Justin Trudeau's abortion stance 'reprehensible': Hamilton school board
Trudeau said all federal Liberal candidates need to support party's pro-choice position
Hamilton's Catholic school board has drafted a letter to Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau voicing its concerns over his stance on abortion.
In a letter dated on May 27, the Hamilton-Wentworth Catholic District School Board said it is “deeply offended” by Trudeau's recent comments requiring all federal Liberal candidates to support the party's pro-choice position.
The board urged Trudeau to “publicly correct” his position.
“Beyond our hope/expectation that, as an elected leader, you would strive to protect fundamental human rights (including the right to life), we are deeply concerned as to how your comments/ position attempt/s to further silence the voices of people of faith,” the letter read.
The board also called abortion “a key social evil."
The board said it is particularly concerned with how Trudeau's comments would affect youth.
Many students with the board attended March for Life, an annual anti-abortion rally on Parliament Hill, earlier in May. The board said Trudeau's comments may discourage students from engaging in politics.
“Beyond insulting their efforts in support of life, your position/comments sent the message that these young people have no place in the Federal Liberal Party,” the letter continued.
Board chairperson Pat Daly, who drafted the letter, was away on Friday and was not available for comments.
Letter to Chrétien
The Office of the Liberal Leader said they respect the board's views.
"But Mr. Trudeau’s job is to make decisions that safeguard the rights of all Canadians and that is why he is steadfast in his belief of a woman’s right to choose," Kate Purchase, director of communications planning of the office, said in an email to CBC News.
In an email to supporters earlier this month, Trudeau attributed his stance on abortion to his famous father Pierre Trudeau.
"Canadians of all views are welcome within the Liberal Party of Canada. But under my leadership, incoming Liberal MPs will always vote in favour of a woman's fundamental rights," he wrote.
"When it comes to actively supporting women's rights, our party must speak with one voice."
It is not the first time abortion has prompted the board to take issue with the Liberal Party.
In 2003, the board sent a letter to Jean Chrétien, Trudeau's predecessor and then-prime minister of Canada, voicing their concerns over his statement “I am Catholic and for abortion.”
“To have someone, especially the Prime Minister of our country, use his Catholicity to support a position which obviously goes against Church teaching, we find reprehensible,” the letter dated June 6, 2003 read.
With files from The Canadian Press