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.
"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.
"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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