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Anti-abortion activists are wrong — but so is Canadian law

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Alarm over abrogation of reproductive rights is entirely justified.

In the U.S., anti-abortionist — absolutists — have made no secret about their longer-range goal: That state bills severely limiting abortions are designed to ultimately overturn Roe v. Wade, which legalized abortion nationally. The hope is that lower court cases, racked up across the country, will encourage the Supreme Court to revisit and reverse abortion rights as defined in 1973. With a court that now leans distinctly to the right, the antis are more emboldened than they’ve been in nearly half a century, optimistic that conservative justices, a majority, will give them what they’ve never stopped fighting for.

Kentucky, Mississippi, Ohio and Georgia have already approved bans on abortion once a fetal heartbeat is detected, which can occur in about the sixth week of pregnancy.

Fetal heartbeat laws are all the rage now. They would effectively outlaw abortions after one missed menstrual cycle, when most women don’t even know they’re pregnant.

An Alabama bill — which was to have been voted on Tuesday evening in the senate — goes even farther. It would criminalize — make it a felony — to perform an abortion at any stage of pregnancy. Serious risk to a woman’s health would be the only exception.

Not rape. Not incest. Not severe fetus abnormalities.

That legislation passed overwhelmingly last week in the house, despite some Republicans expressing reservations about a bill that didn’t include an exception for rape.

“We can’t say on the one hand that it is a life and then the other because of some very bad circumstances that it’s not a life,” said Republican Sen. Clyde Chambliss, who is marshalling the draconian bill through the senate.

Alabama Gov. Will Ainsworth, who was expected to ward off any attempt to amend........

© Toronto Star