Canada’s government said it “would work to provide” Americans access to the abortion pill, mifepristone if the U.S. bans it.
The Trudeau government is ready to supply Americans with Mifepristone, the abortion pill.https://t.co/NMNUYCxXkZ
— True North (@TrueNorthCentre) April 22, 2023
Canada’s Families Minister Karina Gould said she is concerned that U.S. laws are trying to “criminalize” women seeking access to reproductive health care.
“And so, you know, we need to be very thoughtful about how we do this to make sure that we don’t further endanger, you know, American women seeking access to reproductive healthcare and services, as well as healthcare providers,” Gould said.
On April 17, 2023, Judge Matthew Kacsmaryk of Texas’ Northern District ruled in favor of Alliance Defending Freedom, a Christian legal advocacy group, and reversed the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) approval of mifepristone.
The Department of Justice (DOJ) appealed the ruling, leading the case to the U.S. Supreme Court, which paused Kacsmaryk’s mifepristone reversal. According to the DOJ, the judge’s decision was “especially unwarranted” because it undermined the FDA’s scientific judgment concerning mifepristone. The department argued that the decision would harm women who require the drug.
In 2022, before the Supreme Court overruled Roe v. Wade, sending the issue of abortion back to the states, Gould said Americans would be able to obtain abortions in Canada, which is usually less regulated than in the U.S. and available at later stages of pregnancy.
“If they, people, come here and need access, certainly, you know, that’s a service that would be provided,” Gould said.
In an interview on CBS’s “Face The Nation,” former Vice President Mike Pence said mifepristone should be removed from the market to protect the unborn.
“I’d like to see this medication off the market to protect the unborn,” Pence said during the interview. “I have deep concerns about the way the [Food and Drug Administration (FDA)] went about approving mifepristone 20 years ago.”
Mifepristone is a drug usually used combined with another drug, misoprostol, to cause an abortion or help manage an early miscarriage. The medication works by blocking progesterone, a hormone needed for women to become pregnant.
According to the Guttmacher Institute, a research group that supports abortion rights, more than half of U.S. abortions are done with pills instead of surgery. In 2020, mifepristone accounted for 54% of all abortions in the U.S., marking a 10% increase since 2019.
More than 10 states in the U.S. have banned abortion pills: Alabama, Arkansas, Idaho, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, Oklahoma, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, West Virginia, and Wisconsin.