April 15, 2011 ( – Canada’s Green Party leader Elizabeth May says she is “very militant” about promoting “access to legal, safe abortions, whenever a woman needs one.”

In an interview this week with the Georgia Straight, she said her views have been “massively misreported” since she made some confusing statements in 2006 suggesting she was “against abortion.”  “Being misreported on it has driven me slightly mad,” she said.

When she made the comments, she was simply trying to tell some nuns “why their belief in right to life means that they should support abortion,” she explained.

At a meeting with the Sisters of Saint Joseph in London during a 2006 by-election, May insisted she believes abortion should legal.  But at the same time she noted, “If one group of people say a woman has a right to choose, I get queasy because I’m against abortion.”

“I don’t think a woman has a frivolous right to choose,” she added.  “What I don’t want is a desperate woman to die in an illegal abortion.”

The remarks prompted an open letter from militant feminist and abortion activist Judy Rebick, who renounced her support for the Green Party.

But May told the Georgia Straight that there is “no room for going backwards” on abortion.  “It’s a personally difficult decision. You can’t trivialize how hard that choice is,” she said.  “But a women has a right to make that choice, and it’s not a morally wrong decision by any means.”

The Green Party officially supports unrestricted abortion access and requires all members to endorse that position.  Last year, the party slammed Prime Minister Stephen Harper for excluding abortion from the government’s G8 maternal health initiative, saying the country was “embarrassed on the world stage.”  May herself accused the government of “inserting its ideology” into the plan.


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