Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is applauding three of his caucus members who walked out and refused to confirm the pro-life nominee for the chair of a Parliamentary committee.
Trudeau’s suggestion that all women should support abortion has provoked outrage in the Canadian pro-life community.
The incident occurred Tuesday during a committee hearing for Rachael Harder, a Conservative Member of Parliament (MP) from Lethbridge, Alberta, who has been nominated to be the chairwoman of the House of Commons Standing Committee on the Status of Women.
Before a scheduled vote on Harder’s nomination, three Liberal MPs on the committee walked out of the room in protest over her views on abortion, saying a pro-life position did not align with “liberal values.”
Trudeau, who says pro-life candidates cannot run for the federal Liberal Party, told reporters on Tuesday, “We will always defend women’s rights in this party and in this government.”
Harder has not even been an outspoken pro-life advocate in the Conservative Party. She has responded to questionnaires in the past by describing herself as someone who believes life begins at conception and has supported legislation that would recognize the life of the fetus if a pregnant woman is attacked or murdered.
But Trudeau believes that anyone who says they support women’s rights has to also support abortion. “Quite frankly, one would hope that the committee for the status of women would have a spokesperson who would be able to stand up and unequivocally defend women’s rights. That’s sort of the point of the status of women committee.”
Trudeau’s comments have left many pro-life advocates furious.
Gwen Landolt, the national vice president of REAL Women, told The Daily Caller, “This attitude is just outrageous. Clearly this committee does not support the equality of all women, but only supports those select women who accept an extreme feminist ideology.”
“The Liberal Members on the Status of Women Committee apparently do not understand that women differ because of their diverse economic, cultural, religious and educational backgrounds,” Landolt said. “No sane person believes that all men think alike. So why do they hold such a peculiar standard for women?”
Landolt said the MPs who walked out of the committee have “disgraced all women by their actions, and insulted our intelligence, integrity and independence.”
She says it is time for Conservative Party MPs to stand up and say that being pro-life “should not disqualify you from leading a Parliamentary committee.”
Conservative leader Andrew Scheer, who nominated Harder for the committee chair, is continuing to support his choice.
He told the Canadian Press that he nominated Harder for the job because of her strong work ethic and not because of her views on abortion.
“It’s certainly unprecedented that the prime minister would interfere and block the nomination of a democratically elected member of Parliament to serve as chair of a committee,” he told reporters.
“I think it shows a lack of respect for the parliamentary process. It’s very unfortunate.”