Last Updated: Friday - 09/24/2010
Week of September 8, 2008
Canada’s political spotlight focused on abortion
Bishop laments lack of pro-life parties
By DEBORAH GYAPONG
"When considered in tandem with past actions, such as squandering the parliamentary vote on so-called same-sex marriage, failing to rein in human rights commissions run amok and not taking steps to overturn the naming of Henry Morgentaler to the Order of Canada, it is clear that the Harper government's initiative to squelch C-484 means it may well lose the support of social conservatives in Canada," de Valk said in a statement.
De Valk pointed out Nicholson had moved beyond the Conservative Party's previous refusal to take a position on abortion by undermining Epp's bill.
Eight Conservative MPs said publicly they would continue to support Epp's bill if it reaches third reading.
The Morgentaler Order of Canada also continues to keep the abortion issue alive.
On Aug. 28, Campaign Life Coalition revealed the names of 105 MPs who publicly oppose the abortionist's receiving Canada's highest honour, including 80 Tories, 23 Liberals and two Bloc Quebecois, but no New Democrats.
It also revealed the names of 35 MPs who support it, and 34, including Nicholson, who refused to comment.
Campaign Life also noted Prime Minister Harper had distanced himself from the award and called it "divisive."
The pro-life organization also commissioned a massive scientific survey in July that showed 56 per cent of Canadians opposed the Morgentaler award.
As well, an Environics poll commissioned by LifeCanada a year ago showed two thirds of Canadians and three out of four women would support legislation to protect unborn crime victims.
Nicholson's Catholic faith and its clash with his public policy may also provide grist for the abortion debate, as it does for Catholic politicians in the United States.
At an Aug. 25 news conference, CJAD Bureau Chief Brian Lilley brought up the problems pro-choice Catholics like Democratic vice presidential nominee Joseph Biden face in the United States.
"I want to ask how, as a justice minister and as a Roman Catholic, you feel coming here and saying 'My government will not move forward on giving fetal rights' because it's something that would go against the rules of your Church?"
"I'm proud to be a part of this government and I realize that this is an issue that divides Canadians but we have been very clear as a government that we are not reopening this debate," Nicholson responded.
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