Kelowna-Lake Country Election 2019: How does your candidate view a woman's right to choose - InfoNews

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Kelowna-Lake Country Election 2019: How does your candidate view a woman's right to choose

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September 24, 2019 - 4:00 PM

KELOWNA -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?

Travis Ashley, Green Party

This is a debate that should never have proceeded. Abortion access and reproductive rights is something the greens will always stand by.

I would just like to say that the question itself is uncomfortable for me, for I have no right whatsoever as a man to open up or continue the discussion. I know if men were the reproductive heroes of the earth, we wouldn't give the opposite sex the chance to discuss our own right to choose. I challenge the men out there to see the problem of asking this question, and search within themselves to respect that this is not their right, not their body, and not their choice.

Stephen Fuhr, Liberal

The Liberal Party stands up for women’s rights, including their reproductive rights. We believe in a woman’s fundamental right to choose and to have access to safe and legal abortion services.  It is so important to the Liberal party, that our party speaks with one voice on this issue. Although Liberal MPs are welcome and encouraged to hold their personal views, all Liberal MPs will be required to vote in favour of women’s rights. 

Personally, I agree with this position and support a woman’s right to make her own reproductive decisions. These decisions are difficult for women and their families, but must be made by women, not legislated. This is a private medical issue.  

Justin Kulik, NDP

Access to safe and free abortions is crucial in Canada. I am a staunch supporter of one's right to choose, and in the 43rd Parliament, New Democrats will tackle other barriers that one may face when considering this issue. In 1988, access to safe and free abortions was recognized by the Supreme Court of Canada as part of the "right to life, liberty, and security of the person..." protected under the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms. The court was right in 1988, and it is right in 2019.

That doesn't mean that reproductive rights end at abortion, however. Over the last number of months, I have worked on a campaign called 'AccessBC', with the goal of bringing free prescription contraception to British Columbia. If elected this October, rest assured, I will continue to support one's right to choose and will oppose any measure to limit that right. In short, I will work to strike down barriers standing in the way of reproductive rights for some, and work to improve access for one to have an abortion. Only one person has the right to choose what happens to their body, and that is themself.

Tracy Gray, Conservative
 
A Conservative Government will not reopen the debate on abortion and nothing has changed for our party on this issue. Our party leader has made this very clear.

I believe that people should be allowed personal freedom of conscience, religion and belief and we need to continue to protect these fundamental freedoms.

Our party is not focusing on discussing divisive issues such as this and are focusing instead on what unites Canadians.

Marijuana candidate Darrin Fidler did not respond to the question. John Barr of the PPC has yet to list contact information.


To contact a reporter for this story, email Kathy Michaels or call 250-718-0428 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.

We welcome your comments and opinions on our stories but play nice. We won't censor or delete comments unless they contain off-topic statements or links, unnecessary vulgarity, false facts, spam or obviously fake profiles. If you have any concerns about what you see in comments, email the editor in the link above. 

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