OTTAWA – Status of Women Minister Rona Ambrose offered at least a partial explanation of the motivation behind her endorsement of a pro-life motion calling for the review of the definition of a human being.
On Twitter, Ambrose said that she has long been concerned about discrimination against girls through “sex selection abortion.”
“I have repeatedly raised concerns about discrimination of girls by sex selection abortion,” Ambrose tweeted on Wednesday. “No law needed, but we need awareness!”
Ambrose stunned observers on Wednesday when she rose to her feet in favour of backbench MP Stephen Woodworth’s motion to strike a committee to examine the definition of a human being.
Though the motion was defeated 203 to 91, Ambrose’s tweet suggests she opted to support the motion as a way to raise awareness about the issue.
But NDP MP Libby Davies is not convinced by the explanation.
“I think she can rationalize how she wants but as the status of women, she clearly betrayed the women of this country,” she said.
Conservative MP Lisa Raitt, who opposed the motion, said Ambrose’s vote should not be an issue.
“Everybody had their ability to cast their vote and they did,” she said. “Results are in, vote is over, move on.”
During Question Period, Ambrose defended the government’s record of helping women.
“In just a couple of years, we’ve funded over 550 projects from coast to coast to coast to tackle violence against women and empower women and girls,” she said.
“We’ll continue to do just that.”
Ambrose was one of 10 federal Conservative cabinet ministers who supported the motion, despite the fact Prime Minister Stephen Harper has said he has no plans to reopen the abortion debate in Canada.
As a result, she’s under fire from critics both inside the House of Commons and beyond, including women’s rights groups who are calling for her resignation.