Tory MP Mark Warawa is taking time on the UN's first-ever International Day of the Girl to promote his Motion 408 to condemn sex-selective abortion.

The MP for Langley, B.C., posted two YouTube videos on Thursday in which he interviews Lucky and Navi Gill, organizers of the annual Global Walk for Missing Girls.

"It's very important that the gendercide, it needs to be looked at," Lucky Gill told Warawa.

"It's very serious that a pregnancy is ending just because it's a girl. Women's rights, female rights should be equal to the rights of men. It is a human rights issue," Warawa said. "We create a very difficult world, a difficult future if we create a gender imbalance."


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While Gill and Warawa focused on the global nature of the issue, they also singled out Canada.

"Within Canada here we are seeing it present as well. I don't think I need to say how, but everybody knows that it's present here," Gill said. "Gendercide is the worst type of genocide and it must be stopped."

In a statement published on his website last week, Warawa also touted the connection between his motion "calling for the condemnation of female feticide" and the International Day of the Girl.

The issue of sex-selective abortion entered the public debate dramatically in the wake of the recent vote on Conservative MP Stephen Woodworth's Motion 312 to form a committee to examine the definition of a human being. The motion was defeated at the end of September by a vote of 203 to 91, with 87 Conservatives and four Liberals voting in favour.

One of those Tories in favour was Status of Women Minister Rona Ambrose, who suggested she supported the motion in order to raise awareness about the practice of sex-selective abortion.

Not everyone, however, is convinced that Warawa and those who support his motion simply wish to end discrimination against girls.

"Just when you thought the long and winding Conservative battle against abortion rights was over, the fightin’ fetal protectionists are back, and in a particularly shameless way ... They’re doing it for the girls," wrote the Toronto Star's Heather Mallick on Tuesday. "The Tory boys’ plan is this: If we oppose aborting female fetuses, that might be a backdoor way to ban all abortions because surely women can’t back the slaughter of baby women."

The Canadian Medical Association Journal published a study in April that suggested Canadian women born in South Korea and India have an unusually high proportion of boys compared to other women.

"Our findings raise the possibility that couples originating from India may be more likely than Canadian-born couples to use prenatal sex determination and terminate a second or subsequent pregnancy if the fetus is female," the study’s lead author Dr. Joel Ray, a physician at St. Michael's Hospital in Toronto, told Postmedia.

Although there is no available data on the number of sex-selective abortions in Canada, there were at least 93,755 induced abortions performed in 2009 (the last year national data is available.) in Canadian hospitals and clinics, according to the Canadian Institute for Health Information in 2009.

So far, the Prime Minister's Office has not directly commented on Warawa's motion, pointing to the fact that it will not be up for debate for months. “The Prime Minister has been clear that we do not intend to reopen the debate on abortion,” wrote a PMO spokesman to The Globe And Mail.

While Stephen Harper followed tradition in allowing a free vote on Motion 312, a "question of conscience" as Immigration Minister Jason Kenney described it, the Prime Minister voted against it.

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  • Where The Parties Stand On Abortion

    Here's a look at the official position of Canada's federal parties, and how the controversial debate has reared its head in recent years. <em>With files from CBC</em>

  • Conservative Party

    Prime Minister Stephen Harper has repeatedly said that he has no interest in addressing the issue head-on.<br><br>"As long as I am prime minister we are not opening the abortion debate," Mr. Harper said in April 2011. "The government will not bring forward any such legislation, and any such legislation that is brought forward will be defeated as long as I am prime minister." (CP)

  • NDP

    NDP leader Tom Mulcair has stated that his caucus is unanimous in its opposition to the private member's motion calling on Parliament to look at whether a fetus is a human being, but he plans to force his MPs to vote along party lines.<br><br>"We're resolutely in favour of women's right to choose," Mulcair declared. (CP)

  • Liberal Party

    Interim Liberal Leader Bob Rae has stressed that the abortion issue is matter of individual conscience. Rae expressed his personal opposition to reopening the debate, but said Liberal MPs will be allowed to vote "their conscience" rather than force them to toe the party line.<br><br>"Our position on reproductive choice, my position on reproductive choice is very, very clear. It has been for decades. The position is it's a person's right to choose." (CP)

  • Planned Parenthood Funding Controversy

    Saskatoon-Humboldt MP Brad Trost tells Saskatchewan's ProLife Association in April 2011 that the federal government has decided to cut funding to the International Planned Parenthood Federation, a decision he says was influenced by anti-abortion supporters.<br><br>"I cannot tell you specifically how we used it, but those petitions were very, very useful and they were part of what we used to defund Planned Parenthood because it has been an absolute disgrace that that organization and several others like it have been receiving one penny of Canadian taxpayers' dollars," Trost said.<br><br>Maurice Vellacott, a Conservative MP from Saskatoon-Wanuskewin, also calls for Planned Parenthood to be defunded.<br><br>Vellacott says the controversy over the funding "exposed the lies and destructiveness of IPPF's agenda."<br><br>"It exposes what this abortion giant is surreptitiously trying to achieve worldwide."<br><br>International Cooperation Minister Bev Oda approves funding. (CP)

  • 'Coerced' Abortion Law

    Conservative Winnipeg MP Rod Bruinooge proposes "Roxanne's Law" in 2010, a bill that would penalize anyone who "coerced" a woman into ending her pregnancy against her will.<br><br>"It's not just as simple as feeling pressured to get an abortion; there is a lot of discussion of sex-selection abortion these days, as well," Bruinooge told the Winnipeg Free Press. "It's part of the overall topic of intimidation that goes towards a pregnant woman."<br><br>Bruinooge insisted the bill wasn't meant to force Parliament to wade into the debate banned by Harper, stating that nothing in his bill made it illegal to abort a fetus.<br><br>But the Liberals and New Democrats saw it as a backdoor entry into the touchy topic.<br><br>"How is an abortion bill not an abortion bill?" said then-Liberal MP Anita Neville. "This certainly introduces discussion into the House of Commons and it is a rather sneaky way of doing it."<br><br>Then-NDP leader Jack Layton echoed her concerns. "You have got to wonder what is really going on here."<br><br>The bill was defeated in December of 2010, with 178 votes for and 97 against it. Harper and many Conservatives voted against it and 10 Liberals supported it. The NDP was unanimously against it. (Handout)

  • Maternal Health

    International Co-operation Minister Bev Oda discloses for the first time in April 2011 that Canada will not fund abortions in its G8 child and maternal health-care initiative for developing countries.<br><br>Keith Martin, then-Liberal MP who had defected from the Tories years earlier, expressed outrage. "People here are perplexed and wondering why Canada is rolling back the clock and depriving women in developing countries from having the same rights to basic health care and access to abortion as women in Canada," he said.<br><br>Then-NDP leader Jack Layton accused the Tories of putting Canada on side with former U.S. president George Bush, who reduced support for abortion-related aid.<br><br>"It's picking up the banner that George Bush used to carry, and I think that that's not something that would be supported by the majority of Canadians, that's for sure," Layton said.<br><br>On June 25, Canada pledged $1.1 billion to a global initiative on maternal and child health for developing countries - a disproportionately high amount compared to other G8 countries. Canada did not allow for its share to be used in the funding of abortions. (CP)