Click to Print This Page     |Send to a friend   |Email Us

A Harper Majority Government Would Pass Anti-Abortion Restrictions

By Joyce Arthur, Abortion Rights Coalition of Canada

September 11, 2008

Below - See our Complete List of Current Anti-Choice MP's (prior to October 2008 election)

To see an updated list of anti-choice MPs after the October 2008 election, click here.

Courtesy of a survey of MPs by Campaign Life Coalition (CLC), the ranks of known anti-choice MP’s in the current Parliament have just swelled. In 2006, we estimated that 32% of all MPs were anti-choice based on their records. Thanks to a recent list published by CLC, that number is now known to be at least 40%. About 74% of Conservative and 28% of Liberal MPs are anti-choice. In addition, the total number of anti-choice MPs could be as high as 49% if votes for Bill C-484 are counted as part of an anti-choice record (94% of Conservatives and 29% of Liberals).

Prime Minister Harper is eager to dissociate the Conservative Party from the abortion issue. The unofficial kickoff to his election campaign was a repudiation of Bill C-484 ("Unborn Victims of Crime Act") by the Conservative Justice Minister, along with a firm promise not to legislate on abortion or introduce fetal rights. With this move, Harper chose to abandon his right-wing base on the abortion issue and instead, pander to feminists and left-leaning groups.  Harper wants nothing to do with the abortion issue, because he knows that any whiff of anti-abortionism is political suicide in an election. Not only do the media pounce like sharks on any anti-choice misstep, a majority of Canadians are pro-choice. According to a June 2008 Angus Reid poll, 49% of Canadians think abortion should be legal under any circumstances, 42% want it legal in at least some cases, and only 5% would ban it outright.

Nevertheless, Campaign Life Coalition has decided to sabotage the chances of a Conservative majority victory by surveying MPs and publicizing a stupendously long list of 108 anti-abortion MPs, most of them Conservatives. Actually, the list comprises those who oppose the awarding of the Order of Canada to Dr. Henry Morgentaler, but it’s safe to assume that MP’s who take a public position against the award have a problem with abortion rights. This is in defiance of the sentiments of most Canadians since one of the few reputable polls done (Ipsos Reid, July) found that 65% of Canadians support the Order of Canada award for Dr. Morgentaler.

The large increase of known anti-choice MPs in Parliament spells trouble for abortion rights if Harper wins a majority Conservative government. We could easily be looking at a new Parliament with a clear majority of anti-choice MPs. Not only will they have the power to pass anti-abortion bills, they can be counted upon to use it. Prior to the election call, at least three private member bills were in play, which would either restrict abortion or endanger abortion rights. These bills will probably be re-introduced in the next session, along with a government bill making pregnancy an aggravating factor in assaults on women. We have not seen the wording of this latter bill, and some women’s groups fear it could also lead to restrictions on women’s rights.

Further, the Liberal caucus harbours a frightening number of anti-choice MPs – more than a quarter of them - 28%, compared to the 20% known in 2006. Stéphane Dion needs to make clear to his MPs and candidates that the Liberal Party is officially pro-choice. He must rein in his anti-choice MPs by requiring them to vote against anti-abortion bills, or at least absent themselves from abortion-related votes.

Most Canadians will not vote for the Conservatives if they fear that Harper will allow restrictions against abortion to pass. We need to get the word out that a majority Conservative government would do just that.



List of Anti-Choice MPs

Note: Please email info@arcc-cdac.ca if you have additional information or any correction for this list. Thank you!)

Total Anti-choice MPs

At least:                 123 of 304 (40%)

* As many as:         148 of 304 (49%)

Conservative Party (anti-choice)

At least:                  95 of 127 (75%)

* As many as:         119 of 127 (94%)

Liberal Party (anti-choice)

At least:                   26 of 95 (27%)
* As many as:           27 of 95 (28%)

Other (anti-choice)

2 Independents (out of 4)

Total Pro-Choice MPs

** Approximately 125 of 304 (41%)

Total MPs with unknown stance

Between 30 and 54, of 304 (9-18%)

* The higher figures include 24 Conservative MP’s and 1 Liberal MP who voted in favour of Bill C-484 but who have no other known public position on abortion, including no position on the Order of Canada award. It’s possible they are not anti-choice, However, they are included in the list below.

** This estimate includes Conservative and Liberal MPs with a public pro-choice position, as well as all Bloc Quebecois and NDP MP's on the assumption they are pro-choice.

Anti-Choice
Members of Parliament

Designated Anti-Choice During
2004 or 2006 Federal Election (1)

Opposed
Order of Canada
for Dr. M (2)

Voted for
Bill C-484 at Second Reading (3)

 

 

 

 

Conservative Party of Canada

 

 

 

Jim Abbott

Diane Ablonczy

Harold Albrecht

Mike Allen

Dean Allison

Rona Ambrose

 

Rob Anders

David L. Anderson

John Baird *

 

No response

Leon Benoit

James Bezan

 

Jean-Pierre Blackburn *

 

No response

Steven Blaney *

 

Refused to say

Garry Breitkreuz

Gordon Brown

Patrick Brown

 

Rod Bruinooge

Blaine Calkins

 

Ron Cannan *

 

Refused to say

Colin Carrie

Rick Casson

Michael Chong *

 

No response

Tony Clement *

 

No response

  Joe Comuzzi

John Cummins

Patricia Davidson

Stockwell Day

Dean Del Mastro

Barry Devolin

 

Norman Doyle

Rick Dykstra

David Emerson *

 

No response

Ken Epp

Edward Fast

 

Diane Finley *

 

Refused to say

Brian Fitzpatrick

Jim Flaherty

No response

Absent

Steven Fletcher *

 

No response

Royal Galipeau

Cheryl Gallant

Peter Goldring

Gary Goodyear

Jacques Gourdes *

 

No response

Nina Grewal

Helena Guergis *

 

No response

Art Hanger

Stephen Harper

 

Richard Harris

Luc Harvey

 

Laurie Hawn

 

Loyola Hearn

Russ Hiebert

Jay Hill

No response

Betty Hinton *

 

Refused to say

Rahim Jaffer *

 

No response

Brian Jean

Refused to say

Randy Kamp

Gerald Keddy *

 

No response

Jason Kenney

Wajid Khan

Ed Komarnicki

Daryl Kramp

Michael Lake

 

Guy Lauzon

Denis Lebel *

 

No response

Pierre Lemieux

Tom Lukiwski

James Lunney

Gary Lunn

Refused to say

Peter MacKay

 

Dave MacKenzie *

 

No response

Fabian Manning *

 

No response

Inky Mark *

 

No response

Colin Mayes

 

Ted Menzies

Refused to say

Rob Merrifield

Refused to say

Larry Miller

 

Bob Mills

James Moore

No response

Rob Moore

Rob Nicholson

Rick Norlock *

 

No response

Deepak Obhrai

No response

Bev Oda *

 

No response

Brian Pallister


(paired, absent)

Christian Paradis *

 

No response

Daniel Petit *

 

No response

Pierre Poilievre  

Joe Preston

 

James Rajotte

Scott Reid  

No response

Lee Richardson  

Gerry Ritz  

Andrew Scheer  

Gary Schellenberger *

 

Refused to say

Bev Shipley 

Carol Skelton  

Joy Smith  


(paired, absent)

Monte Solberg  

Kevin Sorenson  

Bruce Stanton

 

Brian Storseth

 

Chuck Strahl  

David Sweet

Greg Thompson  

Myron Thompson  

David Tilson *

 

No response

Vic Toews  

Bradley Trost  

Mervin Tweed

 

David Van Kesteren

Peter Van Loan

 

Maurice Vellacott 

Mike Wallace

 

Mark Warawa

Christopher Warkentin

 

Jeff Watson  

John Williams  

Lynne Yelich  

Liberal Party

 

 

 

Don Bell

 

Nay

Raymond Bonin

Wayne Easter

Nay

Mark Eyking  

Refused to say

Absent

John Godfrey

Refused to say

Nay

Albina Guarnieri  

Charles Hubbard

No response

Jim Karygiannis 

Derek Lee

 

Gurbax Malhi

No response

Lawrence MacAuley  

John Maloney

Joe McGuire  

John McKay

 

Dan McTeague  

Shawn Murphy

Massimo Pacetti

 

Lloyd St. Amand *

 

No response

Paul Steckle  

Paul Szabo  

Robert Thibault

 

Alan Tonks  

Joe Volpe  

Refused to say

Absent

Tom Wappel  

Bryon Wilfert

 

Absent

Borys Wrzesnewskyi  

Paul Zed  

Absent

Independent

 

 

 

André Arthur

 

Bill Casey

Absent

These are the 24 Conservative MP’s and 1 Liberal MP who voted in favour of Bill C-484 but who have no other known public position on abortion, including no position on the Order of Canada award. It’s possible they are not anti-choice, but they are included in the above list. (Please email info@arcc-cdac.ca if you have additional information.)
 
Column 1Anti-choice MPs were listed during the 2004 or 2006 election. Criteria: They had an anti-choice voting record, or had publicly spoken at or attended events organized by anti-choice groups, or had publicly stated they are "pro-life" or would support abortion only in limited circumstances. Note:  Conservative MP Gordon O’Connor has been removed from the 2006 anti-choice list for voting against Bill C-484 and supporting Dr. M’s Order of Canada.

Column 2 — Whether the MP publicly opposed the awarding of the Order of Canada to Dr. Henry Morgentaler, according to a survey conducted by Campaign Life Coalition.

Column 3 — Whether the MP voted in favour of Bill C-484 (“Unborn Victims of Crime Act”) at 2nd reading in Parliament on March 5, 2008. Note: Some pro-choice MPs voted in favour of Bill C-484, including Peter Stoffer (NDP), and Liberal MP’s John Cannis, Raymond Chan, Roy Cullen, Sukh Dhaliwal, Francis Scarpallegia, Raymond Simard, and Roger Valley.

Sources: