A Canadian official said Wednesday that Americans will be able to obtain abortions in Canada should the Supreme Court overturn the landmark abortion rights decision, Roe v. Wade.
“I don’t see why we would not,” Karina Gould, the minister of families, children and social development, told the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation. “If they, people, come here and need access, certainly, you know, that’s a service that would be provided.”
Abortion is legal in Canada at any point in pregnancy. Although the country provides universal health care, access to different abortion services varies between provinces.
A spokesperson for Gould later told the CBC that Americans seeking abortions in Canada would either have to pay for the service out-of-pocket or with their own private insurance, if they aren’t covered by one of Canada’s provincial health plans.
Gould’s comments came in the wake of the Supreme Court’s leaked draft majority opinion that it plans to overturn Roe, paving the way for millions of women to lose access to reproductive rights.
While it will be legal for American women to obtain abortions in Canada, there is still the issue of accessibility. Many people don’t have the resources to travel interstate, let alone internationally, to obtain the procedure.
Gould also noted that potential abortion bans in the U.S. could affect access for Canadian women.
“One of the concerning factors here is that there are many Canadian women who maybe don’t live near a major city in Canada, but will often access these services in the United States,” she said. “I’m very concerned about the leak yesterday. I’m very concerned about what this means, particularly for American women, but also for Canadian women.”
In response to the leak, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said that the “right to choose is a woman’s right and a woman’s right alone.”
″Every woman in Canada has a right to a safe and legal abortion. We’ll never back down from protecting and promoting women’s rights in Canada and around the world,” he said.