Hon. Lillian Eva Dyck: Honourable senators, I feel compelled to speak to the issue of a woman's right to have an abortion in view of comments made by the MP for Saskatoon-Wanuskewin last week in Ottawa following an anti-abortion gathering on Parliament Hill. Maurice Vellacott claims that women are being pressured by men to have unwanted abortions.
I quote from Mr. Vellacott's website:
Wherein men harass, badger, coerce if you will, it might be a boyfriend, it might be a partner, a husband, employer, doctor, friend, family members, but a lot of abortions that I gather women have had in this country are not so much by their own volition insofar as that they feel pressured by other circumstances around, badgered into unwanted abortions.
Mr. Vellacott's line of reasoning, honourable senators, is not logical. The problem is not that abortion is a legal, medical option that women can choose. Rather, if - and this is a big if - men are pressuring women to have abortions, then that problem should be addressed. If men really are forcing women to have unwanted abortions, then Mr. Vellacott should propose legislation to make such coercion illegal rather than trying to make abortion illegal.
Honourable senators, I trust that you will not be swayed by Mr. Vellacott's false, illogical argument that abortions must be restricted to protect women from men who force them to have an abortion. Furthermore, if there is substantive evidence that men are pressuring women into having abortions, I invite you to help find the ways and means to prevent that by proposing legislation directed to these men rather than limiting women's rights to choose abortion.