Home Health Roe v Wade: Small but mighty statement on steps of BC Legislature

Roe v Wade: Small but mighty statement on steps of BC Legislature

Tuesday July 5, 2022 | VICTORIA, BC

by Mary P Brooke, B.Sc. | Island Social Trends

A local Victoria-area group held a Solidarity Protest for the US overturning of Roe v Wade yesterday afternoon July 4 on the steps of the BC Parliament building.

The 4 pm event was lightly attended (17 people in their photos on Facebook today), but organizer Jena Eichenlaub is not overstating things when she says: “Thanks for coming out, all. We may have been small but I think we made a pretty big impact regardless.” Her Facebook group is called Vancouver Island Roe v Wade Solidarity Protest.

mssion, roe v wade
Mission statement of the Vancouver Island Roe v Wade Solidarity Protest group on Facebook.

Indeed, the event has had media coverage — including TV cameras, and has seen media followup to Health Minister Adrian Dix and Finance Minister Selina Robinson today in a media session. The event has kept discussion alive on south Vancouver Island.

BC Health Minister – services provided to visitors from USA:

adrian dix
BC Health Minister Adrian Dix [file: June 6, 2022]

Medical surgical abortion and use of the anti-abortion pill are both available in BC, though not with equivalent ease in various areas of the province.

Today Minister Dix said that women who come to Canada from the USA seeking abortion services: “We would provide the care, yes.”

“Services are provided to foreign nationals in BC if they need health care here,” said Dix, with regard to “the many Americans” coming to Canada for any services, or while they are here as tourists.

Financial aspect of choosing abortion:

Minister Robinson said today that the medical system in BC does provide services that are required by pregnant women. She noted, with compassionate voice but also a sense of puzzlement, that making the decision to abort “an unwanted child” is a “difficult decision”.

It was interesting that she — as the province’s Finance Minister — would have not today taken the opportunity in a live media conference to state the obvious fact that income level is one of the key determinants of considering (or reconsidering) the option of terminating a pregnancy.

selina robinson, feb 2022
Finance Minister Selina Robinson [Feb 22, 2022 in the BC Legislature].

If BC or Canada were to have a guaranteed livable income (or some manner of improved social safety net) some women might feel more capable of welcoming another child into their lives.

Not the same politics in Canada:

In the USA, reversal of the Roe v Wade decision was (technically, or more specifically legally) based on not considering abortion to be a ‘privacy’ issue. It was never a medical debate. or even an ethical issues debate.

Abortion services in Canada are protected under this country’s Charter of Rights, but equal access across the country is not necessarily the case due to hospital locations and people’s residential locations.

roe v wade, bc
Vancouver Island Roe v Wade Solidarity Protest on BC Parliament Building steps July 4, 2022.

Statements by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau in recent weeks have indicated that his Liberal government will be reviewing any possible loopholes that any future federal government might find to undo the availability of abortion services in Canada. That includes the abortion pill (which can be received by postal mail, therefore not requiring attendance at a medical health facility).

Prior to 1988, it was a criminal offence for Canadian doctors to provide medical abortions. Abortion is not in Canada’s criminal code — either for doctor or patient. The medical procedure is considered to be just that.

Reasons for choosing abortion:

While there are a range of reasons why women will choose to abort a pregnancy (including incest and rape) there is the evident reality that abortion is frequently chosen due to financial factors. It is expensive to raise a child, and especially women who have as many children as they want and/or whose income cannot support family expansion, are somewhat faced with the option for terminating a pregnancy.

john horgan


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