The leaked draft opinion by United States Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito which overturns abortion rights in the United States is making waves north of the 49th Parallel with Conservative Leadership contenders drawing clear lines in the sand over their position on reproductive rights in Canada.
Scot Aitchison, the MP for Parry Sound-Muskoka, released a 2-minute video on his position on a woman's right to choose, stating, "I will always defend a woman's right to choose. Any efforts to restrict access to abortion would have terrible consequences for the health of women, families, and our country.
"The vast majority of Canadians do not want this issue reopened," Aitchison added. "Any efforts that seek to prohibit abortion or restrict access would have terrible consequences."
Former Independent Ontario MPP Roman Baber released a short statement without mentioning the issue directly, "I don't believe gov't has a role in how people start or grow their families. But I'll respect the right of every Canadian to seek the nomination, introduce legislation & vote freely on matters of conscience, regardless of their view on life. (The Conservative Party of Canada) must welcome diversity of opinion."
Former Quebec Premier Jean Charest announced that if leader he would vote against any motion brought forward to legislation restricting reproductive rights, "I am pro-choice. A gov't under my leadership will not support legislation restricting reproductive rights. While I respect the democratic rights of MPs to bring forward private members' bills on matters of conscience, I will not vote to support them."
Leslyn Lewis, the MP for Haldimand-Norfolk and is widely seen on the right on some social issues is reported to have released a statement to CTV News saying that she would not comment on a draft decision, but according to CTV reiterated her pro-life agenda.
Patrick Brown, the Mayor of Brampton Ontario, said that the draft ruling is concerning for many women, "While this is a U.S. decision, in its wake, it’s important for leaders to commit to protecting women’s rights.
"Abortion in Canada should be safe, legal, and, in my personal opinion, rare. That’s why my government will support women and families with policies that encourage other options, such as adoption and increased parental support." Brown stated.
The only candidate to not go on record or release a statement on their position is perceived front-runner Pierre Poilievre.
These announcements come hours after Party Interim Leader Candice Bergen sent a “note to caucus” on Tuesday telling members of Parliament and senators to keep quiet on the issue.
“Conservatives will not be commenting on draft rulings leaked from the Supreme Court of the United States,” reads the e-mail to the caucus.
The final opinion by the Supreme Court is expected to be released in June and July, which would put the Conservative Leadership in the voting stage and could shake up the election.