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A Tory motion to debate Liberal Premier Brian Gallant’s decision to scrap part of the province’s abortion regulations was stifled in the Legislature on Thursday, due to what a local pro-life leader called political “shenanigans.”

The motion — put forward by PC MLA and Status of Women critic Dorothy Shephard and seconded by PC MLA Jody Carr — urged the government to delay implementing “any changes to abortion services” until they could be debated in the House.

Peter Ryan, executive director of the New Brunswick Right to Life Association, told LifeSiteNews that when the motion was put forward, the Liberal government resorted to an amendment designed to kill the motion. The amendment, put forward by reputedly pro-life Liberal MLA Bill Fraser, stated in effect that the government would accept the motion only if all members unanimously agreed that all remaining time in the current sitting in the Legislature be devoted to debating the issue, he said.

“The whole purpose was designed to kibosh any meaningful debate,” said Ryan. “Its whole purpose was to dispose of the [Tory] motion in a very conniving way.”

Ryan also said local pro-lifers were “shocked” that Fraser was behind the amendment. Fraser had told pro-lifers at a rally in the spring that Mr. Gallant’s abortion views would not be imposed on him or “anyone in our caucus.” Ryan criticized Fraser for speaking “out of both sides of his mouth” by saying that he is pro-life while at the same time supporting the Liberal government’s abortion agenda.

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The new measures include striking the requirement that two doctors certify the abortion is “medically required” and allows any doctor to perform abortions.

Ryan said it was a “dark day” in the province’s history.

“Members had a window [yesterday] to consider the plight of thousands of pre-born children and vulnerable women whose lives will be put at risk by the pending removal of abortion restrictions January 1. Most chose to slam that window shut. To use a biblical term, they hardened their hearts. Innocent children will die as a result,” he said in a press release.

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