OTTAWA, May 12, 2014 ( – The New Democrats' critic for the Status of Women tabled a motion last week asking the House of Commons to affirm a “woman’s right to choose abortion” as a “fundamental question of equality and human rights.”

New Democrat MP Niki Ashton filed the motion on Thursday, the same day that about 23,000 marched in the nation’s capital protesting abortion and one day after Liberal leader Justin Trudeau announced that pro-life candidates would be barred from running in the Liberal Party’s ‘open’ nominations.

“The NDP is a pro-choice party,” said Ashton, MP for the riding of Churchill, Manitoba. “Each and every one of my colleagues agrees – women should have the right to make their own decisions in matters of health. Our position is clear and unequivocal, and this is an opportunity for other Parliamentarians to take a stand.”


After Trudeau’s announcement Wednesday, New Democrat leader Thomas Mulcair reiterated his party’s policy that all candidates must support legal abortion, and criticized Trudeau for allowing sitting MPs who are pro-life to run in 2015.

The motion was tabled “in order to clearly establish the right of women to choose what they do with their bodies,” stated an NDP news release.

Jack Fonseca, project manager for Campaign Life Coalition, said that Ashton’s motion proves the NDP to be a “collection of abortion-loving extremists.”

“The last time I checked, when you kill innocent people, that represents a human rights violation not a flowering of equality,” Fonseca told LifeSiteNews.

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Fonseca called it “absurd” that Ashton’s motion addresses “gender equality,” pointing out that abortion kills a “preborn baby girl almost every other time.”

“Some ‘gender equality’ Ms. Ashton! And never mind the pesky issue of female gendercide, wherein girls are targeted for death just because they’re girls.”

Ashton’s motion also asks the House to affirm that the “key priorities” of the government at the international Summit on Maternal, Newborn and Child Health happening in Toronto at the end of the month should include supporting “reproductive health care including the full range of family planning, sexual and reproductive health options.”

Ashton would also have the House affirm that the government should begin once again to fund programs in the developing world that consist of a “full range of family planning and reproductive health care options including abortion.”

But Fonseca said the motion’s passage would “harm African women and children by siphoning scarce money away from life-saving necessities, and towards medically unnecessary abortions.”

“Already, the maternal health initiative is admirably but inadequately trying to tackle the gargantuan problem of insufficient clean water, immunizations and a lack of obstetric and neonatal hospitals throughout Africa.”

“There’s simply not enough money to spread around to all the areas of need on the impoverished continent. And yet, Ashton wants to divert what little money is available for these unmet needs, to serve what I believe is a crass political objective,” he said.

It is not clear at this point if the motion will be debated in time for the May 28-30 summit.