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Abortion rights advocates organize protest in London, Ont. in wake of U.S. ruling

Thousands of protesters march around the Arizona Capitol after the Supreme Court decision to overturn the landmark Roe v. Wade abortion decision Friday, June 24, 2022, in Phoenix. The Supreme Court on Friday stripped away women’s constitutional protections for abortion, a fundamental and deeply personal change for Americans' lives after nearly a half-century under Roe v. Wade. The court’s overturning of the landmark court ruling is likely to lead to abortion bans in roughly half the states. (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin). RF

In response to women losing the right to access a safe, legal abortion in the United States, a group of locals have organized a protest in London, Ont., this weekend.

The Pro-Choice Protest is being organized by London Ontario Activism for Saturday, July 16, in the southeast corner of Victoria Park with sign-making at 1 p.m. and a demonstration at 2 p.m., followed by a march.

London Ontario Activism member Alexa MacCoy said the protest advocates for the right to safe, accessible and legal abortions in Canada.

“So we’re advocating for the strengthening of the enforcement of the Canada Health Act, which states that abortion should be accessible across the country. So while abortion is legal in Canada, most people are unaware of how inaccessible it can be,” MacCoy said.

Read more: U.S. states struggle with conflicting abortions bans in post Roe V. Wade world

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She said abortion services are often only available in major cities and are challenging for some people to access.

“People from remote communities sometimes have to drive many hours or cross provinces to access the nearest clinic.”

Click to play video: 'Canada faces its own disparities in abortion access, may struggle as “safe haven”' Canada faces its own disparities in abortion access, may struggle as “safe haven”
Canada faces its own disparities in abortion access, may struggle as “safe haven” – Jun 26, 2022

She says before the march begins, they will have several speakers, including people sharing personal abortion stories and also sharing some poetry.

Organizers say the march will start by the cenotaph in Victoria Park with people heading west on Dufferin Avenue, south on Richmond Street, east onto Queens Avenue, and then north on Wellington Street, ending up at the southeast corner of Victoria Park.

Read more: Man charged with raping Ohio girl, 10, who was denied abortion

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The U.S. Supreme Court’s decision to overturn Roe v. Wade was announced on June 24.

The ruling abolished the Roe v. Wade landmark decision which has guaranteed the right to an abortion for more than 50 years in the U.S. The question of whether abortions are legal will now be left up to individual states, which could lead to widespread differences in access across the U.S.

Many conservative states had trigger laws in places which retroactively banned the procedure once Roe v. Wade was overturned, making it immediately illegal to access or provide the procedure in many parts of the United States.

“So anytime far-right movements happen in the U.S., it kind of opens the door for far-right political thinkers in Canada to open the discussion and the conversation around it,” MacCoy said.

– with files from Global News’ Sarah Do Couto

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