Moe restates that he's 'pro-life,' but says U.S. Supreme Court has no effect on Sask.

·2 min read
Premier Scott Moe reaffirmed Wednesday that he is 'pro-life.' (Kirk Fraser/CBC - image credit)
Premier Scott Moe reaffirmed Wednesday that he is 'pro-life.' (Kirk Fraser/CBC - image credit)

On Wednesday, the NDP Official Opposition called on the Saskatchewan government to affirm its commitment to abortion rights in the province.

The call came on the heels of the news that the U.S. Supreme Court may overturn the 1973 Roe v. Wade ruling that legalized abortion.

Premier Scott Moe said the U.S. ruling has no bearing on the abortion law in Canada. However, he reaffirmed that he is "pro-life."

"In saying that, I'm very respectful of others that may have a different position than me. I would also say that with respect to my position or any other caucus position that has no bearing on the government's policy or the law in the nation of Canada."

Moe said that people in the province should respect the opinions of others when discussing abortion.

Medication-induced abortions are available up to nine weeks of pregnancy across the province.

After nine weeks of pregnancy, a surgical abortion is required. These procedures are only available in Saskatoon and Regina.

Saskatoon has a shorter timeframe in which a person can get a surgical abortion. Surgical abortions are done in Saskatoon up to 12 weeks of pregnancy, whereas in Regina it's up to 18 weeks and six days.

Meanwhile, that timeframe is longer in provinces like Alberta, B.C. and Ontario. In B.C., a surgical abortion can be provided up to 24 weeks.

Moira Warburton/Reuters
Moira Warburton/Reuters

Another barrier is referrals. In Saskatoon, a person needs a referral from a doctor to access a surgical abortion, whereas in Regina a person can self-refer.

Moe said that if people are having issues accessing abortion services, they should contact their health-care provider or the Ministry of Health.

"If there are instances where there's concerns around access on an individual basis, what we would do is we would handle that like we do with many other health-care access questions that we might have through casework in the Ministry of Health's office."

NDP say personal opinions don't matter

Deputy leader of the Opposition Nicole Sarauer said she wasn't asking for Moe's personal opinion on abortions.

"We were actually asking for, not necessarily what the premier's personal opinion was, but whether or not the government would affirm their commitment … not just to begrudgingly follow the letter of the law, but ensure that a woman's right to choose is protected in Saskatchewan and that access to abortion services would be enhanced, and that any barriers that exist right now would be removed by this government."

Sarauer said there are barriers to access to abortions in Saskatchewan, and that the provincial government has denied that.

Tyler Pidlubny/CBC
Tyler Pidlubny/CBC

She said Moe's comments on people contacting their health-care providers and government about abortion access is "offensive."

"Is this how we're dealing with health-care issues now in Saskatchewan? Especially something as sensitive as someone wanting to get abortion services?"

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