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On Friday, the US Supreme Court overturned the 1973 Roe v. Wade court decision recognizing women’s constitutional right to an abortion, essentially giving states the power to make abortion laws as strict as they would like. The move drew wide criticism domestically and globally, with over 20 states expected to introduce laws restricting or banning the procedure. Pew Research Center found in June of this year that 61% of Americans think abortion should be legal in all or most cases. Internationally, the move sparked an outcry. For example, Canada generally doesn’t stick its nose into its largest trading partner’s business, but Trudeau was swift to respond, saying, “Quite frankly, it’s an attack on everyone’s freedoms and rights."
Supporters of abortion say that with only some states allowing it, it would just force women to travel for the procedure, with companies like J.P. Morgan and Google saying that they will help fund the transportation costs associated for employees. With this, some states are trying to make it more difficult for women to travel for these procedures, and the ruling also puts more burden on women who don’t have the financial means to travel. For those groups, women may be forced to give birth or seek other potentially illegal and dangerous options.
“Every unborn child is precious, extraordinary and worthy of protection. We applaud this historic ruling, which will save countless innocent lives," said House Republican leaders in a joint statement.
“This is a great day for preborn children and their mothers," said Carol Tobias, president of National Right to Life. “The court has correctly decided that a right to abortion is not in the Constitution, thereby allowing the people, through their elected representatives, to have a voice in this very important decision."
“Utter chaos lies ahead, as some states race to the bottom with criminal abortion bans, forcing people to travel across multiple state lines and, for those without means to travel, carry their pregnancies to term – dictating their health, lives and futures. Today’s decision will ignite a public health emergency," said Nancy Northup, president of the Center for Reproductive Rights.
“My heart goes out to the millions of American women who are now set to lose their legal right to an abortion. I can’t imagine the fear and anger you are feeling right now," said Canadian Prime Minister Trudeau on Twitter. “No government, politician, or man should tell a woman what she can and cannot do with her body. I want women in Canada to know that we will always stand up for your right to choose."