O’Toole pressed on ‘pro-choice’ stance as MP readies bill to limit abortion access

Conservative Leader Erin O’Toole was repeatedly pressed Monday morning about his pro-choice stance on abortion as his MP Cathay Wagantall readies a bill aimed at restricting abortion access.

By Rachel Gilmore  Global News

The private member’s bill looks to amend the Criminal Code to outlaw medical practitioners from performing abortions based on the sex of the fetus — a practice sexual health group Action Canada for Sexual Health and Rights says is next to non-existent in Canada.

“Restricting abortion access in any way is an attack on women’s rights, not a way to address gender-based discrimination,” said Action Canada’s Sarah Kennell in a statement.

On her website, Wagantall describes the bill as addressing “inequality between the sexes in its earliest forms.”

“Adopting appropriate legislation to end discrimination against any person based on sex is part of Canada’s commitment to advancing human rights.”

However, upwards of 90 per cent of abortions happen before the end of the first trimester — well before the sex of the fetus can be discovered, according to sexual health advocacy group Action Canada’s website.

“While sex selective abortion in Canada may take place in some instances, it is incredibly rare and the reasons why people may make that choice are varied,” the website explains.

If Wagantall really wants to address gender-based discrimination, Kennell said, there are “proven and meaningful ways to do so.”

“We need to see comprehensive sex-ed, awareness campaigns on consent, pay equity, parental leave measures, barrier-free access to contraception and other comprehensive social support services like pharmacare and universal childcare,” she said.

Restricting abortion access in any way is an attack on women’s rights [and the rights of trans and non-binary folks], not a way to address gender-based discrimination
Posted on 2021-04-14
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