Breaking Down Barriers: The Quest for Equitable Abortion Access in Canada

By Annie Ding, The McGill International Review
Sep 25, 2023

It’s been just over a year since Roe v. Wade was overturned in the United States, removing the constitutional protection of abortion rights in the country, and marking a significant setback in reproductive rights. While Canada has often been viewed as a leader in comprehensive abortion access, it’s not as black and white as it may seem. The impact of Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization reverberates beyond U.S. borders and fueled anti-abortion sentiments worldwide. To provide some context, the Dobbs case involved a Mississippi state law that banned most abortions after 15 weeks of pregnancy, which directly challenged Roe v. Wade and women’s established right to choose abortion before the fetus reaches viability (usually at approximately 24 weeks). The Supreme Court’s ruling in this case thus undermined the precedent set by Roe v. Wade, and opened the door to states across the country to further restrict abortion access, furthering fuel for anti-abortion groups across the country.

Contrary to mainstream narratives, Canada is not a stranger to these anti-abortion sentiments. Abortion access is nowhere near as seamless as it is often cited as in comparison to the U.S. 


Abortion providers on two years of Texas ban: ‘We’re living in a devastating reality’

Senate Bill 8 wiped out almost all abortion care in the second-most populous state in the US, and served as a harbinger of what was to come over the rest of the country

by Mary Tuma
Thu 31 Aug 2023

Nearly a year before the US supreme court eviscerated Roe v Wade, the court allowed an unprecedented abortion ban to take effect in Texas, serving as a harbinger of what was to sweep over the rest of the country.

…. In the two years since, Texas abortion providers – some of the first in the US to experience a nearly post-Roe world – reflect on the devastating and lasting effect of the severe law, the trauma they felt denying patients care, and the struggle they faced when deciding whether or not to flee the state or stay put.


USA – The Most Popular Digital Abortion Clinics, Ranked by Data Privacy

Telehealth companies that provide abortion pills are surging in popularity. Which are as safe as they claim to be?

Kristen Poli
Aug 21, 2023

A NEW CLASS of health care startups has emerged in response to the US Supreme Court’s decision to overturn the federal right to abortion last year. These “digital abortion clinics” connect patients with health care providers who are able to prescribe mifepristone and misoprostol, a course of care commonly described as the “abortion pill.”

These services, many of which were founded before Dobbs v. Jackson, are poised to eliminate a major paradox in the field of reproductive health: Medication abortion is currently the most common way to terminate a pregnancy, yet only 1 in 4 adults are familiar with it, according to a recent study by KFF.


USA – Group using ‘shield laws’ to provide abortion care in states that ban it

Aid Access ships medication abortion to all 50 states under the protection provided to clinicians serving patients in banned states

Rebecca Grant
Sun 23 Jul 2023

Dr Linda Prine is providing abortion access to people in all 50 states, even those that have banned it. That might seem like an admission to be discreet about in post-Roe America, but Prine and her colleagues at Aid Access, a telemedicine abortion service, are doing it openly and in a way they believe is on firm legal ground.

On 14 July, Aid Access announced that over the past month, a team of seven doctors, midwives and nurse practitioners have mailed medication abortion to 3,500 people under the protection of “shield laws”, which protect clinicians who serve patients in states where providing abortion is illegal. As soon as she learned about shield laws, Prine knew it represented an opportunity to go on the offensive, for those bold enough to try it.


USA – People are using abortion medication later in their pregnancies. Here’s what that means.

The regimen is common and considered safe after 10 weeks, but the delays are cause for concern.

By Anna North 
Jun 18, 2023

A patient takes one medication, mifepristone, which stops the pregnancy from developing, followed one to two days later by another medication, misoprostol, which induces contractions that empty the uterus. The regimen, approved for abortions in the US since 2000, is effective and very safe, according to physicians and researchers, with a low incidence of serious side effects, and it’s the most common method of abortion in the US. It’s approved by the Food and Drug Administration for the first 70 days, or 10 weeks, of pregnancy, though the World Health Organization recommends medication abortion for up to 12 weeks.

Since the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade last summer, however, nothing about abortion is simple anymore. With near-total abortion bans in place in more than a dozen states and gestational limits in several others, the procedure is growing harder to access by the day. Meanwhile, a federal court case is casting further doubt on the future of mifepristone’s availability in the US.


“The case of Carla Foster proves that in the UK, abortion is essentially criminal”

The 44-year-old mother of three was sentenced to 28 months in prison for having an abortion past the legal time limitations. Her story brings to light the deeply troubling reality for women in Britain

16 JUNE 2023

By now I’m sure you’re familiar with the case of Carla Foster, a 44-year-old mother of three who took abortion pills at home past the legal time limitations, resulting in the miscarriage of a 32-34 week old foetus. This week, she was sentenced to 28 months in prison under an Act from 1861. She will serve 14 months in custody, separated from her three children, one of whom the judge described as having “special needs, which means that he is particularly reliant upon your love and support”. The judge also made plain that Foster was vulnerable. The abortion took place during the first lockdown, a frightening and confusing time for us all, and a time when telemedicine abortion care was introduced as in-person clinics closed. Foster had moved back in with her former but now estranged partner, before discovering she was pregnant with a child from another man.


Canada – Volunteers say they won’t be silenced after ‘abortion is healthcare’ banner vandalized in Regina

Black spray paint used to make sign say 'abortion is murder'

Kendall Latimer · CBC News
Feb 23, 2023

A pro-abortion-rights banner has been temporarily taken down in Regina after it was vandalized. The unknown culprit used black spray paint to change the message from "abortion is healthcare" to "abortion is murder."

Volunteers who work with the group behind the banner say they won't be silenced and that the vandalism has only reinforced their desire to create change.


As Conservatives Try to Ban the Abortion Pill Mifepristone, New Research Shows Accessible Ulcer Drug Safely Ends Pregnancy Up to 12 Weeks

Mifepristone’s future is shaky—but women and pregnant people can still access misoprostol, a highly effective and medically safe method to end an early pregnancy.

by CARRIE N. BAKER, Ms. Magazine

Over half of clinician-supervised abortions in the U.S. in 2020 were done with a combination of two medications: mifepristone and misoprostol. A Trump-appointed judge in Texas will soon decide a lawsuit brought by anti-abortion extremists asking him to force mifepristone off the market in all 50 states. If he does, as anticipated, reproductive rights advocates are ready to offer a safe and effective alternative to end pregnancy through three months: a higher dosage of misoprostol taken alone.

Misoprostol is a widely available ulcer medication that can induce a miscarriage by causing contractions of the uterus to expel a pregnancy. In the 1980s, Brazilian women began using misoprostol to end their pregnancies because abortion was unavailable through the medical system. Self-managed abortion with misoprostol resulted in precipitous declines in infection, hemorrhaging and death from unsafe abortion.


Abortion rights leaders set focus on access, medication — and the long fight ahead

The presidents of Planned Parenthood and NARAL Pro-Choice America both say that they’re alarmed at attempts to decrease access to medication abortion and that they see young people as key to their ability to change policy in the long term.

Grace Panetta, Political reporter
January 23, 2023

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. — Two of the most prominent leaders in the abortion rights movement told The 19th they’re preparing to tackle future abortion bans and restrictions at the state level, efforts to undermine medication abortion and abortion access deserts as the United States enters its first full year without Roe v. Wade.

Lawmakers, officials and leading abortion rights advocates gathered in Tallahassee for a speech by Vice President Kamala Harris and an accompanying rally hosted by Planned Parenthood on Sunday. They were marking the 50th anniversary of the Supreme Court’s Roe decision that established a federal right to abortion — one that was struck down last June. Advocates said the speech’s location in Florida’s capital drew attention to Republican lawmakers’ plans to pass additional abortion restrictions in their 2023 legislative session.


This Trump Judge Could Effectively Ban the Abortion Pill

Matthew Kacsmaryk could revoke the FDA's approval of Mifepristone after anti-abortion groups filed a dubious lawsuit in Texas

JANUARY 18, 2023

THE ALLIANCE FOR Hippocratic Medicine does not have a robust online presence. Its website consists of a generic landing page that appeared in July, a month before the organization was legally incorporated in Amarillo, Texas. There’s no phone number, no email, no physical address, no board of directors listed. A single button, labeled “Learn more about AHM,” just reloads the page. According to records filed with the Texas Secretary of State, the group’s mailing address is located several states away, in Tennessee, but the decision to incorporate in Texas — in Amarillo, specifically — may prove critical in determining the fate of a lawsuit filed in November challenging the Food and Drug Administration’s 22-year approval of Mifepristone, a key component of the abortion pill.