, a surgical abortion can be performed for up to 24 weeks.

Medication-induced abortions are available up to nine weeks gestation across the province.

However, Kells also raised the fact that not all doctors in Saskatchewan will prescribe the abortion pill known as Mifegymiso in Canada, and not all pharmacies will stock or fill a prescription for it.

Vicki Mowat, NDP Health Critic and MP for Saskatoon Fairview, attended the march and fired on the Saskatchewan government.

« The Sask Party government is not working to ensure access to abortion. And in fact, several cabinet members are anti-choice, » Mowat said.

Prime Minister Scott Moe has repeatedly said he is « pro-life » but said his position or that of any other caucus member had no bearing on government policy or law in Canada.

In May 2021, NDP Women’s Critic Jennifer Bowes introduced a bill that would establish safe access zones around abortion clinics to prevent harassment and intimidation.

The opposition plans to raise the bill again when the Legislative Assembly sits in October.

Six provinces have already passed what are known as “bubble zone” laws.


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