Ottawa weighs the legal risks of performing abortions on Americans


Ottawa gauges the legal risks of performing abortions on American women

The U.S. Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade who legalized abortion nationwide. American women could therefore turn to Canada to receive this care, which could have legal consequences for the staff, according to the Canadian Medical Protective Association (Archives).

Federal officials are investigating whether Canadian healthcare workers could face legal risks for providing abortion services to American women from states where the procedure has been banned.

< p class="e-p">A spokeswoman for Health Canada said the government was reviewing the matter in response to concerns raised by the Canadian Medical Protective Association (CMPA, which provides legal support to doctors, about the potential cross-border consequences of the decision. of the United States Supreme Court to strike down the 1973 law that legalized abortion nationwide.

We understand that many Canadians, including many of our physician members, have expressed an interest in making abortion easier for American patients, wrote CMPA CEO Lisa Calder, in a letter to several ministers this week.

At the same time, our members are expressing concern about the increased risk of medical-legal problems, she continues.

Ms. Calder called on federal officials to work with their provincial counterparts to protect Canadian doctors from possible lawsuits if US states attempt to block their residents from accessing abortions at the clinic. outside their borders.

“Some states in the United States are considering legislation that would allow criminal prosecutions and lawsuits against health care providers who perform abortions for out-of-state residents. »

— Lisa Calder, CEO of the Canadian Medical Protective Association

A CMPA spokesperson declined to clarify which rules Calder was referring to.< /p>

The association provides legal assistance and liability protection to more than 105,000 Canadian physicians, Ms. Calder wrote, but cannot provide support for legal matters related to other countries. . The association has encouraged its members who provide abortions to US patients to seek additional liability protection.

In an email to The Canadian Press, the door- Health Canada spokesperson Anna Maddison said the federal government unequivocally supports access to safe abortions, including for American women, but that they should pay out of pocket for this service.

Provinces are responsible for managing physician liability protection, Maddison said. As for the Department of Justice, it makes decisions regarding assistance to foreign countries in legal matters, she added.

Any action by the federal government aimed at protecting Canadian healthcare workers would depend on the ability of a specific US state to pursue extraterritorial actions, she wrote in an email Thursday.


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