Elected officials must defend women’s rights to autonomy

The BCCLA is urging elected federal officials to vote against Motion 312, the motion which proposes to re-open a debate within the House of Commons about a woman’s right to access an abortion. Currently, there is no criminal law in relation to abortion in Canada, following the Supreme Court of Canada’s decision in R v. Morgentaler in 1988.

“This motion is a thinly veiled attempt to re-open the debate about women’s autonomy over their own bodies,” said Lindsay Lyster, President of the BCCLA. “The Supreme Court of Canada was clear when it held that criminal law that forced a woman to carry a foetus to term unless she met certain criteria was ‘a profound interference with a woman’s body’. We cannot imagine a legislative scheme that could come from this debate that would not recreate this government interference with an extremely private and personal matter.”

The BC Civil Liberties Association is a pro-choice organization, and supports a woman’s right to choose and access an abortion in a safe, medically appropriate setting in a timely manner, and to receive complete and impartial information from medical and service providers about all options in relation to pregnancy, including abortion.

“We urge the federal government to leave this long-settled matter of women’s autonomy alone,” said Lindsay Lyster, President of the BCCLA. “Little will come from reopening this issue given the constitutional protections offered to women in Canada except increased rancor and division among Canadians.”