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Blue Blogging Soapbox
...rambling rants, thoughts and musings on mostly political topics - from your late night blogger.

Saturday, January 21, 2006

Paul Martin - what is your policy on Right to Choose? 
(en francais)

We all know what the Conservative Party Policy is regarding a women's right to choose, the question is - What is the Liberal Party's policy?

All we hear from Paul Martin is the smear and fear about Stephen Harper, but we have yet to hear Paul Martin state in the same unequivocal terms exactly what his and his caucus position is.

Considering his attempts to distort the Conservative position on this issue, I think Canadians deserve to hear from Paul Martin.

It would be interesting to hear his response if he was asked by a media member to make the same commitment as Stephen Harper.

In the absence of any clear statements, I guess we just have to rely on what they've said in the past. That seems to be an accepted practice by the Liberals.

What is Paul Martin hiding?

Paul Martin, Liberal leader:

* “Martin said the prime minister must immediately recall parliament to introduce new abortion legislation” (Halifax Daily News, July 20, 1989).

* “I am personally against abortion on demand, but I believe it is very clear that there must be legislation brought in that will deal with what is becoming simply a mish-mash of approaches” (Halifax Daily News, July 20, 1989).

* “It’s very clear that we are going to have 10 different [abortion] laws and that we are going to have these laws made by judges” (Halifax Chronicle – Herald, July 20, 1989).

* Paul Martin said he was personally opposed to abortion (Toronto Star, March 26, 1990).

Joe Fontana, current Minister of Labour:

* Abortion should be limited to “exceptional extenuating circumstances” involving rape or incest
(London Free Press, October 12, 1988).

Joe Volpe, current Minister of Immigration:

* “The government has contented itself with casting the issue in the context of abortion, a context which invariably favours the rights of those who are present against those who are silent, a context which too often is seen as purely a woman’s issue” – (Hansard, November 22, 1989).

Joe McGuire, current Minister of the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency:

* Abortion is “the murder of another human being” – (Hansard, November 27, 1989).

Albina Guarnieri, current Minister of Veterans Affairs:

* “Bill C-43 is abortion on demand with red tape...In effect, the legislation makes it possible for women to seek and obtain abortions for reasons that may have more to do with lifestyle considerations than with actual physical endangerment” (Hansard, November 23, 1989).

* “In fact, the health clause will operate as nothing more than a rubber stamp condonement of abortion on demand. It will allow women to abort their unborn child based on a fleeting notion of immediate convenience” (Hansard, November 23, 1989).

* “The decision as to which life merits protection cannot be left to judges, doctors, or even women themselves. The issue must be dealt with on a national level by Parliament so that we as elected representatives may once and for all establish the supremacy of life and the protection of the unborn as would befit a civilized society. We must not be condemned by a future Parliament for legitimizing the termination of hundreds of thousands of unborn Canadians” (Hansard, November 23, 1989).

* “To imperiously determine which life should be afforded protection of the law and which should not would leave our society extremely susceptible to the social decision-making characteristic of the genocidal policies of certain Third World nations” (Hansard, November 23, 1989).

Jim Karygiannis, current parliamentary secretary:

* Mr. Karygiannis said that he would not have been elected to the House of Commons without the support of the pro-life Campaign Life Coalition: “I think in 1988 when I was first elected, Campaign Life probably turned things in my favour” (Charlottetown Guardian, June 6, 2005).

* Campaign Life has sent out brochures endorsing Mr. Karygiannis in every election since 1988, with Mr. Karygiannis paying the postage (Charlottetown Guardian, June 6, 2005).

Maurizio Bevilacqua, current Liberal MP:

* “Hon. members, everything I believe, everything that I hold dear, my social and cultural make-up, my personal beliefs as a human being, tells me that abortion is wrong. I feel within myself, passionately, that abortion is against the natural order. It negates the essence of our being” (Hansard, November 27, 1989).

* “I do not understand how any of us can accept giving the responsibility and the right to anyone to decide on who will live and who will not” (Hansard, November 27, 1989).

Paul Szabo, current Liberal MP:

* Szabo said it's offensive to the many Liberals such as himself who are “people of faith” and who share evangelical Christians' socially conservative views on moral issues such as abortion and same-sex marriage (Kingston Whig-Standard, May 11, 2004).

* “We did not balance the interests of the unborn” (Hansard, October 28, 2003).

* “Even the medical profession does not agree with the legal precedent, which is a person is not a human being until it is born and severed from the umbilical cord” (Hansard, September 30, 2003).

* “There is unquestionably a growing body of evidence that there are medical impacts on abortion” (Hansard, September 30, 2003).

* “The consequences of this issue, whether it be to women's health, whether it be to the health of an unborn child who is recognized as an uncontested biological fact to be a member of the human species, is enormous and growing. The fact that the U.S. will recognize the unborn child from conception to birth as a person entitled to protection means that things are changing” (Hansard, September 30, 2003).

* “Last year there were over 110,000 abortions in Canada with a cost to our health care system of over $10 million. That is over 300 abortions each and every day. It says that each year 110,000 mistakes are made at the expense of all Canadians by those who fail to act responsibly. Is it too much to ask Canadians just to be responsible for their actions? We do have a choice and that choice should be made before we act, not after we have failed to act responsibly” (Hansard, November 27, 1998).

* “Things do change. Science is changing. We can operate on unborn children, examine them, do all kinds of microsurgery, et cetera. All of a sudden we need to start thinking about fundamentals, about what the difference is” (Hansard, March 22, 2001).

* “Linda and I have three children and we loved, cared for and celebrated each of them right from the start. We believe that human life begins at conception” (Toronto Star, October 8, 1992).

* “She [Margaret Wente] also says if there were more responsible men that there would be fewer abortions and makes reference to “unanticipated fatherhood.” Unless I'm mistaken, it takes two to tango. How can she suggest that pregnancy could qualify as an unanticipated consequence of unprotected intercourse? Should we not expect that people should be responsible for their actions?” (Globe and Mail, November 18, 1994).

* Paul Szabo was awarded the 2003 Joseph P. Borowski Award by Campaign Life Coalition, in recognition of “integrity and leadership in defending life and family in the public square” (Western Catholic Reporter, May 24, 2004).

Roger Gallaway, current Liberal MP:

* Gallaway says there is no difference between his party and the Conservatives on abortion (Calgary Herald, June 7, 2004).

* Gallaway, Martin's point man on parliamentary reforms to empower MPs, said Martin is entitled to say he won't encourage private members' bills on abortion, “but that's not a prohibition either” (The Record, June 7, 2004).

* “There's nothing that can prevent a member of the House who's not a cabinet minister from bringing in any private members' bill” (The Record, June 7, 2004).

* “I don't sense there's a very wide gulf on these issues” (The National Post, June 7, 2004).

* Mr. Gallaway says although Mr. Martin may discourage his MPs from bringing forward an abortion bill, there is nothing to prevent an MP from doing so. “A person could bring a private member's bill on abortion and they may draw public scorn, they may very quickly go down in the House.... Members of Parliament, regardless of political stripes or notwithstanding political stripes, can take part in these kinds of debates” (National Post, June 7, 2004).

Alan Tonks, current Liberal MP:

* Liberal MP Alan Tonks, who responded to the survey by saying he would support a ban on abortion and a prohibition on abortion-inducing drugs, said Mr. Martin has stated that matters of conscience are free votes (Globe and Mail, January 14, 2006).

* “Generally speaking, I opt on the side of life. I don't support carte-blanche abortion,” Mr. Tonks said. “If there was a motion that was presented to review and send to committee, whatever the nature of the change being asked, I would always support it going to the committee” (Globe and Mail, January 14, 2006).

Tom Wappel, current Liberal MP:

* Wappel ran in the 1990 Liberal leadership race on an anti-abortion platform.

* “It's fascinating that when somebody like me says I'm personally against abortion, then I'm told my personal views have no business in the public arena” (National Post, July 18, 2002).

* Wappel said that “most people” in his party “agree that the number of abortions in Canada is too high, and that that’s got to be changed” (National Post, April 21, 2004).

* “The tradition of the Liberal party is to stick up for the little guy, and the littlest guy of all is the child in the womb. Surely that child deserves our protection” (Toronto Star, June 23, 1990).

* “Life begins at conception and it must be protected from conception through to natural death. If we do not provide this protection, we abdicate our responsibilities on a personal and national level” (Toronto Star, June 23, 1990).

* “I would like to see our party discuss the issue of human life and discuss the solutions to the problems that abortion raises” (Globe and Mail, June 30, 1989).

* “We are talking about human rights and protecting against discrimination, but we cannot talk about the discrimination that the unborn child has. It has no rights. It has an absolute impossibility of protecting itself from a decision that another person makes about its very right to breathe. Do you not find it interesting, Madam Speaker, that on the one hand it is perfectly acceptable and legal in Canada at the present time to kill an unborn child at any point of its development, right up until it comes out of the womb, yet on the other hand we are wringing our hands about the ethics of experimentation on zygotes? Where is the logic in that? How can it be logical to permit a third trimester abortion at eight months without blinking our eyes and wring our hands about whether or not a fertilized egg is going to be flushed down a scientist's drain?” (Hansard, March 22, 2001).

* “Rape and incest are terrible and lamentable tragedies but they cannot possibly be compounded by the further tragedy of destroying human life” (Toronto Star, July 4, 1989).

* “I for one will not lead a country that takes human life without proper justification ... we've got to stop the killing” (Kingston Whig Standard, November 8, 1998).

* “I will actively work towards a redefinition of human being to be 'a human life, from the moment of conception.' Anything less cheapens our respect for life, for human dignity, and ultimately for ourselves” (Toronto Star, July 4, 1989).

* “I believe the majority of Canadians feel we should have abortion legislation” (Toronto Star, November 27, 1988).

* “terrible tragedy, but an innocent human being is now part of the equation” (in response to a question put to him by a Calgary high school student about allowing abortion in cases of rape) (Toronto Star, March 20, 1990).

* Wappel faced tough questions from students, including one about the impact a pregnancy would have on a high school student. “It's an attitude problem. People don't want to come to school because they're embarrassed to be pregnant,” he said, but it's no reason “to take a life” (Vancouver Sun, March 20, 1990).

* Wappel, a staunchly pro-life MP, said Harper's comments were merely “a statement of the obvious” about the way private members' business works and Martin would act no differently (Toronto Star, June 7, 2004).

* Wappel says there is no difference between his party and the Conservatives on abortion (Calgary Herald, June 7, 2004).

* “I don't think too much should be made of the prime minister's comment,” said Wappel. He said private members' business has never been subject to party discipline (The Record, June 7, 2004).

* He noted that Martin has vowed to eliminate the democratic deficit to give backbenchers more power and said Martin would not, therefore, roll back the clock by trying to direct the content of private members' business or deny free votes on it. “I have no fear that private members' business is somehow going to be attempted to be controlled,” said Wappel, who once proposed a private members' bill to recognize that life begins at conception -- a bill that never came to a vote (The Record, June 7, 2004).

* Wappel suggested Martin simply got caught up in the heat of the campaign when he suggested he'd interfere in private members' bills (The Record, June 7, 2004).

* Wappel, a Toronto-area MP with a consistent pro-life stance, said there was nothing controversial in Mr. Harper's comments on abortion, saying they reflect how the process works (National Post, June 7, 2004).

* He dismissed any inference that his party leader would react any differently to the process: “I have no fear that private member's business is somehow going to be attempted to be controlled” (National Post, June 7, 2004).

* His issue is abortion. He believes it should be an offence under the Criminal Code, punishable by up to life imprisonment, for both the patient and her doctor. He would not allow the termination of a pregnancy, even in the case of rape or incest (Toronto Star, June 16, 1990).

* “If you have a human life and you have an abortion–a medical procedure designed to destroy offspring–you are clearly destroying human life” (Hansard, May 24, 1990).

* “If this bill passes, it will institutionalize abortion. It will, in fact, make the procedure of abortion legitimate. In my view, the respect for life which it pretends to try to engender, will be diminished. Another statement which has been used is: ‘It’s my body.’ The fact is that there are two bodies involved. There is the mother and there is the child within her. Both those bodies are entitled to respect. Both those bodies are entitled to protection” (May 24, 1990)

* Wappel insists that it is unfair to label the Liberal Party as officially pro-choice, and at one point suggests that “most people in the Liberal Party would agree that the number of abortions in Canada is too high, and that that's got to be changed” (http://www.punditmag.com/articles/wappel.html, Interview in 2000 with Adam Radwanski)

* Stated, “The candidates owe it to Liberals and to Canadians to answer three simple questions: Are you opposed to abortion, why, and what specifically would you do about abortion as prime minister?” (Toronto Star, January 29, 1990).

* Stated abortion should be an offence under the Criminal Code, with a maximum penalty of life imprisonment (Toronto Star, June 23, 1990).

Opposed abortion even in rape cases (Calgary Herald, March 20, 1990).

* Promised to introduce legislation protecting life from “conception to death” (Calgary Herald, March 20, 1990).

* Proposed making women considering an abortion undergo “psychological, economical and emotional” counseling (Calgary Herald, March 20, 1990).

* Proposed instituting a national program to educate Canadians about abortion techniques “and what they do in terms of killing a human being within the mother” (Calgary Herald, March 20, 1990).

Paul Synnott at 3:35 a.m.    | en francais | Go to Top|

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