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Will Canada become Metro Detroit's closest abortion haven?

Hannah Mackay, The Detroit News on

Published in News & Features

Some Metro Detroiters already have sprung into action, posting on the Auntie Network subreddit, an online support system where "aunties" from around the world offer a place to stay, food and transportation to individuals traveling to get an abortion. One Michigan resident offered a place to sleep and recover after getting an abortion in Windsor in one posting, while a Detroiter posted about providing a room and a ride across the border.

Several states, including Mississippi and Texas, have attempted to pass laws limiting or criminalizing travel for out-of-state abortions and the mailing of abortion medications across state lines. Sethna said Americans seeking abortions in Canada might get questioned at the border upon their return.

In 2019, Canada and the United States entered into a memorandum of understanding that allows for the sharing of biographic data collected upon entry to each country to create exit records.

When asked, the Canada Border Services Agency did not specify what information individuals seeking abortions will have to provide when attempting to cross the border either into or out of Canada.

"In light of the possible overturning of Roe v Wade, we are taking proactive steps to ensure there are appropriate guidelines at the border so that American women seeking access to reproductive health services in Canada are treated respectfully, compassionately and in a manner that is consistent with the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms," Minister of Public Safety Marco Mendicino wrote in an email.


If Roe is overturned, Americans would have to weigh whether it makes more sense to seek an abortion in the United States or Canada, Millar said.

"The abortion providers in America are going to have an influx of patients," said Millar, referring to the states that would still allow abortions. "Wait times are going to go up, and then it's going to be up to the individual seeking abortion care to weigh the pros and cons.

"Do I want to stay in my country and have this longer wait time, or is it worth it for me to maybe travel to Canada, with the expenses that would bring, if it means that I can maybe be seen sooner?"

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