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Campaign Life Coalition's national president Jeff Gunnarson.

Activists looking for pro-life voices

  • August 29, 2021

OTTAWA -- Pro-life activists say Canada needs more people willing to stand up for life in the corridors of power as Canada’s mainstream political parties continue to squeeze pro-life voices out of the public arena

“There has to be pro-life voices in the House of Commons, voices that speak up for pro-life Canadians, who speak out against the aborting of innocent children, regardless of what the leaders and leadership of the political parties say,” said Jeff Gunnarson, Campaign Life Coalition national president.

“The leaders of the parties may not want abortion and pro-life issues to be discussed, but Canadians do. Canadians want real discussions about these issues — about abortion, euthanasia and pro-life principles.”

It wasn’t always true that pro-life voices were marginalized in Canada. Many MPs have been pro-life and there has been parliamentary pro-life caucuses in the past, with members of all parties involved.

Pro-life Canadians could also usually find a home in the Conservative Party. But in the early days of the 2021 campaign, Conservative leader Erin O’Toole has angered pro-life activists by affirming any government he leads would be a “pro-choice” government.

He also appears to have backtracked from a pledge he made when he was running for the party leadership to respect the conscience rights of health-care workers not to participate in procedures such as abortion or assisted suicide. O’Toole told the media on Aug. 20 that there has to be a balance between conscience rights and the right to access health-care services.

“Let me repeat again, I’m pro-choice and we will make sure that women have the ability to make decisions with respect to their health care for themselves and make sure abortion services are available from one ocean to the other,” he said.

“We have to respect conscience rights but allow there to be referrals.”

Gunnarson said that position makes the Conservatives no different than the Liberals or NDP.

Still, it comes as no surprise to Gunnarson.

“It is like Liberal-lite, there is no real difference between the parties on this issue.”

Gunnarson added that regardless of how pro-life voices are being marginalized within the mainstream political parties, they must continue to seek public office.

“The only way to change this is to keep electing pro-life MPs, to keep raising these issues and to change minds by being vocal about the pro-life cause and engage with Canadians on these issues,” he said.

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