Photo of two protesters attending a rally held by the National Women's Strike Canada. The protesters are standing side by side in Willow River Park, Kitchener, holding up sighs reading "If you're against abortion, don't have one!" and "Respect my existence or expect resistance".
CATALINA OLAVARRIA PHOTO

WATERLOO REGION COMMUNITY JOINS NATIONWIDE MARCH IN COMMEMORATION OF ROE V WADE OVERTURNING

On June 24, 2024 over 60 people gathered at Willow River Park, in Kitchener, to express their concerns about the stripping away of women´s autonomy over their bodies. The day marked two years since Roe v Wade was overturned by the U.S. Supreme Court, erasing the access of women to safe abortions.    

Paige Budding, a speaker at the event, said Canada cannot be allowed to follow the same trajectory as the U.S.—for example, in New Brunswick, health care cuts have created long waiting lists   

“We, The Nationwide Women’s Strike Canada 2024, stand in solidarity with women in the U.S. and say to women and people in general in Canada to wake up, because women in Canada are at risk of losing crucial rights, here also,” Budding said.  

Carrie Jenkins-Turcott, an organizer of the rally, said the erosion of fundamental rights is also a problem in Alberta. She mentioned petitions in Alberta attempting to limit access to abortions in the province.   

“We can’t let that continue in Canada. It is far too important for women to be able to control what they do with their own bodies. It is really important for women to open their eyes, for people in general to open their eyes,” Jenkins-Turcott said.   

“Women’s Strike Canada 2024 is against the use of the notwithstanding clause to pass unconstitutional laws which violate the rights of women. All woman, whether they are Indigenous, LGBTQ+, or anyone else who could be impacted negatively,” Budding said.  

Women make up more than 50 per cent of the population, and if the notwithstanding clause is used, it could affect women’s right to equal healthcare, education and employment. This clause affects directly the right to bodily autonomy, safety and choices for women. it will result in more people being harmed or dying in the process of getting unsafe abortions or forced to carry on unwanted pregnancy to term.   

“We have watched our American sisters suffer and die ever since the U.S. supreme Court decision in 2022. For the last two years they have had their rights stripped away state by the state, there are currently 24 states that have enforced some sort of abortion restrictions or full bans of safe abortions,” Budding said.  

“I think it is important that the government stand with women rights because there is far too much gender and domestic violence in Canada and the world… It is important that the government start standing up for young girls and women in general. And saying women are equal,” Jenkins-Turcott said.  

“We believe that as women we need to stand together and protect our rights and equality, that means that our rights as women to body autonomy, health care, education and jobs,” she said. 

In the print edition of TCE Vol. 12, Issue 10 released on July 4, 2024, Paige Budding is referred to as “Peggy Budding”. This is incorrect and has been corrected in this online version.