Our friends over at the pro-life political organization Right Now have released their suggested ballot rankings for the Saskatchewan Leadership Race (to replace outgoing leader Brad Wall), and much to the chagrin of the media, multiple candidates have stepped forward to affirm that they are pro-life and indicated their support for common-sense pro-life legislation. Despite decades of abortion rights activists insisting that the abortion debate is closed, it would seem that such declarations were wishful thinking.
Ken Cheveldayoff, for example, told Right Now that he would “support anything that protects the unborn child, anything that emphasizes that life begins at conception.” One example of legislation that he would support is parental consent for minors seeking abortion, which currently does not exist anywhere in Canada. When asked if he agreed that there should be restrictions on abortion in Saskatchewan, he responded by noting that, “I agree on very few exceptions. You know, when the life of the mother is in jeopardy, certainly I think that you’d have to look at that on a case-by-case basis.” When confronted by the CBC on his statements, Cheveldayoff affirmed his position, and added that he wouldn’t consider intervention when the mother’s life was in danger to be abortion.
Scott Moe also called himself pro-life and indicated that he would potentially support some form of parental notification legislation. Former justice minister Gord Wyant and candidates Tina Beaudry-Mellor and Alanna Koch received failing grades from Right Now, with Beaudry-Mellor belatedly insisting that the debate on abortion is already closed.
It was leadership candidate Rob Clarke that made the most waves, telling Right Now that if the judiciary attempted to overturn pro-life legislation he would consider using the notwithstanding clause to ensure that court interference in the legislative process would fail. “Here’s an interesting aspect that I think most people don’t realize, especially among non-aboriginals,” he told Right Now, “and that is that First Nations don’t believe in abortion. I’m First Nations and I don’t believe in abortion. It’s a stereotype, where many people believe that First Nations and Metis are so left-wing and vote NDP, and no, the NDP dictate what we should be doing.”
Clarke’s statement actually reflects the experiences we at the Canadian Centre for Bio-Ethical Reform have had with First Nations people when doing public outreach: Nearly all of them are very pro-life. And when the CBC attempted to find out if there were leaders willing to contradict Clarke, they managed to obtain only one very ambiguous statement:
Margaret Poitras, CEO of All Nations Hope, said abortion is a complex issue for Indigenous people and one that she is still wrestling with.
She explained while there are teachings that say life should be valued, there are teachings against being judgemental.
"It's never black or white. Nothing ever is in life. You always have to think about what's happening, what's the positive or negative."
Canada’s left-wing establishment likes to present abortion as a “Canadian value,” but the truth is that most of Canada’s minority communities despise abortion. As Clarke mentioned, the First Nations have powerful traditions that demand respect for all life. Sikhs have religious teachings that forbid abortion—CCBR’s teams have actually been invited to set up information tables inside Sikh temples by religious leaders. And as the Saskatchewan Party leadership race makes clear, the abortion debate in Canada is far from over.
If you’re from Saskatchewan, please visit Right Now’s website and check out their suggest ballot rankings and interviews—and be sure to vote!