Trudeau saddened by 'backsliding' after Alabama abortion ban

Paris (AFP) –


Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau on Thursday said he was gravely saddened by "backsliding" on women's rights seen in several US states, after Alabama agreed the toughest abortion ban in the country.

Trudeau has always promoted himself as a feminist, appointing women to several key positions, although his image has been tainted somewhat in recent months by a political meddling scandal at home.

"We are deeply disappointed by the backsliding on women's rights that we're seeing in some places around the world, including some American states," Trudeau told a news conference in Paris.

"As a government, as Canadians, we will always be unequivocal about defending women's rights to choose, defending women's rights in general."

His comments came after Alabama Governor Kay Ivey on Wednesday signed the most restrictive abortion law in the United States, providing for a near-total prohibition, even in cases of rape and incest.

Under the new measure, expected to come into effect in six months, performing an abortion is a crime that could land doctors in prison for up to 99 years.

Abortions would only be legal if the life of the mother is in danger or the foetus has a fatal condition.

Trudeau said there was a trend of conservative governments around the world taking rights away from women, although he did not point to specific countries,

"It's a shame that we increasingly see conservative governments and conservative politicians taking away rights that have been hard-fought over many, many years, by generations of women and male allies," he said.