New debate looms over sex-selective abortion motion

A second abortion-related motion proposed by a backbench Conservative MP could trigger a new debate about the parameters of a woman’s right to choose in Canada.

Mark Warawa’s private member’s motion, which asks the House of Commons to condemn the practice of sex-selective abortions, was tabled last Thursday, one day after MPs voted down a separate motion to study whether a fetus should have rights before it is born.

Pro-choice activists staunchly opposed MP Stephen Woodworth’s fetus-rights motion, suggesting it could open a national debate on a woman’s right to access abortion – something Prime Minister Stephen Harper promised not to do during the last federal election campaign. And although Mr. Harper made it clear that he did not support that motion, 10 Conservative cabinet ministers and nearly half of the party’s caucus voted in its favour.

Mr. Warawa says his motion is unrelated to Mr. Woodworth’s and intends only to formalize what he believes is a cross-party consensus that sex-selective abortions are inappropriate.

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