Conservative MP Stephen Woodworth in the first hour of debate on Motion 312 on April 26, 2012. Screenshot from video of debate.
As a Canadian following the reproductive health coverage debate in the U.S., I was astounded at the theatrics. Replete with crusading priests and radio host Rush Limbaugh calling Georgetown student Sandra Fluke a “slut” for testifying in support of birth control, the war on women south of the border seemed more dramatic than anything going on in Canada.
But although abortion has been legal since 1969 and Canada is one of the few countries in the world with no legal restrictions on abortion, women’s reproductive rights are being insidiously attacked. In 2008, a bill that sought criminal penalties of up to life in prison for anyone who caused the death of a fetus passed through two readings in Parliament before being voted down.