VANCOUVER, June 1, 2004 ( – In a noon-hour press conference broadcast from B.C. today, Prime Minister Paul Martin said “I believe a woman should have the right to choose.”  CBC Newsworld aired the conference live.  During the conference a reporter said, “Abortion has emerged as one of the issues that the conservatives want to reopen.”  He asked Prime Minister Martin, “Do you feel abortion is to going to become one of the distinguishing issues during this election campaign.”  The Prime Minister responded, “I would really hope not.  Um . . . um I’ve stated my position. Um, I’m a legislator I believe that women should have the right to choose.”  Martin conceded, “This is obviously an issue that is of great concern to Canadians on both sides,” but said he hoped that the election would deal with other issues.  The Prime Minister was subsequently asked, “How do you feel about third party counselling for abortions, and the fact that a Conservative MP is embarking upon that?”  He responded, “I expressed my view at a high school yesterday, its quite natural if you are in a high school and a young woman asks you about this you should always refer to counselling, but I think, my view is that it’s a woman’s right to choose.”