Members of the LGBTQ2 community will be disproportionately affected if the U.S. Supreme Court overturns Roe v. Wade.
“Abortion care is part of the comprehensive sexual health education and care that is essential to the well-being of LGBTQ2S+ people, whether they become pregnant or not,” said Dr. Shannon Dea, Dean of the Faculty of Arts at the University of Regina. told Global News. “Limit this care and you jeopardize their well-being.”
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A leaked initial majority draft opinion, first reported Monday by Politico, suggests the court voted to overturn the ruling that legalized abortion nationwide – and it has since caused a public outcry.
In addition to abortion, conservative Judge Samuel Alito, who authored the project, has also criticized notable U.S. civil rights cases, including Obergefell v. Hodges, who legalized equal marriage.
“None of these rights claims to be deeply rooted in history,” he said.
Alito’s opinion parallels his dissent in the same-sex marriage court ruling in which he said the 14th Amendment’s promise of due process only protects rights deeply rooted in the history and tradition of America.
“And it is indisputable that the right to same-sex marriage is not one of those rights,” Alito wrote in his 2015 dissent.
The bill is “unacceptable,” according to Ontario NDP candidate Jill Andrew, the first openly gay and black person elected to a legislature in Canada.
“Members of the LGBTQ2S+ community have rightly sounded the alarm about what this could mean for other hard-won victories such as the right to gay marriage and same-sex partner intimacy,” she told Global News.
When Erin Reed, an American legal and policy researcher who also identifies as a member of the LGBTQ2 community, saw the draft, she said she felt her heart stop.
“My immediate reaction was fear,” she told Global News from Maryland. “There are common threads around who is most affected.”
According to a 2019 study from the Jacobs Institute of Women’s Health, sexual minority groups are generally more likely than heterosexual peers to have abortions.
A 2017 study from the same institute also found that sexual minority women are more likely to have unwanted pregnancies than heterosexual women.
And as some states in the United States have already pushed to ban abortion, many have also introduced bills that have been openly criticized as an attack on the LGBTQ2 population.
“For example, in Idaho, there was an anti-transgender bill that passed there. It didn’t pass the Senate, thank goodness, but it would criminalize leaving the state to access transgender health care for minors. Likewise, the same week we saw a Missouri bill that would criminalize leaving the state for an abortion,” Reed said.
“It’s very easy for people in the transgender, gender nonconforming, and LGBTQ2S+ community to see how these attacks intersect.”
According to a 2020 estimate from the Guttmacher Institute, up to 530 transgender and non-binary people had abortions in America in 2017.
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Many of Reeds’ transgender friends have considered uprooting their lives in Canada because of the impact anti-trans and anti-abortion legislation will have.
A friend will be moving from Florida to Canada next month, Reed said.
“The Roe v. Wade decision was the straw that broke the camel’s back for her.”
Canada must do all it can to provide safe access to abortion for the LGBTQ2 community and “help facilitate the resettlement of what appears to be a growing number of trans refugees and now aborted refugees,” according to Reed .
Abortion is legal at all stages of pregnancy in Canada, where no law regulates or restricts care. But legal and accessible are two very different issues when it comes to abortion in Canada, and pregnant women are regularly referred to the United States for more complex abortions that they cannot get here.
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Most of the practical power to improve access to abortion in Canada rests with the provinces because of their power to provide health care to their residents and to ensure that their physicians are properly trained to provide that care. health.
Ontario, the country’s most populous province, has the most abortion clinics in the country with a total of 23, according to the Abortion Rights Coalition of Canada.
Quebec has 12, Alberta and Manitoba have three, British Columbia has eight, New Brunswick and Saskatchewan have five, and the other provinces and territories have four or fewer abortion clinics.
Aditi Loveridge, 42, founder and CEO of the Pregnancy and Infant Loss Support Centre, offers support to members of the Canadian LGBTQ2 community who have had abortions through her Calgary-based registered charity.
“If you look at what’s happening across the border with trans youth and health care affirmation, there’s just a lot of things that worry me about the LGBTQ community, especially as it relates to is about health care and access to it,” said Loveridge, who identifies as queer. World News.
“It’s really, really scary. Whenever we have marginalized community members, they are at risk of having negative experiences within the healthcare system no matter what and so this is absolutely true for the LGBTQ2S+ community. “, she said.
For Loveridge, being a woman of color also impacted her own abortion experience after an ectopic pregnancy in 2011.
When she was sent for examination after experiencing pain and spotting, she was met by a dismissive doctor.
“They spoke in an artificial East Indian accent, did an unwarranted breast exam, accused me of being hypersexual, didn’t believe my dates of conception – then sent me home.”
A week later, she almost lost her life.
“The systemic racism I experienced during my pregnancy is directly related to why I almost died. If I had been believed, I would not have suffered the trauma I suffered afterwards” , she said.
Founding the charity has given Loveridge the strength to tell her story and create safe spaces for marginalized communities who have experienced similarities.
“There aren’t a lot of racialized or LGBTQ2S+ people who are included in these conversations,” she said. “All of the parental loss spaces are very centered around white, cisgender, and heteronormative couples and so I think it’s so important that we start to broaden our focus a bit.”
In last year’s federal budget, the government pledged $45 million to community organizations making sexual and reproductive information more accessible, including groups that help people who have to travel for abortion care. .
A spokesman for Health Minister Jean-Yves Duclos said on Wednesday the promised $45 million will be rolled out over three years, of which $15.5 million has been paid out so far as part of nine contribution agreements.
“Of the nine projects, two deal with access to abortion, five are aimed at 2SLGBTQI communities, two are aimed at young people. Two of the nine projects include components focused on Indigenous peoples, ”said Marie-France Proulx, Duclos press officer, in an email. “In addition, per capita funding of $9.7 million will be granted to the province of Quebec to support community organizations located in Quebec.
Members of Canada’s queer and trans community can find information about the abortion process, resources and affirmation by accessing the pamphlets created by the Abortion Rights Coalition of Canada here:
Pan-Canadian Queer Brochure (arcc-cdac.ca)-
– with files from Amanda Connolly of Global News and Reuters
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