Ontario Election: Protect Reproductive Rights!

For immediate release

Vote Against Conservatives

ONTARIO – A majority win by Doug Ford and the Progressive Conservatives could seriously jeopardize reproductive rights in Ontario, says the Abortion Rights Coalition of Canada (ARCC).

“Ford has sold his soul to the anti-abortion movement,” said Joyce Arthur, Executive Director of ARCC. “He won the PC party leadership in March because anti-choice groups promoted extremist candidate Tanya Granic Allen, who became a kingmaker when her second-choice votes went to Ford. Now Ford owes the anti-choice movement big-time. But if he wins, he’ll discover it won’t be so easy to roll back access to reproductive health care. People will strongly defend their rights.”

Ford has made five rash promises to his right-wing, anti-choice base:

  1. Repeal the new law establishing safe access zones around abortion facilities.
    Last fall, the Liberals passed Bill 163, “Protecting a Woman’s Right to Access Abortion Services Act.” Safe access zone laws are constitutional (as shown by BC’s example), effective, and essential to protect the rights, safety, and privacy of patients and staff. Anti-choice protesters outside clinics can be very distressing for patients, increasing the risk of medical complications. Repealing the safe access zone law would only punish and disrespect women.
  2. Pass a parental consent law for teen abortions.
    Everything Ford has said about the supposed need for such a law is misinformed. Such a law would contravene and reverse current medical policies and ethics around the consent of minors to healthcare, violate their constitutional rights to bodily security and privacy, and increase risks to their health and safety. ARCC’s evidence-based paper explains the many harms of parental consent laws.
  3. Allow doctors to refuse to refer patients seeking abortions.
    In 2015 after extensive public consultation, the Ontario College of Physicians and Surgeons enacted a new policy that requires doctors to make an “effective referral” for services to which they have a moral or religious objection (mostly abortion and medical assistance in dying). In Jan 2018, a divisional court rejected the claim of several Christian medical groups and doctors that the policy infringed their freedom of religion and conscience. The court said the policy was a reasonable limit on doctors because it protects vulnerable patients from harm, and patients have a constitutional right to equitable access to health care.

    ARCC’s view is that a doctor’s refusal to treat or refer based on personal beliefs is a serious violation of medical ethics and patient rights. The College’s referral requirement is already a bad compromise – an unreasonable accommodation of religious doctors who refuse to do their job. Doctors who object to some required services in a particular discipline should not be allowed to practice in that field.
  4. Scrap the sex-education curriculum.
    Ontario’s excellent sex-ed curriculum was introduced in 2015 after extensive consultation with parents and educators. The religious right has engaged in irresponsible scare-mongering over the curriculum. Their claims about what it says and does are completely and wildly false. Scrapping it would deprive students of important knowledge and tools to navigate their sexual lives safely and responsibly.
  5. Allow private member bills to restrict abortion.
    Such bills can pass in a majority government, unless there is a massive backlash from the media or public. It would be very difficult for a PC government to defund abortion or ban sex selection abortion – examples of two favourite anti-choice issues that might show up in a bill – but let’s avoid the fight.

The following PC Candidates are anti-choice according to Campaign Life Coalition. (with thanks to Press Progress). Do not vote for them!

If you can, please vote strategically to reduce the risk of a PC victory in your riding.

Anti-choice PC Candidates“Educable” PC Candidates
(i.e., may be anti-choice)
Brandon Postuma (Thunder Bay-Atikokan)Greg Rickford (Kenora-Rainy River)
Andrew Lawton (London West)Susan Truppe (London North Centre)
Monte McNaughton (Lambton-Kent-Middlesex)Dan Weber (Waterloo)
Belinda Karahalios (Cambridge)Mary Heinein Thorn (Kitchener Centre)
Sam Oosterhoff (Niagara West)Stephen Crawford (Oakville)
Denzil Minnan-Wong (Don Valley East)Iris Yu (Spadina-Fort York)
Roshan Nallaratnam (Scarborough Guildwood)Randy Hillier (Lanark-Frontenac-Kingston)
Christina Mitas (Scarborough Centre)Will Bouma (Brantford-Brant)
Daisy Wai (Richmond Hill)Doug Ford (Etobicoke North)
Billy Pang (Markham-Unionville)Kaleed Rasheed (Mississauga East-Cooksville)
Paul Calandra (Markham-Stouffville)Adam Pham (Parkdale-High Park)
David Piccini (Northumberland-Peterborough South) 
Daryl Kramp (Hastings-Lennox and Addington) 

Media Contacts:

Joyce ArthurExecutive Director /
Directrice générale,
ARCC-CDAC, Vancouver
Kathy DawsonAlberta Pro-Choice Coalition, Edmontonkathy@arcc-cdac.ca780-914-4695
Carolyn EganOntario Coalition for Abortion Clinics, Torontoc.egan@sympatico.ca416-806-7985
Julie Lalonde
(parle français)
ARCC-CDAC, Ottawajulie.s.lalonde@gmail.com613-301-2697
Christopher Kaposy, PhDEthicist, Memorial University / Éthicien, Université Memorial, St. Johns NL / T.-N.christopher.kaposy@med.mun.ca709-864-3375
(w / bur.)

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