As a pro-life member of Parliament who speaks regularly on life issues, I want to make sure that the leadership candidates bring forward policies and debate ideas around life in the womb, parliament, freedoms, and end of life care.
Here are 5 key areas where I believe Canadian conservatives want to see policies to be presented and debated. Please sign the petition if you are interested in these ideas and want to know leadership candidate's positions.
1) Saving Lives
Every day 300 babies die in Canada because of abortion. Prolife people would like to see that number be 0. But we would also prefer that that number was 200 instead of 300. Lowering that number through concrete measures that save lives is a fundamental priority.
We are asking the leadership candidates to think creatively about policies that would save lives. Some might propose legal restrictions. Some might propose policies that support economically-vulnerable pregnant women to help them choose life, or policies that increase awareness about and access to adoption. We know of cases where countries have been able to significantly reduce the abortion rate without changing the criminal law.
Again, as pro-lifers, we want to see that 300 number become 0. But that starts with concrete steps that bring that number down.
2) Protecting Freedom
Prolife people face escalating discrimination in Canada. Prolife speech shut down on university campuses, attacks on the conscience rights of physicians and other healthcare workers, a summer jobs program values test, and now threats to the charitable status of organizations where individuals have prolife convictions. What is the government afraid of? Prolife people should have the freedom to express their points of view, and everyone should have the freedom to hear what prolife people have to say.
So many prolife organizations in Canada aren’t involved in political advocacy at all. Rather, they are focused on women in crisis pregnancy situations. It is outrageous that organizations which offer financial and moral support in these situations are facing threats from the government.
We expect every Conservative leadership candidate, prolife or not, to clearly commit to ending attacks on the freedom of speech and association of prolife people and organizations.
3) Strengthening Parliament
Our Conservative Party is a coalition. It includes MPs who are prolife and MPs who are not. We believe that Canadians are well served by a strong Parliament in which MPs are free to express their opinions, to vote their conscience, and to advance private members bills that reflect their values.
Historically in Canada, the trend has been towards tighter and tighter party discipline, but now the trend is reversing within our Conservative Party. This is great news. The Reform Act has empowered MPs to play their proper role as representatives of their constituents.
The Conservative Party needs a leader who respects the role and the rights of Parliamentarians. Our democracy is stronger when all opinions can be heard, not just the opinions that advisors in the leader’s office find convenient.
4) Respect for Other Jurisdictions
One thing that all conservatives can agree on is respecting national sovereignty and provincial jurisdiction. The Trudeau Liberals have tried to penalize provinces and pressure other jurisdictions to adopt their approach to abortion. We are looking for a Conservative leader that holds firm to this conservative principle and respects other jurisdictions.
5) Protecting Life After Birth
Pro-life people believe in the protection of life from conception to natural death. That includes protecting people after they are born.
In the last election, the Conservative platform had a series of strong commitments aimed at protecting the most vulnerable after birth, including adding additional safeguards around euthanasia and assisted suicide. We want to see the next Conservative leader renew the commitments around additional safeguards made in the 2021 election platform, and propose additional ideas to protect human life beyond the womb.
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