Mother’s Day should be a special day of celebration – a time to honour (or remember) the woman you owe your life to. This year, Mother’s Day comes less than a week after Politico published a leaked draft of a U.S. Supreme Court opinion indicating the court is ready to overturn Roe v. Wade – the landmark 1973 ruling that protected a women’s right to have an abortion.

Abortion politics certainly exist in Canada, but not in the same way as in the United States. As a Washington correspondent for The Canadian Press in the early 1990s, the only time I ever attended a Supreme Court hearing was over a lesser-known attempt by anti-abortion advocates to chip away at Roe v. Wade. That one was unsuccessful, but those opposed to a women’s right to choose have been unrelenting in their political pursuit of overturning the law that is almost 50 years old now.

Roe v. Wade is one of those rare domestic laws that prompts international debate. The leaked draft ruling has put abortion rights front and centre in the ongoing leadership race for the Conservative Party of Canada.

For your weekend reading, I’ve assembled a number of stories from across The Conversation global network about the abortion issue – and some other great reads about motherhood in general.

We send best wishes to all mothers for their special day on Sunday. But let’s remember too that some women choose not to be mothers – and that they still have that right in this country.

And if you have a chance, listen to this week's episode of The Conversation Weekly podcast that looks at why some countries remain neutral in times of war. The folks at The Conversation Weekly would like to hear your thoughts about some of your favourite podcasts — or why you don’t listen to them. We would appreciate it if you could complete this short survey.

Have a great weekend and we’ll be back in your Inbox on Monday.


Scott White

CEO | Editor-in-Chief

Weekend Reads: Abortion Rights + Celebrating Mothers

The end of Roe v. Wade would likely embolden global anti-abortion activists and politicians

Prudence Flowers, Flinders University

The end of Roe v. Wade would dramatically impact reproductive rights in the US. It would also likely have symbolic consequences globally.

Abortion has been common in the US since the 18th century – and debate over it started soon after

Treva B. Lindsey, The Ohio State University

With the Supreme Court likely to strike down constitutional protection for abortion, a centuries-old debate over its morality and legality has been reignited.

Opposition to abortion doesn’t stop some Americans from supporting friends and family who seek one

Tricia C. Bruce, University of Notre Dame

A sociologist found in her research that many Americans who are opposed to abortion may nonetheless be willing to support a friend or family member seeking one.

Abortion pills are safe to prescribe without in-person exams, new research finds

Ushma Upadhyay, University of California, San Francisco

During the pandemic, health care providers began prescribing abortion pills without requiring in-person exams. This practice could help people access the care they need when abortion rights are in limbo.

US abortion law decision brings attention to rights of women in Africa

Sara E Casey, Columbia University

It is likely that countries may use the US abortion ban to further restrict abortion access for fear of losing health funding.

How the COVID-19 pandemic has affected abortion care in Canada

Kate Wahl, University of British Columbia; Madeleine Ennis, University of British Columbia

Pandemic-related travel restrictions and facility closures initially jeopardized access to abortions, but the pandemic has also become a catalyst for more accessible ways to deliver abortion care.

Daughters are more willing to sacrifice for their mothers than for their romantic partners

Beverley Fehr, University of Winnipeg

The mother-daughter bond is considered the strongest human bond. While there is little difference between how fathers and mothers love their children, daughters are more likely to care for their mothers.

Give the gift of sleep to moms with babies this Mother’s Day

Christine Ou, University of Victoria; Wendy Hall, University of British Columbia

Supporting mothers’ and infants’ sleep can decrease the stressors of motherhood, improve maternal mood and mental health and promote better infant development.

This Mother’s Day, help new moms return to exercise and leisure to support their physical and mental health

Dawn Trussell, Brock University; Jennifer Mooradian, Brock University; Shannon Hebblethwaite, Concordia University; Stephanie Paterson, Concordia University

Mothers with young children are consistently identified as having lower levels of physical activity and leisure opportunities, which place their physical and mental health at risk.

We need to reclaim the original intent of Mother’s Day

Sarita Srivastava, Queen's University, Ontario

Mother’s Day was originally a call for peace and justice. Some are advocating it be returned to a day of action and reflection.

The Conversation Weekly podcast

Neutrality: why countries choose not to join a war and what responsibilities come with it – podcast

Gemma Ware, The Conversation; Daniel Merino, The Conversation

In this episode of The Conversation Weekly podcast, we also explore the reasons by India’s neutrality over the Ukraine war.