Niagara West MPP Sam Oosterhoff pledged on Thursday to make abortion “unthinkable in our lifetime.”
The comment was made after Oosterhoff left question period to attend an anti-abortion rally on the front lawn of Queen’s Park. Oosterhoff attended the rally with fellow PC MPPs Christina Mitas (Scarborough Centre) and Will Bouma (Brantford-Brant).
When the MPPs returned to question period, the issue was brought up in the house with the NDP asking Premier Doug Ford if he supports a woman’s right to choose. Ford was also asked if he supported the views of the three MPPs.
Ford did not answer the question and referred it to Energy Minister Greg Rickford. Rickford avoided addressing questions, instead pivoting to a number of talking points including fighting the federal carbon tax.
When asked after question period about referring the question to Rickford, interim Liberal leader John Fraser told Global News it was “totally unacceptable.”
“It was an insult to the member and all women in this province,” he said.
NDP Leader Andrea Horwath released a statement in response to the issue.
“We are horrified that Doug Ford continues to refuse to denounce his MPPs’ dangerous, anti-choice and anti-women position,” she said.
“Every woman has the right to make decisions about her health care, her family and her body, including the decision to seek a safe medical abortion. Sam Oosterhoff and Doug Ford have no right to attack that.”
Oosterhoff tried to duck reporters by hiding in an elevator after question period, but eventually spoke with reporters.
“To quote Dr. Seuss, a person is a person no matter how small,” he said.
“I have always said I am pro-life I will always speak for children that cannot speak for themselves who have no voice—I will always be a voice for the voiceless.”
Premier Ford released a statement after Global News asked for answers regarding the questions that were raised in the legislature. However, he didn’t directly respond.
“The Ontario PC Party is a big tent. We welcome members from a wide variety of backgrounds and beliefs,” Ford said.
“Our government is focused on protecting what matters most, cleaning up a fiscal mess left behind by the Liberals, making Ontario open for business and open for jobs, and lowering taxes for families. The Government will not re-open the abortion debate.”