And I don’t mean that as a compliment. Yesterday, while appearing on CTV’s True North Politics panel, one of the subjects that we debated was abortion. Specifically, Justin Trudeau’s pro-choice edict to anyone who wishes to run for the party.
Let me start by saying that I fundamentally believe that liberals (capital L or otherwise) should support a woman’s right to choose. Full stop. I am a pro-choice Catholic who, before converting, asked a priest straight out if he would give me communion knowing my views. It was a lengthy conversation which ended with one word, “yes.”
I am a mother who has had to deal with an unplanned pregnancy. I am vehemently pro-choice and am an outspoken feminist. But that doesn’t make me (or anyone else for that matter) pro-abortion.
Under Trudeau’s new rules, I wouldn’t be allowed to run for the Liberal Party. Why? Because Trudeau said that his MPs “must vote ‘pro-choice’ on any bills before Parliament.” Affirm the status quo on abortion in Canada? For sure. But what about a vote on late-term, post-viability abortions on demand, when the woman’s life or health is not in jeopardy? That’s no longer about women’s rights, and I don’t support it. But according to statements Trudeau has made this week, I would have to.
I guess that makes be a bad Liberal.
Turns out it wasn’t Harper who reopened Canada’s abortion debate; it was Justin Trudeau.
My view? I don’t think you can be a liberal and be anti-choice – which I’ve written about before. And I don’t think that open nominations are the way to go (for reasons I detail in the same piece I hyperlinked to).
So, I support young Trudeau’s decision to ensure that all candidates who run carrying a Liberal banner must support a woman’s right to choose (which is different from being in favour of abortion, btw). Where he goes wrong is in insisting, despite this and this, that Liberal nominations are still “open.”
They aren’t. And that’s okay, but continuing to insist otherwise is a big, big mistake.