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TORONTO, Ontario, July 20, 2011 (LifeSiteNews.com) – Long-time abortion advocate Premier Dalton McGuinty has taken Progressive Conservative leader Tim Hudak to task over an apparent about-face on his views on abortion – an occurrence that has led Canada’s leading pro-life group to accuse the pro-abortion McGuinty of being a “hypocrite,” because he himself once declared that “life begins at conception.”

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On Tuesday, Premier McGuinty urged Hudak to state a clear position on abortion after the PC leader refused to tell reporters whether he identifies as “pro-life.”

Hudak had indicated pro-life sentiments to Campaign Life Coalition when he first ran for the provincial legislature in 1995.  He said Tuesday that he signed a petition in 1998 calling for abortion to be defunded.

But he insisted Monday that he has no intention of opening debate on abortion.  “There’s been a law on [abortion] since 1988. Prime Minister Harper has said he’s not reopening the issue, nor are we,” he said.

McGuinty’s Liberals quickly seized on Hudak’s apparent reversal.  “[Hudak] does one thing then says another and tries to pretend he didn’t do it,” Liberal Finance Minister Dwight Duncan told Postmedia on Monday. “I think integrity is an issue . . . He’s trying to have it both ways.”

But Campaign Life Coalition, the political arm of Canada’s pro-life movement, said Wednesday that McGuinty is a “hypocrite” and a “traitor” because his own views on abortion have apparently changed over the years as well.

In a CLC questionnaire leading into the 1995 provincial election, McGuinty said he believed “life begins at conception,” and he pledged to support measures designed to ensure women can make informed choices about abortion.

“Dalton McGuinty has managed to overcome his stated principles on the sanctity of life,” said Jim Hughes, National President of Campaign Life Coalition.  “In 1995 he signed the [CLC] questionnaire and stated he believed human life begins at conception, which of course it does. Now he pompously trumpets to the media that he supports a woman’s right to choose to kill that life.”

“Hypocrite that he is, he attacks Tim Hudak, leader of the Opposition, who has also declared his pro-life stand in the past, to pony up as the brave McGuinty has done,” Hughes added.

McGuinty’s views are a far cry from those of his father, a devout Catholic whose sterling reputation the future premier built his political career upon.

In December 1988, in the wake of the Supreme Court’s decision to strike down Canada’s abortion law, Dalton McGuinty, Sr., who was the MPP for the riding of Ottawa South, which his son would later take over when his father died of a heart attack in 1990, issued a strong statement in which he insisted that “an abortion at any stage of pregnancy is a direct attack on the life of the unborn.”

“The baby the woman is carrying is a baby. And everybody knows it!” the late MPP wrote.  “The measure of a society’s morality … is reflected in its attitude towards the most vulnerable – the poor, the elderly, the infirm, retarded, insane – and the unborn.”

“The unborn must be fully protected from conception until birth, except where the life of the mother is threatened,” he added. “Anything less is unworthy of a society which considers itself to be civilized.”

McGuinty Jr., however, who also professes to be Catholic, has been a staunch supporter of abortion access throughout his tenure as premier.  In 2007, he slammed Pope Benedict XVI after the pontiff reiterated the Church’s policy of forbidding Communion to pro-abortion politicians.

“There are very few political leaders who would allow all of their actions to be informed exclusively by dictates of the church,” said McGuinty.  “I have a different constituency than does the Pope. I am responsible for representing all kinds of people from all kinds of different backgrounds, different faiths, different cultures, different traditions.”

Mary Ellen Douglas, National Organizer of Campaign Life Coalition, said both Hudak and McGuinty are “cowards” for choosing political gain rather than to defend the rights of children in the womb.

“A coward kills a defenseless child in the womb and a coward declares publicly that he supports such a position to win votes. This is not the kind of leader any province or country needs,” she insisted. “What does it profit a man to gain the whole world and lose his soul (Matthew 16:26)  … but for political gain, shame on both of you.”

Campaign Life Coalition urged voters to be aware of politician who are running Ontario’s October 6th election, and only vote for those who will stand up for life.

See www.campaignlifecoalition.com for the organization’s candidate evaluations and election resources. CLC says it will continue to add additional information to the page right up to election day.

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