(Quebec) Fearing abuses like in the United States, the Minister responsible for the Status of Women, Martine Biron, wants to legislate so that the right of women to choose abortion becomes “sacred” in Quebec. She launches a project to open the “debate” in society.
“What I want to crown is the principle. I want to screw this into the wall. I want people to say that this right is a right in Quebec, we believe in it and we want to protect it,” the minister said in an interview with La Presse. The MP for Chutes-de-la-Chaudière “swears” that this is not an attempt to create a diversion after the spectacular reversal of the Legault government in the third link file.
“I did not put anything on my face to hide anything”, assures the one who is also Minister of International Relations. The decision to announce her plans this week was made after the French prime minister’s visit to Quebec was confirmed to be postponed until mid-April, Biron said.
Martine Biron will therefore be consulting many civil society actors, such as doctors, legal specialists and community groups, in the coming weeks. She wants to come up with “an answer” in the fall. His first choice: introduce a bill that would “protect” the right to abortion.
Abortion has not been a crime in Canada since the Supreme Court’s Morgentaler decision in 1988. But there is a “legal limbo”, according to Ms. Biron. “It is no longer a crime, but there is no law that regulates this right. [The federal government] was never able to do that, they never legislated on that,” she laments.
A Quebec law would affirm that the right of women to choose abortion is fundamental. It is not a question of legislating on the subject of “modalities” of access or contraception, nuance Ms. Biron, but of “protecting the principle” which is widely accepted in Quebec.
“I know that [the criminalization of abortion] is under federal jurisdiction, but in Quebec, we have to do something,” says the former Radio-Canada analyst. She pleaded her case with the Prime Minister before confirming her leap into politics last August, when she returned from a posting in Washington, where the debate has been raging since the reversal of the Roe v. Wade.
Canada is not immune, she believes. “Since 1988, in the last 35 years, there have been 48 attempts by a Member of Parliament, via a private member’s bill, to restrict women’s abortion rights [in Canada]. What tells me the 49th time won’t happen? “, pleads Ms. Biron.
If Ottawa decided to legislate to regulate the right to abortion in the country, federal law would take precedence over provincial legislation. In this sense, “if the federal government wanted in one way or another to diminish or restrict this right, it would know that Quebec is on its way,” replies Ms. Biron.
The Minister of Justice, Simon Jolin-Barrette, has also made available “a small team of lawyers” to support him in his efforts. “I think that the right of women, currently, it could be threatened, and in this direction, I want to act now”, she pleads, saying to observe everywhere in the world “a current which polarizes the debate”.