NIAGARA FALLS, Ontario, June 2, 2014 (LifeSiteNews.com) – Liberal party members of parliament under Justin Trudeau’s leadership will have no choice but to vote “pro-choice,” even if it goes against their consciences, the Liberal leader told CTVNews on the weekend.
“I prefer the level of clarity that we’ve established right now – that people know that the Liberal party will stand up and defend a woman’s fundamental rights. And that’s exactly what I’ve said and we will be whipping the vote and we will be demanding that the Liberal party speaks very clearly and convincingly with a defense of women’s rights,” Trudeau said when asked directly if anti-abortion Liberal MPs might “recuse themselves instead of being forced to vote against their conscience.”
Trudeau made abortion the buzzword in Canadian politics when last month he publicly stated that people with pro-life convictions would not be permitted to run as candidates in the Liberal party’s “open” nominations.
“I have made it clear that future candidates need to be completely understanding that they will be expected to vote pro-choice on any bills,” he said on May 7.
At that time Trudeau had said that existing Liberal MPs would be “respected to a certain extent in their choices,” demurring to answer whether or not the party would whip votes on abortion, calling the question a “tough one.”
Trudeau said that whipping the vote in favor of abortion does not prevent an MP from holding personal convictions.
“That doesn’t impact or prevent someone from holding personal views — religious views — but it does mean that with our votes the Liberal party protects women’s rights,” Trudeau said from Niagara Falls, Ontario, during the CTV interview.
Trudeau said the Liberal Party’s stance on abortion needs to be “unequivocal.”
“I’m of the opinion — and I think people need to know this — that the Liberal party with its votes will always stand up for a woman’s right to choose.”
Trudeau’s position has already forced Liberal candidate hopeful Gar Knutson to withdraw from an Ottawa area nomination contest last week because of his previous pro-life activities.
But Trudeau flatly denied in the CTVNews interview that the party is weeding out pro-life candidates through the nomination vetting process.
“People are allowed to have their personal views, and, of course, encouraged to have a wide range of personal views. But when it comes to the matter of choosing to legislate away a woman’s right to choose, the Liberal party will simply not accept that. No vote by the Liberal party can ever take away those fundamental rights that women need to enjoy in Canada.”
LifeSiteNews contacted two Liberal MPs who have in the past voted for bills or motions favoring the unborn. A spokesperson from Liberal MP John McKay’s office said that McKay did not want to make a comment due to fallout from a private conversation that was publicly released last week in which he criticized his leader’s abortion stance. Liberal MP Lawrence MacAulay who has also voted in favor of pro-life bills and motions did not respond by press time.
Campaign Life Coalition (CLC), Canada’s political arm of the pro-life movement, launched a new online campaign today demanding that Trudeau repeal his abortion edict.
“We, the Canadian People, petition Justin Trudeau to repeal this policy and stop discriminating against Christians and all pro-lifer Canadians from other faiths or no faith at all,” the petition, which has been signed by over 1,250 people, states.
“We will not stand by while Trudeau eradicates from the Liberal Party (a key democratic institution), the fundamental freedom of conscience, thought, belief, opinion and expression,” a message on the campaign’s website states.
View CLC’s petition to Trudeau here: