Kamloops-Thompson-Cariboo: How does your candidate view a woman's right to choose? | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source

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Kamloops-Thompson-Cariboo: How does your candidate view a woman's right to choose?

Image Credit: ADOBE STOCK
September 24, 2019 - 4:00 PM

KAMLOOPS - In case you missed it, abortion has re-emerged as a topic of conversation this election cycle.

It's likely because of the ongoing political debate south of the border, which moved into Kelowna when rallies and protests rolled out. It became a hot topic in Penticton, Kamloops and the North Okanagan with the controversy surrounding screenings of an anti-abortion movie.

And ahead of the October federal election, the focus has turned to the candidates.

Anti-abortion group, Right Now, has said it is working to deliver 50 federal ridings to candidates it believes side with them on the issue.

Pro-choice group, Action Canada for Sexual Health & Rights launched a campaign called The Personal is STILL Political. It asks voters to find out where candidates stand on everything from barriers to abortion access to sex education in schools.

Answers to these questions and more have been spoken about in various ways by party leaders so we turned to our local candidates to see where they stood.

QUESTION: Abortion access and reproductive rights have been threatened in many U.S. States and, despite being treated as a medical issue in this country since 1988, many Canadians seek are asking if that’s how it will remain. What is your personal opinion on this issue, and how do you expect your party will address this issue over the next term?

Cathy McLeod, Conservative

Our leader, Andrew Scheer has made it clear that if the Conservative party forms the government, the abortion issue will not be re-opened.  My personal position is that it is a very private and difficult decision for a woman in consultation with her doctor.

Terry Lake, Liberal

Every woman should have the right to exercise her choice on reproductive health in consultation with her doctor and other healthcare providers.  Those choices, whatever they are, should be respected and protected by government.  As a husband and a father, my wife Lisa and I are blessed with three wonderful daughters who appreciate the fact that they live in a country where the government does not impose healthcare choices upon them.  The Liberal party has been clear on this issue and they would not seek to revisit it. 

Iain Currie, Green Party

I support a woman's right to a safe, legal abortion. The Green Party has always taken this position and will continue to do so.

Peter Kerek, Communist Party of Canada

Our Party stands, absolutely, with a woman’s right to choose. This has been our Party’s unwavering position for many decades.

We also want to ensure that medical services are actually available to all Canadians, not just folks who live in or near urban centres that provide such services. As medical services are the right of Canadians, we need to ensure that we’re not creating regional pockets where provincial health authorities can arbitrarily decide which services will be readily available to folks in smaller centres.
While we have a publicly funded healthcare system it’s not all publicly operated. Doctor’s offices are run like businesses because they are businesses. In order to ensure that all our rights are being protected, we need to increase the operation of publicly run medical facilities and become less reliant on the publicly-funded, for-profit, private business model which has, in part, led to a family doctor shortage in many smaller communities across Canada. Ensuring that we have more publicly run facilities is another way to guarantee that folks will have access to all medical services, including abortion services, in every community, as the decision whether or not to provide a service will not be left up to the individual doctor who runs their own clinic.

Kira Cheeseborough, Animal Protection Party of Canada 

I’m glad that none of the major parties have officially expressed interest in changing, limiting, or revoking access to abortion through legislation. The Animal Protection Party will always uphold and protect women’s right to choose. Since I fight to protect the lives of non-human animals, I’m sympathetic towards people who want to protect the lives of fetuses. However, there is a huge difference between the two: Protecting the rights of non-human animals has a minimal impact on anyone else’s right, whereas protecting the rights of a fetus has an enormous impact on the rights of a pregnant woman. Abortion is a never an easy decision, but a woman should have the right to use her judgement and beliefs to decide what’s best for herself and the child.

People’s Party of Canada candidate Ken Finlayson did not respond to the question.

—This story was updated at 9:20 a.m. on Wednesday, Sept. 25, 2019 to include candidate Kira Cheeseborough's response

To contact a reporter for this story, email Jenna Wheeler or call (250) 819-6089 or email the editor. You can also submit photos, videos or news tips to the newsroom and be entered to win a monthly prize draw.

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