OTTAWA, November 8, 2012, ( – Although 92 percent of Canadians oppose sex-selective abortion, a motion to condemn gendercide is being opposed by some pro-choice activists, according to MPs Mark Warawa and Joy Smith.

“It’s difficult to imagine”, said Fr. Tom Lynch, National Director of Priests for Life Canada, who conducted an interview with the two, “but there’s actually opposition to a motion asking Parliament to make a statement condemning sex selection pregnancy termination.”


Warawa, MP for Langley, BC, launched Motion 408, which condemns “discrimination against females occurring through sex-selective pregnancy termination.” Smith seconded the motion.

The motion came in response to a CBC undercover investigation of 22 private ultrasound clinics in Canada, which found most clinics allowed ultrasounds to tell the sex of the baby so that the parents could choose to terminate an unborn female child.

A 2011 Environics poll, commissioned by LifeCanada, found that 92 percent of Canadians wanted sex-selective abortions banned.

“When a recent study showed that the practice of aborting females in favour of males is opposed by 92 percent of Canadians and that it should be made illegal, you would think that it’s a slam-dunk to at least support a statement of condemnation,” said Fr. Lynch.

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“Gender selection has been strongly condemned by all national political parties,” said Warawa in a statement on the day he introduced the motion. “The Society of Obstetricians and Gynecologists of Canada have vehemently opposed sex-selection pregnancy termination.”

Warawa said the motion “would go a long way to letting those, who are considering ending a pregnancy because it’s a girl, know that this is a violent form of discrimination against women.

He added he introduced a motion rather than a legislative bill, because “there is not an appetite to have legislative change,” and some believe a new law “would be very difficult to enforce.”

Gendercide has repercussions beyond abortion. “We have 200 million missing women in the world right now, which creates huge problems for society,” Warawa said. “It is the number one fueler for trafficking in women.”

Joy Smith, MP for Kildonan-St. Paul, who is well known for her work fighting human trafficking and violence against women, told Priests for Life that Warawa’s motion has the potential to send a strong message to the world that Canada, as a leader in the fight against the sex-trafficking of women and girls, has the courage to condemn a practice that exacerbates this exploitation of women.

“It is appalling to think that sex-selective pregnancy termination happens in our country,” Smith said. Education is the key and that people must be educated to the value that each person has, whether they are male or female.

“Canada has a wonderful reputation in the world,” Warawa remarked, “so if Canada came out with a unified voice saying this needs to be condemned, not only in Canada but around the world, it will change what’s happening.”

Warawa said that the motion is likely to come up for debate next March, with a possible vote following in May 2013.

The next six months will be crucial in conveying the message to all parliamentarians that Canadians support the motion to condemn sex-selective abortion. He said, “I’m hoping that through this debate we will have a revelation that we need to condemn this action that will carry this message not only across Canada but across the world.”

A petition in support of Motion 408 is available for download on MP Warawa’s website.

Campaign Life Coalition has also launched an online petition urging political party leaders and Members of Parliament to support Warawa’s motion.

Sex-selective abortion is “a reprehensible practice that targets baby girls for female gendercide and represents discrimination against women in its most extreme form,” the petition by Campaign Life Coalition reads.

You may listen to the Priests for Life Canada interview with MPs Mark Warawa and Joy Smith here.