Trudeau vows to confront Pence over 'backsliding' women's rights during meeting

Trudeau vows to confront Pence over 'backsliding' women's rights during meeting
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Canadian Prime Minister Justin TrudeauJustin Pierre James TrudeauIt's time to declare a national climate emergency In-person classes canceled in Toronto amid uptick in variant cases Will Ocasio-Cortez challenge Biden or Harris in 2024? MORE says he plans to address reproductive rights when he meets with Vice President Pence on Thursday.

Speaking to reporters on the eve of the meeting, Trudeau responded to abortion restrictions and bans passed by state legislatures across the United States this year, lashing out against the “movements” supporting the laws.

“Obviously, I’m very concerned with the situation around the backsliding of women’s rights that we are seeing from conservative movements here in Canada, in the United States and around the world,” Trudeau said, according to Bloomberg News.


Trudeau has previously spoken out against some states' decisions to enact abortion restrictions, saying earlier this month during a news conference in Paris that he was "deeply disappointed" by the moves.

Pence is traveling to Ottawa on Thursday for discussions regarding a trade deal that would replace the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA). The trip was announced days after the U.S. reached a deal earlier in May to lift steel and aluminum tariffs on Canada and Mexico, removing a significant roadblock for Congress to approve the new trade deal known as the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement.

“I will have a broad conversation with the vice president, in which, of course, that will come up, but we are going to mostly focus on the ratification process of NAFTA and making sure we get good jobs for Canadians,” Trudeau told reporters Wednesday.

Canada and Mexico lifted tariffs on U.S. goods such as steel, aluminum, whiskey and beef earlier this month after Trump agreed to exempt the countries from U.S. tariffs on steel and aluminum imports. Trump imposed the tariffs last year after NAFTA negotiations among the three nations.

Pence has been a vocal ally of anti-abortion efforts and has pushed to expand "protections for the unborn," something he reiterated this week after the Supreme Court upheld an Indiana law on the disposal of fetal remains that he signed as governor of the state in 2014. The vice president has spoken three years in a row at the annual March for Life anti-abortion rally in Washington, D.C.