Conservative MP Mark Warawa faced a media gauntlet at a Dec. 5 news conference announcing a social media launch to support his Motion-408 condemning gendercide. Photo by Deborah Gyapong

Gendercide motion not aimed at recriminalizing abortion, Warawa says

  • December 16, 2012

OTTAWA - Conservative MP Mark Warawa insists his gendercide Motion-408 is about discrimination

against women and girls, not an attempt to criminalize abortion.

But despite his protestations, journalists hammered the Langley, B.C., MP at a packed news conference Dec. 5 on the abortion question.

Warawa issued a call to action to support his Motion-408 which calls for the House of Commons to condemn the “discrimination against females through sex-selective pregnancy termination.” He launched a social media campaign on Facebook and Twitter, as well as a petition drive, urging Canadians to support his motion.

“The practice of aborting females in favour of males is happening here in Canada,” Warawa said.

Journalists confronted Warawa with news both the NDP and the Liberals had said earlier that day they would not support the motion because it was a “back door” to re-criminalizing abortion.

“That would be shocking” Warawa responded. “We either condemn this form of discrimination or we endorse it. This is not something you ride the fence on.”

Warawa said his motion is simply meant to change the hearts and minds of Canadians. If Parliament made a declaration condemning gendercide as wrong, it could send a message around the world, he said. He stressed his motion does not call for legislation or even a study.

The changing hearts and minds argument did not persuade journalists, most of whom pressed criminalization of abortion as a hidden agenda.

“How do you enforce that?” one journalist asked. Another pointed out the 11 MPs who came to show support for the motion are identified with the Parliamentary Pro-Life Caucus.

Conservative MP Joy Smith, who has led the House of Commons in the fight against human trafficking, stepped forward to say she was not part of the Pro-Life Caucus, nor did she vote for Motion 312 (a previous motion to investigate when life in the womb begins, which was defeated). But she said she supports Motion-408 “because this is about discrimination against women and girls.”

“The Opposition will say lots of funny things,” she said. “They like to scare you” that this motion is about recriminalizing abortion. “That’s why I am personally here.”

There is something “very disturbing” about sex selection that says “if it’s a girl, she’s outta here,” Smith said.

Warawa referred to a CBC documentary aired last June that revealed through the use of hidden cameras that ultrasound clinics were helping parents determine the sex of their unborn child so they could get rid of the baby if it was a girl. The practice of gender selection abortion was strongly condemned by all political parties after the story aired, he said.

Conservative MP Kelly Block said the motion and the social media campaign invites all Canadians to become “defenders of gender equality” and to “protect women and girls against discrimination.

Petitions in support of Motion- 408 can be downloaded from www.markwarawa or www. Twitter hashtags are #protectgirls and #M408; the Facebook page is “Protect Girls— Support M408.”

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