Tag Archives: culture war

Has the abortion issue been reopened in Canada and what does this mean for social movements?

Pierre Trudeau’s Liberals legalized abortion and homosexuality in the late 1960s. The last time abortion was a serious political issue in Canada was twenty years ago when the Conservative government of Brian Mulroney introduced a bill that would limit abortion. The bill passed the House of Commons but was defeated in the Senate. Since then, abortion has hardly made an appearance in Parliament nor has it been a central feature of political campaigns. However, in the last few years, a growing unrest among mostly Conservative, but also a small minority of Liberal Party members have pushed to reopen the question of abortion. According to a recent Dec. 21st Globe and Mail article, a Conservative backbencher, Stephen Woodworth, is seeking to reopen the issue of abortion. However, the question does not directly implicate “abortion” and in the press, it seems the term is largely avoided. Rather, as Woodworth stated in a press conference, “… the Canadian statute that defines a human being as someone who is completely separate from the mother’s body has its roots in British legal treatises written in the 17th century. The important question, he said, is whether a 400-year-old law is supported by 21st-century medical science and principles of human rights.” Continue reading


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