Ignatieff's surprise announcement
At least one Liberal MP is not happy about how his leader discussed the abortion issue yesterday, as reported on A1 of today's Star. At Lifesitenews.com, within an article being circulated by the PMO last night, Missisauga MP Paul Szabo is quoted with two complaints: one, he didn't see this coming and two, it's not Liberal policy.
LifeSiteNews.com (LSN) contacted several pro-life Liberal members for their comments. Liberal MP Paul Szabo says he was caught off guard by the announcement, noting that the subject was not even raised during the caucus meeting
“The full day was on CIDA issues,” he said. “I sat there all day long, the subject wasn’t discussed.”
Disputing Ignatieff’s claim of consensus, Szabo said, “I am a pro-life MP and there are many of my colleagues in the Liberal caucus who will protect the unborn in their decisions as Parliamentarians, and should matters come before the House they will continue to act accordingly.”
Szabo said it was “opportunistic” of the Women’s Caucus of the Liberals to use something as important as maternal health to push their pro-abortion agenda.
“I don’t think this is Liberal Party position,” he concluded, “it was never discussed with the caucus and the caucus never had an opportunity to express its views.”
On point #2, Szabo may be correct. Liberals have tended to treat this issue as a matter of individual conscience. On point #1, however, perhaps Szabo was out of the room around 12:08 p.m., when the intrepid live-blogger Kady O'Malley reported this from Ignatieff's remarks to the assembled:
He acknowledges the PM's recent position on maternal health, and then points out that it involves the full gamut -- including full reproductive health services, including the right to terminate a pregnancy, which sparks a somewhat startled round of applause as well.