Rustad must clarify his position on the right to choose, says Paddon

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B.C. Conservative Leader John Rustad must clarify his position on abortion rights following his MLA’s comment about motherhood beginning at conception, says B.C. NDP Parliamentary Secretary for Gender Equity Kelli Paddon.

Yesterday in the legislature, B.C. Conservative MLA Bruce Banman used a statement about Mother’s Day to define motherhood as starting “from the moment of conception.” Banman also said that motherhood “challenges women to confront their own limitations.”

This type of rhetoric has been used in the United States to limit access to abortion.

Banman’s comment came two days after a Conservative MP tabled an abortion petition in the House of Commons, and one day ahead of the anti-choice “March for Life” protest happening this afternoon on the B.C. Legislature lawn.

Kelli Paddon, B.C. NDP Parliamentary Secretary for Gender Equity:

“At a time when reproductive rights are being ripped away in the United States, it’s extremely concerning to see a B.C. Conservative MLA using anti-choice dog-whistles on the floor of the legislature. British Columbians deserve to know John Rustad’s personal position, as well as hear a clear commitment that he will not allow any B.C. Conservative MLAs or candidates to oppose access to a safe and legal abortion or reproductive health.”