Maxime Bernier ready to restrict abortions in late pregnancy

OTTAWA – The leader of the People’s Party of Canada (CPP), Maxime Bernier, is ready to curtail the right of women to have an abortion at the end of their pregnancy.
In aninterview with La Presse canadienne, Mr. Bernier clarified his personal opinion on this issue after maintaining a lack of clarity in recent weeks. In May, he said, he wanted to give himself the right to decide “in due time” whether he would vote for or against a potential bill that would restrict the right of women to abortion.


He now issues clearer tags to justify his position. “I agree that abortions can be as long as 24, 25, 26 weeks because at that time, the fetus is not a child. But after [this period], it’s really a child, “he says.

Third trimester abortions could be performed “under certain conditions”, as if the mother’s life is in danger, adds Bernier.

No law provides for a maximum period of time to terminate a pregnancy. However, few abortions are performed after 25 weeks of pregnancy – the third trimester. They number about twenty a year in Quebec.

The vast majority of abortions take place before 13 weeks of pregnancy.

Both for and against

Mr. Bernier, who has been a member of Parliament for Beauce since 2006, has always voted against his former Conservative colleagues’ attempts to reopen the abortion debate in the House of Commons.

But as head of the CPP, he defines himself as both “pro-choice” and “pro-life” to avoid “tinting” the direction of his party.

“I always said I would not do like Justin Trudeau; say that my party is pro-choice and impose that vision on the candidates, “he justifies. When he became Liberal leader, Mr. Trudeau imposed the party line in favor of free choice on abortion throughout his caucus.

The issue of abortion has resurfaced in the last days, while conservative troops have had to align their positions in both English and French. Chief Andrew Scheer, who is known for his “pro-life” stance, eventually admitted that he would “oppose” any attempt to reopen this debate.

Mr. Bernier chose another approach. If the CPP succeeds in electing MPs under its party banner on October 21, they would have the right to introduce a bill to reopen the abortion debate. Mr. Bernier also promises a free vote.

This position of Mr. Bernier pleases the National Coalition for Life. The anti-abortion lobby is now calling on its supporters to abandon the Conservative Party of Canada for the CPP or the Canadian Christian Heritage Party.

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