Canadian prime minister Trudeau will confront VP Pence over ‘backsliding of women’s rights’ in the US

Canadian prime minister Trudeau will confront VP Pence over ‘backsliding of women’s rights’ in the US
President Donald Trump and Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau shake hands during a joint press conference, Monday, Feb. 13, 2017, in the East Room of the White House. (Official White House Photo by Shealah Craighead)

The anti-abortion movement has many reasons to feel energized in the Trump era, from draconian new anti-abortion bills or laws in Republican-leaning states to the very real possibility that Roe v. Wade — the 1973 Supreme Court decision that essentially legalized abortion in all 50 states — could be overturned now that Justice Brett Kavanaugh has shifted the balance on the High Court. And Prime Minster Justin Trudeau plans to address the “backsliding of women’s rights” when Vice President Mike Pence visits Canada and meets with him.


Trudeau, speaking to reporters in Ottawa, Canada this week, not only expressed his concerns about the  United States, he also asserted that women’s rights are under attack in Canada and other countries as well.

“Obviously,” Trudeau told reporters, “I am very concerned with the situation around the backsliding of women’s rights that we’re seeing from conservative movements here in Canada, in the United States and around the world.”

The Canadian prime minster added, “I will have a broad conversation with the vice president in which, of course, that’ll come up. But we’re going to mostly focus on the ratification process of NAFTA and making sure that we get good jobs for Canadians.”

Many of the recent anti-abortion bills in the U.S. have been passed in southern states, including so-called “heartbeat bills” in Georgia, Mississippi and Kentucky. Those bills ban abortions as soon as a fetal heartbeat can be detected, which is around six weeks into a pregnancy — although many women don’t realize they are pregnant at that point.

Alabama, meanwhile, has passed a law that is even more extreme than the ones in Georgia and Mississippi. Under Alabama’s law, which forbids abortion even in cases of rape or incest, doctors who perform abortions could face up to 99 years in prison.But southern states are by no means the only states passing anti-abortion laws. In Missouri, a midwestern state, Republican Gov. Mike Parson has signed into law a bill that bans abortion after eight weeks during a pregnancy — even in cases of  rape or incest.

Abortion isn’t the only assault on women’s rights in the U.S. during the Trump era. Feminists have been warning that contraception could also be on the chopping block as well and that social conservatives would also love to strike down Griswold v. Connecticut — the 1965 Supreme Court ruling that, in essence, legalized contraception nationwide for married couples.

Pence’s visit to Canada is set to begin on Thursday.

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