Abortion is often called a “settled issue” in Canada, an area where “social peace” has been achieved. In reality, however, abortion is still politicized in Canada.
Much remains to be done to improve access to abortion in Canada, even though significant progress has been made since the Supreme Court threw out Canada’s unconstitutional abortion law in 1988. Abortion is still politicized in Canada, and it's still difficult to access for many women. The focus of ARCC-CDAC is to ensure that women can exercise their right to this health service equitably and without barriers.
National coordination is needed to tackle the many problems we still face. Provincial, local, and regional pro-choice groups have been working separately for years to improve access to abortion. (The previous national pro-choice group, CARAL, the Canadian Abortion Rights Action League of Ottawa, disbanded in 2003.) When ARCC was founded in 2005, it was a critical time for regional groups to come together in a new coalition.
The anti-choice movement in Canada is still strong and active, with a large base of supporters and organizational resources that far exceed those of the pro-choice movement. Anti-choice activists remain committed to various campaigns, such as working to defund abortion, spreading misinformation about abortion, and promoting policies and laws to restrict abortion or make it harder to access. Although no serious violence has occurred against Canadian abortion clinics or providers since 2000, picketing and various forms of low-level harassment continue, and all those involved with abortion provision remain on constant alert for potential violence.
For more information on access, see our Backgrounder, Abortion Access Issues.
To understand why abortion is a medically-required service, see our Position Paper Abortion Is a "Medically Required" Service and Cannot be Delisted.