OTTAWA, Sept. 24, 2012 (LifeSiteNews.com) – Prime Minister Stephen Harper and his Conservative Party say they will allow a free vote on Stephen Woodworth’s pro-life motion, which will be up for a vote on Wednesday.
The news comes as Harper and top members in his government have worked to defeat the motion after repeated pledges that they would not reopen the abortion debate.
CBC reporter Kady O’Malley reported on Twitter Monday afternoon that she had confirmed with the office of Government Whip Gordon O’Connor that the vote on M-312 will be free, both for ministers and backbench MPs.
O’Connor had lambasted the motion in its first hour of debate in April, insisting abortion “cannot be eliminated” and is “part of the human condition.”
Motion 312 proposes to set up a special committee to re-examine section 223 of Canada’s Criminal Code, which stipulates that a child only becomes a human being once he or she has fully proceeded from the womb.
Prime Minister Harper, along with all other party leaders, has pledged to vote against the motion and reports indicate that he has pressured Conservative MPs to do so as well. In April, he said it was “unfortunate” that the motion was even deemed votable.
On Monday afternoon, Immigration Minister Jason Kenney - considered a possible successor to Harper as Conservative leader - threw his support behind Woodworth and called for a “respectful debate” on abortion.
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