(Ottawa) Canada’s anti-abortion movement is fueled by a draft US Supreme Court decision Roe v. Waden. On the eve of its annual high mass on Parliament Hill, the Campaign Life Coalition (CLC) is holding a press conference this Wednesday before the Supreme Court of Canada to denounce the liberals’ resolve to defend this right in the country.
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This marks the very first time that the anti-abortion organization, one of the most influential in socially conservative circles in Canada, has erected a lectern in front of the country’s highest court building. The choice of location is of course not trivial, says Pete Baklinski of CLC. “The symbolism is important; this is where the Morgentaler judgment fell in 1988 [qui décriminalisait l’avortement] he notes.
He continues enthusiastically. “The draft leak could not have come at a better time for us. This is an issue that a lot of people think is closed, but with what just happened in the United States, it’s coming back to life in Canada,” he says before confirming Justin Trudeau’s “proposing turning the abortion into a law.” because “he and others defending women’s right to kill an unborn baby are concerned about the ramifications the US decision could have in Canada”.
The Canadian Prime Minister caused some confusion when he said a week ago that he was not ruling out the idea of legalizing abortion. But there is no question of a government bill aimed at regulating abortion, the government has assured.
We want to act on other fronts. For example, in the 2021 Liberal Election Platform, we pledged to punish counties that hinder access to sexual and reproductive health care and to stop allocating anti-abortion groups from charitable organizations.
The latter will of course meet resistance in the conservative ranks. At the conclusion of the House round of questions last Tuesday, three elected Alberta officials led the charge by each filing a petition with identical wording denouncing this measure which “could jeopardize the status of a charitable organization.” hospitals, places of worship, schools, homeless shelters and other organizations […] who do not share the same opinion as the Liberal Party on this point”.
The Trudeau administration will announce funding this Wednesday afternoon to improve access to abortion services. The Minister of Health, Jean-Yves Duclos, and the Minister for Women and Gender Equality, Marci Ien, will explain the financial support measures in more detail.
“The debate is open”
Year in, year out, in May, conservative elected officials and senators take part in the “National March for Life” in the federal capital. In 2017, the party’s leading race had been invited to the rally – the one who would win thanks to the anti-abortion vote, Andrew Scheer, didn’t show up, but he went to the mound of deputies standing behind him, just filling out support.
This year, the Saskatchewan man set his sights on Pierre Poilievre, as did the majority of anti-abortion elected officials, that is, more than a third (just over 20 elected officials) of those in their fifties. support it.
It’s clear that Leslyn Lewis, whose “no hidden program” about “pro-life policies” convinced some: Six elected officials are behind the one who caused the surprise by taking third in the final race for management, in 2019.
The anti-abortion voice that Mme Lewis had managed to unite and then took advantage of Erin O’Toole.
In the preferential vote on September 10, such a transfer of votes could benefit Pierre Poilievre.
However, the CLC does not carry this one at heart.
[Pierre Poilievre] turned his back on his old anti-abortion beliefs [et] as the […] does this to exert greater appeal among the populace, it will continue to haunt him.
Pete Baklinski, CLC Director of Communications
In the camp of the director concerned, spokesman Anthony Koch responded with satisfaction by stating that “a government of Poilievre will not propose or support legislation that restricts abortion in any way”.
A position shared by his opponents, including Jean Charest.
On the set of the first debate between five of the six candidates for leadership last Thursday in Ottawa, Leslyn Lewis tried to push the issue of abortion, without much success. “She underlined the fact that voters still don’t know the position of the other candidates,” said her spokesperson, Catherine Mongenais.
But the case is being heard before the CLC. “For conservatives, our message is this: the abortion debate is open,” argues Pete Baklinski.
We’ll have to see if we hear about it Wednesday night in Edmonton, Alberta, during the party’s first-supervised oratorical contest, which will be in English.
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- Proportion of conservative Quebec MPs who support the right to abortion – that’s 10. Among them, only Pierre Paul-Hus supports Pierre Poilievre.