Christabelle Sethna


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    Legal but Limited: Abortion Access and Abortion Tourism in Canada
    Christabelle Sethna, Professor, University of Ottawa
    Marion Doull, Doctoral Candidate, University of Ottawa
    In 1969, the Canadian government liberalized the conditions under which a legal
    therapeutic abortion could be performed. These conditions proved, however, to be so
    restrictive that many women were forced to turn to "abortion tourism," or travel to other
    provinces, cities and countries to access an abortion. In 1988, the Supreme Court of
    Canada struck down the abortion law as unconstitutional. Yet despite the fact that
    abortion now is completely legal in Canada, regional disparities have seriously limited
    many Canadian women's access to pregnancy termination.
    These disparities have again forced many women to travel far from home to access
    abortion services. This paper will provide a history of abortion legislation, abortion services
    and abortion tourism in Canada from the 1960s onward.