Trudeau pledges to defend abortion rights around the world amid 'devastating setback'

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OTTAWA — Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is promising to defend abortion rights in Canada and around the world after what he calls a "devastating setback" in the United States.

He and Foreign Affairs Minister Mélanie Joly reacted today to the U.S. Supreme Court's decision to overturn its 50-year-old Roe v. Wade ruling that had guaranteed countrywide access to abortion.

The pair spoke in Kigali, Rwanda, where a Commonwealth summit is taking place, with Trudeau saying the ruling shows that nothing should be taken for granted and everyone's rights and freedoms must be defended.

Joly says it is a "dark day" and the court's decision will put women's lives at risk and also have a domino effect on other rights.

She says no country in the world is immune to what is going on in the United States, noting that a majority of Conservatives voted in favour of a private member's bill last year to outlaw so-called sex-selective abortions.

Candice Bergen, the Conservative party's interim leader, is accusing the Liberals of politicizing the abortion issue to create division among Canadians and her party will "will not introduce legislation or reopen the abortion debate."

This report by The Canadian Press was first published June 24, 2022.

Marie-Danielle Smith, The Canadian Press

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