For Immediate Release – (click here for a link to document)
Surrey, BC – Last week the Privy Council Office released an updated list of the petitions regarding MP Stephen Woodworth’s motion as well as WeNeedaLAW.ca’s petition calling on Parliament assembled to restrict abortion to the greatest extent possible. The lengthy list received by WeNeedaLAW.ca director, Mike Schouten includes the name of the MP who presented the petition, the date it was presented, and the number of signatories affixed to each petition.
“Ever since Mr. Woodworth went public with his motion we’ve been encouraging Canadians to fill out both of these petitions and we’re very excited about the results”, said Schouten.
In the last session of Parliament on almost 250 occasions, MP’s stood up on behalf of their constituents to present petitions in support of Motion 312 and calling Parliament to “restrict abortion to the greatest extent possible”. The number of signatories to these petitions totaled nearly 19,000 different names.
“That this many signatures have been gathered thus far is a clear indication that Canadians have not accepted the legislative status quo on abortion – they want Parliament to deal with the issue,” said Schouten. Each petition presented requires a minimum of twenty-five signatures and undergoes scrutiny by the Privy Council Office prior to being presented in the House of Commons.
The amount of petitions coming forward hasn’t gone unnoticed by House of Commons reporter Kady O’Malley, who tweeted, “I’m told, by the way, that MPs are being swamped with pro-M-312 petitions, and have no idea how to deal with them.” Ms. O’Malley believes that the recent rash of abortion petitions exceeds that of “most” other petitions.
Members from all three main parties were involved in presenting petitions. “That a particular MP presents such a petition is not an indication of support, but we’re happy to see the likes of Jenny Sims (NDP), Scott Brison (Lib), Nathan Cullen (NDP), and Joyce Murray (Lib) standing up on behalf of their constituents who are concerned that Canada affords no legal protection for pre-born children,” stated Schouten.
One name in particular stands out from the list, and that is Gordon O’Connor. “It’s great to see that the government whip who vociferously attacked his colleague Mr. Woodworth during the first hour of debate, also stood on June 13th to acknowledge the request of many members of his riding,” said Mr. Schouten.
Schouten concluded, “Canada is the only democracy in the world with no restrictions on abortion. It’s time that parliamentarians realized that this issue is not going away. They must deal with it. Canadians find the status quo on abortion morally unacceptable and petitions are an excellent way to put the discussion where it belongs – in the House of Commons”.
WeNeedaLAW.ca is a national campaign with a goal to create a groundswell of support for federal abortion legislation. If you are interested in receiving comment and/or interviewing Campaign Director, Mike Schouten, please call 604.308.3560 or email [email protected]