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Maxime Bernier - Press Conference - Winkler, May 17, 2023

Hello everyone, merci d’être ici aujourd’hui pour couvrir cet important sujet, thank you for being here today to cover this important issue. The issue of Canada joining the civilized world as a country that protects life, and protects children.

Many people are surprised to learn that there is no law regulating abortion in Canada. No law whatsoever.

Our governments regulate almost everything in our lives, including such ridiculous things like plastic straws. But there is a complete legal void when it comes to killing unborn human beings.

How did we get there?

In 1988, in a decision involving abortion doctor Henry Morgentaler, the Supreme Court declared existing abortion provisions in the Criminal Code unconstitutional.

However, it did not declare a constitutional right to abortion and left the door open for a new law that would regulate it.

The Mulroney government tried and failed to adopt such a law. No other government has tried since.

Because of this legal void, there is no legal obstacle in Canada to have an abortion at any stage in the pregnancy—including in theory up to minutes before a child is born.

Yes, it’s perfectly legal to kill a fully developed unborn baby during the third trimester of a pregnancy, a baby who would be viable if born prematurely.

When you raise this issue, people will say that it may be technically legal, but that it never happens except in very rare circumstances when the child has fatal deformities or the life of the mother is threatened.

That’s simply not true. Although statistics are hard to obtain because of their controversial nature, we know that such late-term abortions happen in Canada.

In a rare article discussing this issue published in the Montreal newspaper La Presse in 2019, it was revealed that more than 20 Quebec women were sent every year to the few clinics in the US offering late-term abortions “without restrictions.” The Quebec government covered all the costs.

Given the growing debate in the US—which culminated in the repeal of Roe v. Wade by the Supreme Court last year—Quebec health authorities were saying at the time that they wanted to “repatriate these services” and provide them in the province.

That was difficult because extremely few doctors are willing to perform such abortions for obvious ethical reasons.

If more than 20 late-term abortions with both the mother and child in good health are practiced in Quebec alone every year, there must be more than that in all of Canada.

I find this abhorrent. It’s the same as allowing infanticide.

Whether there are few or many is irrelevant anyway. A murder is a murder and it should be outlawed.

You cannot argue that it’s “my body, my choice” in such cases. There is another body, another sentient human being involved, almost fully developed.

Freedom is one of my core values. But it doesn’t include supporting the freedom of a mother to kill her fully developed baby, before or after it is born.

All other civilized countries—including all the so-called “progressive” countries of Europe—have laws determining when a fetus should be protected as a person, and when and in what circumstances abortion should therefore be restricted.

Most have restrictions starting in the second trimester, and late-term abortions are not allowed anywhere.

In countries such as Germany, Belgium, Denmark, the Czech Republic, Greece, Hungary, Italy, Ireland, Norway, Finland, and Switzerland, abortion is available for the first 3 months of pregnancy only, after which it is either banned or only allowed in exceptional circumstances.

It’s time to join the civilized world.

It’s time to stop listening to hysterical feminists who have hijacked this issue for too long. The other establishment parties either fully support abortion at all stages of pregnancy or they are too afraid of pro-abortion activists to raise the issue. We’re not afraid. The PPC welcomes a debate on abortion.

Regulating abortion is not a fringe or radical position, even though it is portrayed as such by pro-abortion fanatics.

An Angus Reid poll from January 2020 found that 51% of Canadians believe that there should be a law prohibiting abortion during the third trimester unless the life of the mother is in danger. Other polls give even higher numbers.

These millions of Canadians need to be represented in the House of Commons. Today, they’re not.

They’re certainly not represented by the fake conservatives.

Even allegedly pro-life Conservative MPs are not allowed by their leader to debate this issue. Pierre Poilievre has repeatedly said he is pro-choice and he doesn’t want to reopen this debate.

Whatever your position on abortion, the most important thing now is to break the taboo surrounding this issue.

We need to force the cowardly establishment in Ottawa to debate it.

We must push them in a corner and force them to explain why they believe killing a healthy unborn child at seven months is morally acceptable and should remain legal.

They won’t be able to, because it is objectively abhorrent.

That is why today I am announcing that if elected MP for Portage-Lisgar, I will table at the first available opportunity the Protection of Preborn Children Act, a private member’s bill to amend Section 287 of the Criminal Code.

The bill would limit the legal availability of abortion to 24 weeks maximum, and outlaw late-term abortions unless the mother’s life or health are at risk, there has been rape or abuse, or if the baby has a lethal abnormality or no brain function.

I cannot imagine how any decent human being could be opposed to this. Even reasonable people who describe themselves as pro-choice should support this bill.

When they are asked about late-term abortion, they almost never defend it because they know it’s indefensible. Instead, they claim that it never happens, which is not true as I mentioned already.

I am aware that not everybody will be satisfied with this bill. Many people would prefer stronger restrictions, such as those in most European countries. And I agree that we should debate them too.

But we need to start somewhere. And from a position that is so strong that our opponents won’t be able to reject it or attack it without looking like depraved individuals with no moral conscience.

So I dare you to answer this question, Mr. Poilievre: Do you believe that killing a healthy unborn child at seven months is morally acceptable and should remain legal? If not, why do you refuse to reopen this debate? Why do you support infanticide?

Millions of Canadians believe we have a moral obligation to reopen this debate. And without a PPC MP in the House of Commons, it will never happen. And nothing will ever change.

This is why I am calling on the people of Portage-Lisgar who want to have this debate to vote for me on June 19.

I am not the author of this bill. It was written and proposed by two of our outstanding and courageous PPC candidates in the 2019 general election, Paul Mitchell and Laura-Lynn Tyler-Thompson, who is here with me today.

Now I will let Laura-Lynn say a few words about the bill and why everybody should support it and support the PPC.

LAURA-LYNN TALKS FOR 5 MINUTES MAX CONCLUDES: Thank you very much Laura-Lynn. We will now take questions. Nous allons maintenant répondre aux questions.


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