Canada has had no abortion laws for some 31 years now. When U.S. vice president Mike Pence visited Canada last week, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau made a point of raising the abortion issue with him by expressing his concern over women’s access to abortion in certain U.S. states. Many observers thought this inappropriate, given that the purpose of Pence’s visit was to promote the new trade deal between the two countries.
With recent changes to abortion laws in some American jurisdictions, a debate long thought settled is clearly not so. What has become clear after years of abortion’s availability is that it has not cured the social ills it was expected to solve.
A relatively unique characteristic of the abortion debate is that, while the issue has its extremely polarized opponents (who favor a total prohibition of abortion) and proponents (who want free abortions on demand), most people do not find themselves in either of these two camps. For most people, the availability of abortion is acceptable under certain conditions and not acceptable under other conditions.
Where one draws the line on abortion can be an extremely complicated consideration, taking into account many factors beyond the procedure itself.