TORONTO, Ontario, July 18, 2011 (LifeSiteNews.com) – The head of Ontario’s Progressive Conservative party said Monday he has no intention of re-opening debate on abortion.
Tim Hudak told reporters that he plans take the approach of Prime Minister Stephen Harper on the issue. He reportedly refused to answer repeated questions about whether he would consider himself “pro-life.”
During the 2009 PC Party leadership race, Hudak’s campaign told the Association for Reformed Political Action that he is pro-life and “has signed petitions calling for abortion defunding and conscience legislation.”
The statement was picked up in recent days by pro-abortion bloggers, such as Liberal “spin-doctor” Warren Kinsella, in the lead-up to Ontario’s October 6th provincial election.
But Hudak backed off of his previous position Monday, and said only that he “may have” signed a petition calling for abortions to be defunded.
“I may have signed a petition from my riding in that respect but listen, I’ve been clear — we would not reopen this debate,” he said, according to the Toronto Sun. “I said that throughout our leadership campaign.”
“There’s been a law on this since 1988. Prime Minister Harper has said he’s not reopening the issue, nor are we,” he added.
Mary Ellen Douglas, president of Campaign Life Coalition Ontario, called Hudak’s statements a “great disappointment.”
“With Liberal leader [McGuinty] you really have nothing to go on to save the lives of unborn children,” she explained. “And now the Conservative leader, who can’t appear to stand on his own two feet and make a moral statement to save the lives of the babies in Ontario.”
“We’re greatly disappointed and we’ll continue to look for candidates in both parties that have more backbone than him,” she added.
Hudak had told Campaign Life Coalition when he first ran for the provincial legislature in 1995 that he believed “it is the government’s role to promote the choice of life in childbearing decisions, to encourage women to carry the babies to term and, if the child is unwanted, to give them up for adoption.”
But he has not completed CLC’s questionnaire since 1995 and, they say, he has not done anything related to life and family issues during his time as an MPP.
Brian Lilley of Sun News had predicted Hudak’s stance in a Sunday blog post, saying that while Premier Dalton McGuinty will use Hudak’s previous stance on abortion against him during the campaign, “Hudak will run away from it and claim that he has no plans to defund abortion.”
Lilley also predicted that, despite his pro-abortion electioneering, McGuinty would continue to be backed by the Ontario English Catholic Teachers’ Association and “plenty of high profile members of Ontario’s Catholic establishment.”
“[McGuinty] will also continue to receive Communion at Mass,” he added.
In his effort to shut down debate on abortion, Prime Minister Harper has gone so far as to openly oppose pro-life legislative efforts, and last December he even voted against a bill seeking to protect women from being coerced into obtaining abortions.
Tim Hudak, Opposition Leader
Ontario PC Party
19 Duncan Street
Toronto, ON M5H 3H1
Email: [email protected]