'Sex Selection Abortion' Played a Role in Supporting Pro-Life Motion: Ambrose

By Rennie, Steve | The Canadian Press, September 27, 2012 | Go to article overview

'Sex Selection Abortion' Played a Role in Supporting Pro-Life Motion: Ambrose


Rennie, Steve, The Canadian Press


'Sex selection' a factor in vote: Ambrose

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OTTAWA - Facing calls for her job and accused by the NDP of betraying the women she represents at the federal cabinet table, a defiant Rona Ambrose stood in the House of Commons to explain why she voted in support of a pro-life motion.

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Asked why she was one of 10 Conservative cabinet ministers who supported backbench MP Stephen Woodworth's motion to strike a committee to examine the definition of a human being, Ambrose responded by extolling the Conservative government's record on funding projects for women and girls.

"It is interesting that this is the first question that I have received on the status of women file this year. In fact, I think this is the first question I have received since last year as well," Ambrose said during question period.

"Do you know why that is, Mr. Speaker? It is because this government has an incredible track record of standing up for Canadian women and girls. We have increased the funding to the status of women to its highest point in Canadian history."

The government has funded more than 500 projects to tackle violence against women and empower women and girls, she added.

Ambrose, the minister responsible for the status of women, stunned observers Wednesday when she rose to her feet in favour of Woodworth's motion -- despite the fact Prime Minister Stephen Harper has said he has no plans to reopen the abortion debate in Canada.

Though the motion was defeated 203 to 91, a tweet from Ambrose following the vote suggested it was a way to raise awareness about discrimination against girls through "sex selection abortion."

"I have repeatedly raised concerns about discrimination of girls by sex selection abortion: no law needed, but we need awareness!" she wrote.

Ambrose's spokeswoman, Amber Irwin, said the minister was not available for an interview this week.

The minister has come under fire from critics both inside the House of Commons and beyond, including women's rights groups who are calling for her resignation. …

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