10/04/2019 13:40 EDT | Updated 10/04/2019 16:09 EDT

Justin Trudeau Says He ‘Evolved’ Past Earlier Stance On Abortion

He criticized Andrew Scheer for not being "clearer" about his views.

QUEBEC — Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau says he is no longer opposed in any way to abortion.

He says he has come to realize there’s a contradiction between being opposed to abortion itself but supporting a woman’s right to choose.

That’s how the leader has framed his position in the past, and though he’s faced questions on it during the campaign. Friday was the first time he addressed it directly.

“I evolved past that particular perspective,” Trudeau said during an event in Quebec City. “I continue to be and will always be fully pro-choice but I no longer feel that I can or need to say that I’m against abortion, that’s not for me, as a man, to say.”

Trudeau’s comments about his own beliefs around abortion come a day after his chief rival, Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer, clarified his stance, stating clearing that he is personally against abortion, but will oppose any efforts to legislate against it.

Ryan Remiorz/The Canadian Press
Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau speaks to reporters Friday in Quebec City. Trudeau says it's not his place "as a man" to say he is against abortion.

Scheer was known to be anti-abortion in the past, but despite facing questions continually on it during the election, including a pummelling from other leaders during Wednesday’s French leaders debate about his current point of view, he had previously ducked answering the question.

Trudeau says he thinks Scheer should have cleared it up sooner.

“One of the things that Mr. Scheer is recognizing is he should have been much clearer earlier with Canadians about his personal anti-choice convictions,” Trudeau said. “It would have avoided a lot of speculation, a lot of dragged out questions.”

The Liberal leader added the question now facing Canadians is whether they believe Scheer will stand up for women’s rights.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Oct. 4, 2019.