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Women’s Strike in Sudbury held on anniversary of Roe vs. Wade being struck down

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Monday marked the second anniversary of the overturning of Roe vs. Wade in the U.S, which revoked the federal right to reproductive choice.

In northern Ontario an event called Women’s Strike was held in Sudbury as part of protests happening across the country and the world.

With signs in hand, people gathered at Bell Bark for the first Women’s Strike, demanding protection for reproductive rights.

“There was nobody organizing in Sudbury and nobody organizing anywhere in northern Ontario,” said co-organizer Annie Blodgett.

“And we thought … we need to bring this to our community and we need to create a space where people can come and share and see how important this issue is.”

“Give them a chance to share their stories, to share their views,” said Mia Valliere, also a co-organizer.

“Because that's really what this is all about, is being heard by everyone, especially our government.”

Organizers said they want the government to make reproductive health care accessible to all and to implement legislative protection.

“Demanding that our governments work to put in place guarantees that our reproductive rights will not be touched,” Valliere said.

“That our rights to make decisions for our own bodily autonomy will not be touched. That they do not belong in our bodies, and they will not attempt to.”

Gilles Levasseur teaches a law course examining the impact of the Roe vs Wade decision at Ottawa University. Levasseur said right now, women have complete control over their pregnancies in Canada and the only way that could change is if the federal government used criminal law to regulate abortion

“The federal government can only use its criminal law powers to regulate abortion in Canada because it doesn't have jurisdiction on that matter, because it's actually a provincial matter,” Levasseur said.

“The second key thing that we need to understand about this whole process is that if they're going to be acting on that legislation and they got to ask themselves, how will they actually write that provision? So it's not in violation of Section 7 of the Charter of Rights and Freedom that deals with life. So it's not something that you would see that could be easily done.”

Organizers said the hope is that events like this strike won’t have to happen year after year, but they will continue to hold the event annually is need be. The 2024 Women’s Strike was held in more than 30 cities across the country. 

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