MP takes aim at sex selection
Langley Conservative MP Mark Warawa has introduced a private member's bill in the House of Commons, condemning discrimination against females in sex-selective pregnancy termination.
“Recent studies have shown that the practice of aborting females in favour of males is happening in Canada,” Warawa said, adding that 92 per cent of Canadians believe sex-selective pregnancy termination should be illegal.
Speaking with The Times from Ottawa, Warawa that “I’m not aware of anything else that 92 per cent of Canadians agree on.”
He said that all parties in Parliament condemn the practice.
As well, he noted, the Society of Obstetricians and Gynecologists of Canada has “vehemently opposed sex-selection pregnancy termination.”
His motion came in response to numerous inquiries and concerns his office received after the CBC presented an investigation on gender selection last June.
Warawa credited the broadcaster for publicizing the practice.
With hidden cameras, the CBC visited 22 private ultrasound clinics in Canada. They found that most of these clinics allowed ultrasounds to show the sex of the baby so that the parents could choose to terminate the pregnancy if the unborn child was a female.
He said that until the CBC program, he did not realize the extent to which the practice was occurring in Canada.
Unequivocal condemnation from Parliament will send a strong message that will help bring to an end this form of gender discrimination in Canada, Warawa said.
Warawa said that his focus over the next few months will be to educate Canadians that ending a pregnancy on the basis of gender “is not acceptable.”
The first debate is expected to take place in March, with the motion put to the vote in late May.
Warawa is calling on his constituents to celebrate Oct. 11 as the first ever International Day of the Girl, with the theme Strong Girls, Strong Canada: Leaders from the Start.
“Support for girls and their basic human rights is vital for healthy communities,” Warawa said.
“The International Day of the Girl will provide an opportunity for girls to have a greater understanding of their rights, to exercise them and to become leaders in Canada and beyond.”