OTTAWA, December 6, 2012, (LifeSiteNews.com) - Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s office says the Conservative government will oppose a motion calling on Parliament to condemn sex selective abortion.
Motion 408 was filed in September by Tory MP Mark Warawa (Langley) in the wake of a January report in the Canadian Medical Association Journal that called for measures to combat the deadly practice in Canada’s Asian immigrant population.
But Harper’s press secretary, Carl Vallée, told LifeSiteNews.com on Thursday that the government “is opposed to opening this debate.”
“Parliament has voted on this issue. We don’t think it should be opened again,” he added.
The news comes as the Harper government has ignored thousands of complaints after Statistics Canada confirmed that 491 aborted babies had been born alive and later died between 2000 and 2009.
The government’s stance on Motion 408 is “disappointing” but “not unexpected,” said Jim Hughes, National President of Campaign Life Coalition, which is promoting the motion through a petition campaign.
“It’s too bad that this present government has its head in the sand. We will continue to do everything we can to promote life in Parliament and to support Warawa’s efforts,” Hughes said.
Prime Minister Harper and most of the Tory caucus also voted against a bill seeking to ban abortion coercion in 2010.
Vallée’s comments on Thursday were taken directly from a memo distributed internally Wednesday by the Prime Minister’s Office and obtained by LifeSiteNews.
The memo notes that the Opposition parties are “saying that our government is trying to use Private Members’ Motions to reopen the abortion debate,” and then includes the same statements used by Vallée.
Warawa told a press conference Wednesday that it would be “shocking” if the Opposition parties voted against the motion given that all of Canada’s federal parties have condemned the practice of sex selection.
But the same day New Democrat leader Thomas Mulcair said his entire caucus will vote against the motion, reiterating the Opposition’s view that the Harper government is trying to ban abortion through the backdoor.
“We’re not going to be fooled by Stephen Harper and his troops,” the Opposition leader told reporters. “I mean, they’ve been up to this for a number of years now.”
“We know what it’s really about. It’s Stephen Harper and his Reform Party base trying to reopen the abortion debate,” he added. “We’re not going to be fooled by that. We know exactly what this is about.”
Warawa filed the motion on Sept. 26th, the day that his colleague Stephen Woodworth’s motion to re-examine the status of the unborn was defeated.
He says he expects M-408 to be debated in March, with a vote by the end of April or sometime in May.
The motion reads: “That the House condemn discrimination against females occurring through sex-selective pregnancy termination.”
Warawa says he was prompted to take on sex selective abortion after a CBC sting in June found commercial ultrasound facilities agreeing to scan solely for gender for the purposes of sex selection. The news service found three quarters of the twenty-two facilities they visited in different Canadian cities were willing to do the scans.
A poll by Environics in 2011, commissioned by LifeCanada, found that 92 percent of Canadians wanted sex-selective abortions banned.