TORONTO, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - Oct. 3, 2011) - Looking at Tim Hudak's record on abortion, pro-choice advocates feel that a vote for the Conservative Party in the provincial election would put abortion rights in danger for women in Ontario.
"Tim Hudak signed a petition to end abortion funding in Ontario," said Carolyn Egan of the Ontario Coalition for Abortion Clinics and the Abortion Rights Coalition of Canada. "He is now running to be premier of this province, and it is tremendously worrying to have a leader who has publicly taken an anti-abortion position potentially in charge of women's healthcare in this province."
Opponents of abortion have planned a rally for October 22nd at Queen's Park demanding that the provincial government stop funding abortions. There has also been increased harassment of clients and staff at abortion facilities in Ontario.
||Media conference on Conservative threat to women's rights
||Pro-choice leaders including Judy Rebick, Michele Landsberg, Clayton Ruby, Carolyn Egan of the Ontario Coalition for Abortion Clinics, representatives of student and immigrant women's organizations
||Morgentaler Clinic, 727 Hillsdale Avenue East, Toronto
||Tuesday, October 4, 10:30am
When pressed recently to answer whether he would move to attack abortion rights if elected premier, Hudak said "he would follow Prime Minister Stephen Harper's lead and leave the abortion issue alone."
But with the Harper government excluding abortion funding from the G8 maternal health initiative, constraining International Planned Parenthood and defunding groups that support reproductive rights, women fear that 'following Harper's lead' means eroding abortion rights one step at a time.
Conservative MPs in Ottawa have recently been speaking out, reopening the abortion question and urging those who are opposed to women's access to abortion to step up pressure on politicians at all levels to roll back abortion rights.
"We have seen the restrictions imposed on International Planned Parenthood by the Canadian government. IPP can only provide health services to women in countries where abortion is illegal. This is a clear attack on women's right to choose," said Ayesha Adhami, who provides reproductive services to immigrant women.
In the 1990s, there was a strong attempt to de-fund abortion in Alberta. Restricting abortion access through cutting services and funding under the banner of austerity is a real concern should Hudak win this election.
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