As more than 20,000 pro-lifers gathered on Parliament Hill last week, Niki Ashton, the New Democratic Party (NDP) Status of Women critic, was putting together a motion that will see abortion debated in the House of Commons before MPs head back to their ridings for the summer.
It is Motion 510 and states: That, in the opinion of the House: (a) a women’s right to choose abortion is a fundamental question of equality and human rights, both in Canada and around the world; (b) the key priorities of the government during the upcoming international summit on child and maternal health on May 28-30, 2014 should include empowering women globally, promoting gender equality and supporting reproductive health care including the full range of family planning, sexual and reproductive health options; and (c) the government should lift its policy of refusing to fund international programs that support a full range of family planning and reproductive health care options including abortion.
The motion was introduced under private members business but has now become an Opposition Motion. This means that it will most certainly be put forward this week Wednesday or Thursday (Opposition Days when the Opposition gets to set the agenda) for debate.
While I applaud Niki Ashton and the NDP for finally acknowledging that abortion is not a settled issue in Canada, it is clear they are out of line with the majority of Canadians in regards to their extreme position on the legality of abortion. Every poll taken on the subject of abortion, no matter how it is phrased, shows that Canadians are unsettled by the status quo.
The current government, led by Prime Minister Stephen Harper have always held to the position of not re-opening this debate. In spite of this being the Prime Minister’s stance we have seen individual members of his caucus put forward private members motions addressing abortion. The last such motion was put forward by Conservative MP Mark Warawa in which he sought to have the House of Commons condemn sex-selective abortion. Motion 408 as it was called did not even make it to the floor as it was deemed non-votable by a parliamentary sub-committee. At the time many political pundits placed responsibility for the demise of Mr. Warawa’s motion directly with the Prime Minister.
Therefore, it is interesting that the NDP is intentionally placing the divisive issue back on the agenda. Some believe this is a response to Liberal Party leader, Justin Trudeau’s recent comments that pro-lifers were essentially going to be banned from his party. While it remains to be seen if Motion 510 will expose the pro-life component of the Liberal Party, one this is clear; Ms. Ashton and her NDP colleagues are blind to the reality that Canada is the most permissive nation in the democratic world when it comes to abortion access and support.
Canada is the only country, apart from China and North Korea, without laws protecting pre-born humans.
One wonders how far pro-abortion politicians want us to go? Along with China’s brutal one-child policy, the Communist dictatorship also forces their citizens to have abortions. This has resulted in a gender imbalance: abortions are carried out more often when the pre-born child is a girl. Now it seems as if the NDP wants to force its pro-abortion mantra on the rest of Canada and on the underdeveloped areas of the world that are most susceptible to gendercide.
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It has been over twenty-five years since any children were protected before birth. When the Supreme Court asked Parliament to draft constitutionally sound abortion laws, they never envisioned a legal wasteland as we have today. Therefore I look forward to vigorous debate on Motion 510 and anticipate that MPs will have the freedom to vote according to their conscience and take into account the feedback from constituents.
Regardless of the outcome of this vote, the political leadership of the NDP, Liberal, and Conservative parties are out of touch with the sentiments of Canadians on this sensitive issue. Polls consistently show that up to two thirds of Canadians would support restrictions on abortion.
Canadians understand that this motion invokes fundamental human rights, but in a way that Ms. Ashton seems to be blind to. Human rights must begin when the human being begins. If the protection of rights is not guaranteed to all human beings than the entire concept itself is fallacious.