Can we talk about abortion

Can we talk about abortion?

I can’t wait for March 8th. Not because it’s International Women’s Day.

But because that day we can see on the Crave platform: Disobeir: the choice of Chantale Daigle.

The Daigle affair happened 34 years ago, but I remember it like it was yesterday because it shaped me for life.

I hope that the airing of this six-episode series, produced by Sophie Lorain and Alexis Durand-Brault, will prompt a balanced and intelligent debate about abortion.


Chantale Daigle wanted an abortion, but the father of her future child, Jean-Guy Tremblay, had obtained a restraining order to prevent her from freely disposing of her body.

Chantale Daigle had to go to the US to end her pregnancy. The case went all the way to the Supreme Court, which ruled in his favour. Thanks to her brave fight, Chantale Daigle has become a heroine.

In 1989, as a young journalist on the all-talking newsroom of Radio-Canada, I remember very well that, like many Canadian women, I was traumatized by this blatant history of denial of women’s rights. Many of us wondered, “What if this happened to me? “. I was 23, Chantale Daigle was 21…

But 34 years later, there’s no point burying your head in the sand and saying, “The Quebec abortion debate is over, the issue is settled, we put the key in the door and threw the key.”

There remains a gray area, an uneasiness about certain abortions. In the 1980s, the feminist slogan was “We will have the children we want”.

But in 2023, we must ask ourselves, “What are we going to do with late-term abortions?” What about selective abortions? »

As feminists, we want to defend women’s rights. It’s logic. But what about the rights of little girls who will never see the light of day because their mother was told that “we don’t want girls in their culture”?

It’s much more complex than a pro-life fight c. pro choice.

Would you like an example?

My colleague Héloïse Archambault reported the following situation in 2021, in the midst of the pandemic: “Although abortion is an absolute right in Canada, women from Quebec who wanted to terminate a pregnancy after 23 weeks were long ago sent to the United States at the expense of the ministry for Health and Social Services (MSSS). The reason ? No hospital wanted to offer the service here. However, the closure of the southern border in March 2020 forced the network to treat these women. »


The broadcast of the series written by Isabelle Pelletier and Daniel Thibault is an opportunity to revisit this delicate issue.

So as not to question the principle itself. But having a balanced discussion about the modalities surrounding this intervention is not insignificant.

Without going to one extreme or the other (ultraconservatives and religious groups).

Canada doesn’t become Gilead (the fictional state in The Handmaiden Scarlet where women are forced to procreate) just because we talk openly about abortion.

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