One year ago, Roe v. Wade was overturned. It was a monumental setback in the ongoing global fight to defend abortion rights.
One year later, we see it was also so much more than that. It has made visible a larger battle being waged against our rights and our bodies.
When people are denied their sexual and reproductive rights, it has life-altering consequences. It perpetuates gender inequality and restricts people’s ability to make informed decisions about their health and lives. It contributes to social and economic inequalities, trapping people in cycles of poverty and limiting their opportunities and potential.
It also crucially undermines democracy.
Right now, we’re witnessing a coordinated global movement that opposes sexual and reproductive rights, bodily autonomy, and gender equality. There are political actors and influential individuals that are actively working to roll back the progress made in advancing these rights. This coordinated mobilization is inherently connected to heightened hyper-nationalism and religious fundamentalisms and wider attacks on human rights globally. From the anti-2SLGBTQIA+ laws being passed in the United States, Uganda and Russia, rollbacks on the rights of queer and trans youth in New Brunswick and beyond, racist anti-migrant laws and policies across Europe, book bans, attacks on drag story times, disinformation, restrictions on gender-affirming care and heightened anti-trans hate on and offline, these efforts all reinforce a vision of the world with rigid social hierarchies and norms of gender, sexuality, race, ethnicity, class, and more.
We reject it.
Instead, we are united in a vision of the world where we can all claim our rights, and make our own choices for our bodies, our relationships, our families, and our health. A world where people are treated equally, where health and economic systems are built to support us all, and where diversity is celebrated and nurtured.
We reaffirm our unconditional commitment to dreaming of and building just societies and communities where all people have control over their bodies and lives and have access to the resources needed to make that a reality.
We recommit to speaking up against hate and discrimination as well as policies and laws that dehumanize and disempower.
We acknowledge that none of us are free until all of us are free.
As we continue the fight to protect and advance access to abortion in this country and around the world, we do with the full knowledge that standing up for this right also commits us to fight together for all human rights.
Today, we stand more committed than ever, to defending sexual and reproductive rights, gender equality, and to collectively fighting against hate and discrimination. We believe that having control over our own bodies is essential for having control over our lives.
We call on all levels of government to continue to take action until abortion access is a reality for everyone in this country. While abortion’s legal status in Canada has been settled since 1988, access to abortion is far from equitable and opponents of reproductive rights continue to attempt to restrict what access we do have.
We call on our governments to work to stem the unprecedented tide of anti-2SLGBTQIA+ hate and discrimination across the country.
We call on our governments to challenge rising disinformation and to invest in a strong civil society which centres diverse intersectional feminist movements, because they are the key to strong, stable democracies that work to leave no one behind.
Let the overturning of Roe v. Wade ending 50 years of constitutional protections for abortion in the U.S. be a wake-up call and a call to action for everyone in Canada and globally.
This is what defending the right to abortion looks like.
HOW YOU CAN TAKE ACTION
- Share this letter widely with your communities.
- Become a monthly donor to feminist organizations to help sustain our work of defending and advocating for reproductive rights and gender equality in Canada and globally!
- Contact your elected officials about the demands outlined above.
Signed by the following 128 organizations:
Abortion is Healthcare Signs Inc
Abortion Rights Coalition of Canada
Abortion Support Services AtlanticAction Canada for Sexual Health and Rights / Action Canada pour la santé et les droits sexuels
AGT Foods Canada
Alberta Abortion Access Network
Alberta Pro-choice Coalition
Alberta Society for the Promotion of Sexual Health (ASPSH)
Alliance du personnel professionnel et technique de la santé et des services sociaux (APTS)
Asian Community AIDS Services
Barbra Schlifer Commemorative Clinic
BC federation of labour
British Columbia Nurses’ Union
BWSS Battered Women’s Support Services
CALACS Longueuil inc.
The Canadian Association of Elizabeth Fry Societies
Canadian Centre for Gender and Sexual Diversity
Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives
Canadian Federation of Nurses Unions (CFNU) / Fédération canadienne des syndicats d’infirmières et d’infirmiers (FCSII)
Canadian Federation of University Women (CFUW)
Canadian Labour Congress (CLC)
Canadian Mental Health Association (National)
Canadian Union of Postal Workers (CUPW)
Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE)
Canadian Women’s Foundation
Centrale des syndicats du Québec
Centre-femmes de Rimouski
Centre Au Coeur des Femmes
Centre d’éducation et d’action des femmes de Montréal
Centre de femmes l’éclaircie
Centre de formation de l’alimentation et du commerce du Québec
Centre de santé des femmes de Montréal
Centre des femmes de Forestville
Centre des femmes de la Basse-Ville
Centre de solidarité lesbienne
Child Care Now (Child Care Advocacy Association of Canada)
Comité d’actions féministes de l’agglomération de Longueuil (CAFAL)
Comité sur la condition féminine du Québec
ConcertAction Femmes Estrie
Confédération des syndicats nationaux (CSN)
Conseil Régional Fédération des travailleurs et travailleuses du Québec (CRFTQ) Montréal métropolitain
Department of Women and Gender Studies University of Lethbridge
Elementary Teachers’ Federation of Ontario
Ending Violence Association of Canada
Fierté Canada Pride
Fédération des femmes du Québec
Fédération des travailleurs et travailleuses du Québec (FTQ)
Fédération du Québec pour le planning des naissances
Fédération interprofessionnelle de la santé du Québec
Gender Affirming Care Nova Scotia
Grain and General Services Union
Halifax Sexual Health Centre
HIV Legal Network / Réseau juridique VIH
Hospital Employees’ Union
International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees (IATSE / AIEST)
Island Sexual Health Community Health Centre
Klinic Community Health
L’R des centres de femmes du Québec
MAM autour de la maternité
Manitoba Federation of Labour
La Marie Debout, centre d’éducation des femmes
Moms at Work
National Abortion Federation Canada
National Association of Women and the Law / Association nationale Femmes et Droit
National Union of Public and General Employees
National Union of Public and General Employees
Niagara Reproductive Justice
The Obstetric Justice Project
Options for Sexual Health
Planned Parenthood NL Sexual Health Centre
Planned Parenthood Ottawa
Planned Parenthood Regina
Le Projet Stérone
Public Service Alliance of Canada (PSAC) / Alliance de la Fonction publique du Canada (AFPC)
Rainbow Faith and Freedom
Rainbow Refugee Association of Nova Scotia
Réseau des lesbiennes du Québec
S.O.S. Grossesse Estrie
Saskatchewan Federation of Labour
Saskatoon Sexual Health
The Sexual Health Network of Quebec
Sexual Health Nova Scotia
Social Planning Council Winnipeg
Society of Queer Momentum
South Asian Legal Clinic of Ontario
South Shore Sexual Health
Status of Women Committee, Douglas College
Stella, l’amie de Maimie
Syndicat canadien de la fonction publique (SCFP) 4628
Trans Legal Collective
Unifor Québec (Comité d’action féministe)
The Union for Gender Empowerment
University of Regina Faculty Association
West Coast LEAF
Women’s Health Clinic (Winnipeg)
The Women’s Legal Education & Action Centre (LEAF) / Fonds d’action et d’éducation juridique pour les femmes (FAEJ)
Women’s Shelters Canada / Hébergement femmes Canada
Click here to download a PDF version of the letter or view below.Roe-v-Wade-Anniversary-Open-Letter