Feds eyeing legal risks of Canadian health workers providing abortions to US patients

Federal officials are looking into whether Canadian health workers could face legal risks for providing abortion services to Americans from states where the procedure has been outlawed.

A Health Canada spokeswoman says the government is examining the issue in response to concerns raised by an organization that provides legal support to doctors.

The Canadian Medical Protective Association wrote a letter this week calling on federal officials to work with their provincial counterparts to protect Canadian doctors from potential legal action if US states try to restrict residents from accessing abortions outside their borders.

The association said in a statement Wednesday that legal matters outside of Canada are not part of its mandate, and encouraged its members who provide abortions to American patients to look into getting additional liability protection.

In an email to The Canadian Press, Health Canada spokeswoman Anna Maddison says the federal government “unequivocally” supports access to safe abortions, but provinces are responsible for handling liability protection for doctors.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published July 8, 2022.