Wagantall begins debate on the Sex-Selective Abortion Act (C-233)

For Immediate Release

Ottawa, ON — Cathay Wagantall, Member of Parliament for Yorkton—Melville, began debate on her private member’s bill, the Sex-Selective Abortion Act (C-233), on April 14th.

“Over one year ago, I introduced this bill to defend baby girls in the womb who are terminated simply because they are girls,” said Wagantall. “Eighty-four percent of Canadians believe sex-selective abortion has no place in our country. This vast majority of both pro-choice and pro-life Canadians believe it should be illegal to end a pregnancy due solely to the sex of the child.”

Wednesday marked the first of two hours of Second Reading debate on the bill that would prohibit a medical practitioner from knowingly performing an abortion if the sole reason for the abortion is the sex of the child.

Throughout her speech, Wagantall spoke to how gender discrimination is at the heart of sex-selective abortion. Inequality between the sexes remained the focus of her comments on Wednesday evening.

“While some oppose and some promote [abortion], we can all stand together, side by side, against sex-selective abortion, as we all have a moral obligation to stand against gender inequality,” she stated. “No issue important to Canadians should be vetoed from debate.”

“It is unfortunate that Liberal, New Democratic, and Bloc Québécois MPs used yesterday’s debate to represent the tiny minority of Canadians — just 16% — who believe sex-selection abortion should continue to be legal,” continued Wagantall. “They do not represent the views of traditionally pro-choice Canadians, who are also in favour of this bill.”

Karen Vecchio, Member of Parliament for Elgin—Middlesex—London (ON) and a Conservative colleague of Wagantall’s, also contributed to the debate. As a pro-choice woman, she spoke to the need for a rational debate on the practice of sex-selection and Canada’s lack of any law to address it.

“I support women having a choice and when I speak on this issue, I recognize that there are many Canadians unaware of what our laws in Canada are,” stated Vecchio.

“Many members have decided to stop listening before the conversation even begins. Does this issue deserve to be studied? Is there an issue that is actually occurring here in Canada that needs to be addressed? We cannot know if we are not willing to even start the conversation.”