Liberal leader Justin Trudeau has re-emphasized his insistence that his party’s MPs must support access to abortion by stressing that the “right” to abortion trumps even an MP’s freedom of expression.
“I have had a lot of Liberals come up to me and say, 'I don’t quite understand, isn’t the Liberal party about freedom and about defending people’s rights?'” Trudeau told CBC’s Michael Enright during an interview on The Sunday Edition.
“Absolutely it is,” he continued. “And the rights that women have fought for over decades to be in control of their own bodies and to control their own reproductive health is not a right I’m going to brush aside to defend the freedom of speech or the freedom to vote a particular way for an MP.”
Trudeau reiterated once again that Liberal MPs would be forced to vote against any future legislation limiting abortion.
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“If they vote in favour of restricting women's access to abortion, that’s taking away their rights. And that is something that we will not accept in the Liberal party. We are the party of the Charter of Rights and Freedoms and that’s a serious, serious position that Liberals have to defend. It’s time the Liberal party actually defended rights,” he said.
While the Charter states that “Everyone has the right to life” and the “fundamental freedom of conscience,” at no place does it mention a woman’s right to kill her offspring. While abortion was completely decriminalized in Canada following the 1988 Morgentaler decision, at no point did any legislative body give women a right to this procedure.
When asked if his pro-abortion policy would cost him the Catholic vote, Trudeau responded by calling himself “Catholic,” adding that Catholics were first upset when Liberal governments brought in legal divorce and decriminalized homosexuality but learned to accept them.
Because of Trudeau’s abortion edict issued in May, Canada’s leading pro-life political activist organization Campaign Life Coalition is advising “any person who has pro-life beliefs not to support any candidate seeking election under the Liberal Party banner.”
The next federal election is scheduled for 2015.