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Abortion in Canada: Women share their concerns over access – CTV News

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With the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision to overturn Roe v. Wade, Susan Brison is reminded of her late sister’s decision to get an abortion in 1967, when the procedure was still illegal in Canada.

Brison’s sister, Kate Daller, had been 19 at the time, she said. It was after Brison’s family moved from northern British Columbia to Toronto that Daller became pregnant. Having only lived in Toronto for two years, Brison’s family wasn’t able to find a doctor willing to perform an abortion in the city, she said.

“My mother contacted our old family doctor, who we knew from Vancouver, and she begged him to help us, and he agreed,” Brison told CTVNews.ca in a telephone interview on Wednesday.

About three months along in her pregnancy, Daller flew to British Columbia for a surgical abortion.

“That poor young woman, terrified, [was] put on a plane for an illegal procedure … with a doctor who was horrified,” Brison said. “While flying home, [she was] hemorrhaging [and] continued to hemorrhage for several days at home before she was finally taken by ambulance to a hospital.”

At that point, Daller remained at the hospital for a few days and was questioned about whether she had an illegal abortion, Brison said. The doctor who performed the procedure also told Brison’s family to never contact him again.

In the late 1970s, when Brison decided to have an abortion herself, her experience was entirely different from that of her sister, who passed away in 2019. Brison was in her early 20s when she became pregnant despite using the Dalkon Shield, an intrauterine contraceptive device.

“We were poor… We had nothing to offer a child at that point,” Brison said.

Soon after realizing she was pregnant, Brison saw her general practitioner, who she said supported her decision to have an abortion. As of 1969, it had been legal to perform abortions in Canada under limited circumstances. In 1988, the procedure became completely decriminalized. Within less than a month, Brison had the procedure done at Mount Sinai Hospital in Toronto.

“Everything went very smoothly. There was no hassle, nobody was rude to me,” Brison said.

Brison is one of several women who reached out to CTVNews.ca to share their experiences with getting an abortion in Canada. But according to Meghan Doherty, the director of global policy and advocacy for Action Canada for Sexual Health and Rights, access to abortion is not as simple for all Canadians as it was for Brison, even today, despite the procedure being legal.

“I don’t think that’s a uniform experience across Canada,” Doherty told CTVNews.ca on Wednesday in a telephone interview.

GEOGRAPHICAL BARRIERS IN RURAL AREAS

In 2016, a United Nations Human Rights Commissioners report highlighted a concerning lack of access to abortion and related services in Canada. Action Canada for Sexual Health and Rights has a toll-free and confidential phone and text line that receives an average of 250 to 400 calls each month from those looking for information on abortion and other reproductive health services. One of the main concerns among callers is a lack of abortion providers in their community, particularly among those who live in rural areas, Doherty said.

“We see that a lot of smaller hospitals in these areas are having difficulties with staffing and in terms of the kinds of services that they’re able to offer,” said Doherty. “That is also reflected on the availability of abortion care.”

For some people, this means travelling to other parts of the country for an abortion, said Jill Doctoroff, executive director of the National Abortion Federation of Canada. This can lead to complex travel arrangements that might involve securing child care services if the person already has children, or taking time off work, she said.

“In rural parts of the country [with] communities that don’t have bus or train services and your nearest option for abortion care is in the next town over, that might be an hour away,” she said. “For people who have limited resources … figuring out how to pay for that can be really hard.”

Ariane Lachance had an abortion earlier this year. Thankfully, she said, she was able to have the procedure done at a women’s health clinic within walking distance from where she lives in Montreal.

Without the financial means to care for a child or support from a partner, the 24-year-old said she broke down crying when she discovered she was pregnant.

“The only option was to get an abortion,” Lachance told CTVNews.ca in a telephone interview on Wednesday.

After searching for clinics online and speaking to others who previously had an abortion themselves, she scheduled an appointment. Within a week, Lachance had the procedure.

“I can’t even imagine the struggle that these people must go through, either traveling out of state or out of country to get access,” she said.

RACIAL BARRIERS TO ACCESS

Since the introduction of medical abortion in 2017, which involves taking medication to induce an abortion, the procedure has become easier for those in remote communities to access, said Doctoroff. However, medical abortions can only be prescribed to those who have been pregnant for less than 10 weeks.

Beyond those early stages, surgical intervention is required, and the majority of those services are provided in urban centres, Doherty said.

Those who require an abortion later on in their pregnancy term face additional barriers to accessing services, Doctoroff said. In provinces such as Nova Scotia, surgical abortions are not performed after more than 16 weeks of pregnancy, for example. This may require people to travel to other parts of the country for the procedure. According to a study published by Action Canada for Sexual Health and Rights in 2019, no providers offer abortion services to Canadians more than 23 weeks and six days into their pregnancy. Those who are this far into their pregnancy and looking for an abortion often travel to the United States for the procedure instead.

Another group that often struggles to access abortion services is immigrants, said Doherty. Those without proper documentation may find it challenging to get an abortion, as they might not have health insurance to cover related costs.

Much of the systemic racism that exists in Canadian institutions also affects those looking to access abortion services in Canada, she said. This can lead to the discrimination of racialized communities, such as those who are Black, Indigenous or people of colour, in search of abortion services. The forced sterilization of Indigenous women that continues today is an example of the “racist treatment” racialized communities face in hospitals, said Doherty.

“Looking at health disparities across the country, we can see that people who are more likely to be subjected to discrimination on a range of grounds, but including race, are more likely to experience barriers in accessing all kinds of health services, including abortion,” Doherty said.

SCRUTINY AND SHAME AROUND ABORTION

Despite its decriminalization in Canada in 1988, stigma around abortion remains, Doherty said.

“We live in a patriarchal society with particular gender norms and anything that is in relation to sexuality and gender that goes beyond that very narrow frame often comes under scrutiny, and with it comes stigma,” she said.

The more people talk about abortion, and work to ensure that it’s available to everyone in Canada, the easier it will be to normalize it as a common procedure and break the stigma, Doherty said.

For Jenn Howson, who lives in Calgary, the process of getting an abortion in 2018 was relatively hassle-free, she said. At 38 years old, Howson became pregnant unexpectedly. She and her husband already had a child together, and were not in the financial position to have another, she said.

“In that case, [abortion] was an option … that was available to me, and I had choices to make,” Howson told CTVNews.ca on Wednesday in a telephone interview. “If we relate it to stuff that’s happening south of the border, they don’t have that choice.”

After calling to book the appointment, Howson said she had a surgical abortion within a couple of weeks during her first trimester at a nearby hospital.

“I did a quick Google search, found the phone number to call [and] called them,” Howson said, describing the process to book an appointment. “It was quick and easy … that’s how it should be when it comes to anything for our health.”

Despite the relatively easy process, Howson said she faced mental barriers related to the stigma around having an abortion, fearing that others might think of her for having the procedure.

In addition to her abortion in 2018, Howson previously underwent a dilation and curettage procedure in 2011. Howson had the procedure, which is considered a method of early abortion, after suffering a miscarriage.

“Abortions are also done because they’re medically necessary,” she said. “We shouldn’t be shamed to have these types of procedures.”

In sharing her story, Howson hopes to contribute to a conversation where people realize it’s OK to talk about openly abortion. Part of the solution also lies in health-care providers being more vocal about the abortion services they provide, said Dr. Sarah Munro, an assistant professor of obstetrics and gynaecology at the University of British Columbia.

While most people may think they need to go to a clinic for an abortion, medical abortions in particular can be accessed through primary health-care providers, she said.

“It can be challenging, because of internalized stigma, for a client to ask their primary care provider about abortion options,” Munro told CTVNews.ca in a telephone interview on Wednesday. “In turn, it can be challenging for primary care providers to advertise to their clients that this is part of [their] practice.

“Stigma goes both ways.”

Along with increased awareness of abortion services, Action Canada for Sexual Health and Rights is also calling on the federal government to grant more funding so that clinics can keep up with demand, a struggle health centres in Ontario and Alberta continue to face, Doherty said.

With files from CTVNews.ca’s Rhythm Sachdeva and The Canadian Press 

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Top soldier says he won't confirm or deny that Canadians troops are on the ground in Ukraine – CBC News

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Canada’s top soldier is declining to confirm media reports that Canadian military members are on the ground in Ukraine to train locals in fighting invading Russian forces.

Gen. Wayne Eyre, Canada’s chief of the defence staff, appeared on Power & Politics on Monday following reports from Global News and the New York Times that Canadian Forces special operations members are training Ukrainians during Russia’s ongoing invasion. 

But when asked about the reports, Eyre said the military is “never going to talk about discreet or sensitive special operations or confirm or deny them.”

He called the media reports “disappointing” and speculative.

“If it was true, it would put our troops at risk. And why would anyone deliberately want to put Canadian troops at risk?” Eyre said. 

WATCH | Eyre says media speculation feeds Russian disinformation: 

Gen. Eyre declines to say if Canadian troops operating in Ukraine

23 hours ago

Duration 8:44

Chief of Defence Staff General Wayne Eyre declines to confirm reports that Canadian special forces are on the ground operating in Ukraine in a training capacity: “We’re never going to talk about discreet or sensitive special operations.”

Host Vassy Kapelos asked whether or not it’s problematic for Canadians not to have an accurate depiction of the country’s participation in a war.

“The other aspect we need to think about is speculation in the media feeds Russian disinformation as well,” Eyre said. “We’re seeing, as the character of war evolves … disinformation is itself becoming a weapon. So we just need to be very, very cognizant of that aspect as well.”

“Does that mean that if Canadian soldiers are on the ground in Ukraine at any point during this conflict, Canadians will not be aware of that?” Kapelos asked. 

“Every situation is going to be different,” Eyre replied. “You balance transparency with operational security and try to find that sweet spot in the middle.”

Last week, Defence Minister Anita Anand announced Canada will commit a contingent of soldiers to the British Army’s program to turn Ukrainian civilians into fighting troops. That training will be held in the U.K.

The plan amounts to the restart of Operation Unifier, the long-standing training mission which saw — until its suspension last winter — more than 33,000 Ukrainian soldiers given advanced combat instruction by Canadian soldiers.

That mission, conducted on Ukrainian soil, was halted and the troops pulled out of the eastern European country in mid-February on the eve of the full-scale Russian invasion.

The new iteration involves up to 225 personnel, the majority of whom will work as trainers, supported by a command and control element, Anand said.

The initial deployment is expected to be four months.

“Training is something that we have done very, very well and has proven to be of great value to our Ukrainian friends, starting with the start of Operation Unifier,” Eyre said Monday. “That’s something we want to continue.” 

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Beware the Darkverse and the Cyber-Physical Threats it Will Enable

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DALLAS, August 8, 2022 – Trend Micro Incorporated (TYO: 4704; TSE: 4704), a global cybersecurity leader, today released a new report warning of a “darkverse” of criminality hidden from law enforcement, which could quickly evolve to fuel a new industry of metaverse-related cybercrime.

To read a full copy of the report, Metaverse or MetaWorse? Cyber Security Threats Against the Internet of Experiences, please visit: https://www.trendmicro.com/vinfo/us/security/news/cybercrime-and-digital-threats/metaworse-the-trouble-with-the-metaverse.

The top five metaverse threats outlined in the report are:

  • NFTs will be hit by phishing, ransom, fraud and other attacks, which will be increasingly targeted as they become an important metaverse commodity to regulate ownership.
  • The darkverse will become the go-to place for conducting illegal/criminal activities because it will be difficult to trace, monitor and infiltrate by law enforcement. In fact, it may be years before police catch up.
  • Money laundering using overpriced metaverse real estate and NFTs will provide a new outlet for criminals to clean cash.
  • Social engineering, propaganda and fake news will have a profound impact in a cyber-physical world. Influential narratives will be employed by criminals and state actors targeting vulnerable groups who are sensitive to certain topics.
  • Privacy will be redefined, as metaverse-like space operators will have unprecedented visibility into user actions – essentially when using their worlds, there will be zero privacy as we know it.

Bill Malik, vice president of infrastructure strategies for Trend Micro: “The metaverse is a multibillion-dollar hi-tech vision that will define the next internet era. Although we don’t know exactly how it will develop, we need to start thinking now about how it will be exploited by threat actors. Given the high costs and jurisdictional challenges, law enforcement will struggle to police the metaverse in general in its early years. The security community must step in now or risk a new Wild West to develop on our digital doorstep.”

As imagined by Trend Micro, the darkverse will resemble a metaverse version of the dark web, enabling threat actors to coordinate and carry out illegal activities with impunity.

Underground marketplaces operating in the darkverse would be impossible for police to infiltrate without the correct authentication tokens. Because users can only access a darkverse world if they’re inside a designated physical location, there’s an additional level of protection for closed criminal communities.

This could provide a haven for multiple threats to flourish—from financial fraud and e-commerce scams to NFT theft, ransomware and more. The cyber-physical nature of the metaverse will also open new doors to threat actors.

Cybercriminals might look to compromise the “digital twin” spaces run by critical infrastructure operators, for sabotage or extortion of industrial systems. Or they could deploy malware to metaverse users’ full body actuator suits to cause physical harm. Assault of avatars has already been reported on several occasions.

Although a fully-fledged metaverse is still some years away, metaverse-like spaces will be commonplace much sooner. Trend Micro’s report seeks to start an urgent dialog about what cyber threats to expect and how they could be mitigated.

Questions to start asking include:

  • How will we moderate user activity and speech in the metaverse? And who will be responsible?
  • How will copyright infringements be policed and enforced?
  • How will users know whether they’re interacting with a real person or a bot? Will there be a Turing Test to validate AI/humans?
  • Is there a way to safeguard privacy by preventing the metaverse from becoming dominated by a few large tech companies?
  • How can law enforcement overcome the high costs of intercepting metaverse crimes at scale, and solve issues around jurisdiction?

About Trend Micro

Trend Micro, a global cybersecurity leader, helps make the world safe for exchanging digital information. Fueled by decades of security expertise, global threat research, and continuous innovation, Trend Micro’s cybersecurity platform protects hundreds of thousands of organizations and millions of individuals across clouds, networks, devices, and endpoints. As a leader in cloud and enterprise cybersecurity, the platform delivers a powerful range of advanced threat defense techniques optimized for environments like AWS, Microsoft, and Google, and central visibility for better, faster detection and response. With 7,000 employees across 65 countries, Trend Micro enables organizations to simplify and secure their connected world. www.TrendMicro.com.  

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Mike Tyson up in arms with Hulu claims it stole his story

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Los Angeles, United States of America (USA)- Former heavyweight boxing champion, Mike Tyson, has accused American streaming service, Hulu, of making a biographical series about his life without his approval and providing him with compensation.

In an Instagram post, Tyson made it clear that he doesn’t support the series, called Mike, and said that Hulu is the streaming version of the slave master.

“Don’t let Hulu fool you. I don’t support their story about my life. It’s not 1822. It’s 2022. They stole my life story and didn’t pay me. To Hulu executives, I am just a n—– they can sell on the auction block.

Hulu tried to desperately pay my brother (UFC president) Dana White millions without offering me a dollar to promote their slave master take-over story about my life. He turned it down because he honours friendship and treats people with dignity. I will never forget what he did for me just like I will never forget what Hulu stole from me.

Hulu stole my story. They are Goliath and I am David. Heads will roll for this. Hulu is the streaming version of the slave master. They stole my story and didn’t pay me. Hulu’s model of stealing the life rights of celebrities is egregiously greedy.

(Neither) Hulu nor any of their supercilious team ever tried to engage in any negotiations with this black man. In their eyes, I am still just a n—– on the auction block ready to be sold for their profit without any regard for my worth or my family. They say this story is an exploration of a black man. It’s more like an exploitation of a black man.

Hulu thinks their tracks are covered by hiring black sacrificial lambs to play the part of frontmen for their backdoor robbery is appalling, but I will always remember this blatant disregard of my dignity.

Someone should get fired from Hulu. Producers were lying to my friends saying I supported the unauthorized series about my life,” said Tyson in an Instagram post.

The eight-episode season of Mike which is set to premiere on the 25th of August stars Michael Jai White, George C. Scott, Paul Winfield, Malcolm-Jamal Warner, and Tony Lo Bianco. The show is directed by Uli Edel.

According to Hulu, Mike is an eight-episode limited series, which explores the tumultuous ups and downs of Tyson’s boxing career and personal life from being a beloved global athlete to a pariah and back again.

 

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