Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said Monday that the right of a woman to choose what she wishes to do with her own body is being thrown into question.
The remarks came as numerous U.S. states pass more stringent laws around abortion, and as some Canadian politicians make their dislike of the medical procedure very clear.
Trudeau had previously blasted what he called the “backsliding” of abortion rights for women in the U.S.
Speaking in French for part of his remarks, Trudeau told an audience at the Women Deliver 2019 conference in Vancouver on Monday that there’s more work to do to advance the rights and equality of women.
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“Around the world, women are fighting for the right to go to school. Women are dying from diseases that we can fight to eliminate,” he said.
“And again, today, the fundamental right for a woman to choose what she wants to do with her body is being thrown into question.”
The remark drew applause, before Trudeau continued.
“Women today are being faced with major challenges,” he said.
“They’re being faced with major challenges that won’t go away if we don’t help them. If we want change, we have to demand it.”
Trudeau didn’t mention abortion in his comments, but his remark about a woman’s right to choose what she wants to do with her body recalls an issue that is gaining new attention in both Canada and the U.S.
Numerous U.S. states have passed laws with a view to restricting abortion, while others have moved to ban it outright.
Alabama, for one, has passed a bill to ban abortion except when a birth poses a health risk to the child’s mother, as reported by CNN.
Meanwhile, other states have passed bills to ban abortion when a heartbeat can be detected — something that can happen before a woman even knows she’s pregnant.
They include Louisiana, Ohio, Georgia, Mississippi, Missouri and Kentucky.
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“I’m very proud to be part of a pro-life administration, and our administration has taken steps to stand for the sanctity of life at home and abroad,” Pence said at a news conference.
Abortion, however, hasn’t just popped up as an issue down south.
On May 9, while on his way to an anti-abortion rally, Ontario Progressive Conservative MPP Sam Oosterhoff said that he wants to make the practice “unthinkable in our lifetime.”
The following day, competing pro-life and pro-choice rallies snarled traffic in Ottawa.
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The issue would reach the House of Commons on May 29, when members of Parliament gave a standing ovation to the right of women to choose whether to have an abortion.
Members of the Liberals, the NDP, the Green Party and the Bloc Quebecois were seen applauding, but Conservatives remained in their seats.
The Liberals have used the issue to drum up donations, listing in an email 12 Conservatives who were present at an anti-abortion rally on Parliament Hill.
They’ve also used it to sign up more members.
WATCH: May 17 — Andrew Scheer says he won’t ‘reopen’ abortion if elected
Scheer has said that his party won’t reopen the issue of abortion if the Conservatives are elected in October.
“The only person who’s bringing up this issue time and time again is Justin Trudeau,” Scheer said in May.
“I’ve made it very clear that Canadians can have absolute confidence that a Conservative government, after the election in October, will not reopen this issue.”
- With files from Global News’ Amanda Connolly