OTTAWA, May 20, 2014 ( – Following backlash from both sides of the abortion debate regarding his statement that there is no room for pro-lifers in the Liberal Party, Justin Trudeau sent an -e-mail to supporters yesterday reiterating that his Catholicism – as well as his dissent from Catholic moral teaching on abortion, homosexuality, divorce, and other issues –are a cherished legacy from his father, former Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau.

Justin Trudeau said, “I had an extraordinary example in a father who had deeply, deeply held personal views that were informed by the fact that he went to church every Sunday, read the Bible regularly to us, and raised us very, very religious, very Catholic.”


“But at the same time he had no problem legalizing divorce, decriminalizing homosexuality, and moving in ways that recognized the basic rights of the people,” he said. “He too held fast to his beliefs, but he also understood that as leaders, as political figures, and as representatives of a larger community, our utmost responsibility is to stand up for people’s rights.”

Trudeau concluded the e-mail, “Canadians of all views are welcome within the Liberal Party of Canada. But under my leadership, incoming Liberal MPs will always vote in favor of a woman’s fundamental rights,” a reference to supporting abortion-on-demand. “When it comes to actively supporting women’s rights, our party must speak with one voice.”

The e-mail, as reported by the Toronto Star, simply repeats what Trudeau said in an interview with the Ottawa Citizen on May 15.

The mainstream media, which often has little time for those who oppose abortion, have indicated Trudeau may have gone too far with his call for a litmus test in the Liberal Party.

“Canada is not done with complex debates over public policy riddled with morality,” the editors of the Winnipeg Free Press stated. “Euthanasia is a pressing legal and political debate that will demand consideration of all its implications. If Mr. Trudeau would have his MPs relinquish autonomy on a question so intimate as abortion, on what issue will he see fit to allow them the freedom to dissent?”

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Other mainstream news sources called Trudeau a “hypocrite,” “dictatorial,” “as intolerant and doctrinaire as any fundamentalist cult,” and accused him of enforcing “rigid, top-down ideological control.”


In his blog, communications director for the Canadian Centre for Bioethical Reform (CCBR) Jonathon van Maren writes that “the media backlash against Justin and Niki [Ashton of the NDP] seems to indicate that even the typically 1968-esque pro-'choice' media realize that the abortion debate is open and never really closed.”