Abortion hawks and doves

A speech by Conservative incumbent and candidate Brad Trost to a anti-abortion has thrust reproductive rights back onto the agenda.

Trost’s leader, Stephen Harper, was forced this morning to again re-state that he would not open the issue again. Harper was asked about his own views on a woman’s right to choose an abortion, but did not directly answer. He did, however, refer to a vote he cast against a private members’ bill on abortion last year.

That bill, C-510, was introduced by Manitoba Conservative Rod Bruinooge. It would have criminalized coercing someone to have an abortion, although not abortion itself.

On a vote on second reading in December, all New Democrats and Bloc MPs who voted were opposed to the bill.

Harper was among a group of 49 Conservatives voting against the bill, so it is probably not a true litmus test on how they’d vote on a bill directly impacting abortion rights. Also among them, cabinet ministers John Baird, Rob Nicholson, Peter MacKay and Bev Oda.

Also interesting, a smaller group of Liberal MPs voted against their party on the bill. Almost all represent suburban Toronto ridings with large ethnic communities who are believed to be less socially liberal.

The Liberals voting in favour of C-510: Ruby Dhalla, Albina Guarnieri, Jim Karygiannis, Kevin Lamoureux, Lawrence MacAulay, Gurbax Malhi, John McKay, Dan McTeague, Paul Szabo, and Alan Tonks.

H/T to howdtheyvote.ca for vote totals.

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