On June 24th, Leela Aheer became the first (and only) candidate to directly comment on the US Supreme Court decision, 19-1392 Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, which allows American states to outlaw abortion.
While the legal decision has no legal effect on Canadian law, the reaction to the decision has been swift. Most of the rest of the world reacted with shock and disappointment at the ruling, like Prime Minister Trudeau and candidate Leela Aheer, but notably silent, have been the other candidates in the leadership race.
Like most other Western countries, abortion in Canada is legal and is even publicly funded. While access to abortion services varies by region, there are few legal restrictions on the procedure. With the rise of the social conservative movement in the United States, there have been growing calls for restrictions on abortions in Canada. So far, the Liberal government and most Canadians have resisted those calls, as support for abortion rights is well north of 60%.
Here is a list of the candidates and their views on abortion:
|Candidate||View on Abortion||Comments about the Ruling (if any)|
|Leela Aheer||Pro Choice||Called the ruling “an attack on bodily autonomy and warned against dismissing its potential impact north of the border”|
|Brian Jean||No stance||No reaction, except re-iteration of the current status of abortion in Canada|
|Todd Loewen||No stance|
|Rajan Sawhney||No stance||Stated that “abortion is a federal matter, her government will not make any legislative changes on abortion”|
|Rebecca Schulz||Pro Life||Promised to protect access to abortion in Alberta|
|Danielle Smith||Pro Choice||“would amend the Human Rights Act to protect individuals from discrimination for their medical choices or political beliefs”|
|Travis Toews||Pro Life, but will maintain existing access to abortion in Alberta|