Prime Minister Stephen Harper says he opposes any new abortion law for Canada and will vote against any of his backbenchers' attempts to bring in such legislation.
When asked Friday about Conservative MP Rod Bruinooge's abortion bill, Harper said he normally doesn't comment on private member's legislation, but said he does not want a debate in Parliament over the issue.
"My position is quite clear: I will oppose any attempt to create a new abortion law," he told reporters in Niagara Falls.
Harper's Conservative government has faced intense criticism at home and abroad for its decision to refuse funding for abortions in its G8 child and maternal health-care initiative for developing countries. The prime minister and his cabinet have repeatedly insisted the decision doesn't translate into re-opening the abortion debate.
But when asked Friday whether he would designate a vote on any private member's bill on abortion as whipped, meaning MPs in his caucus must vote the party line or face consequences, Harper did not answer and moved on to another question.
In April, Bruinooge, who heads the self-declared "pro-life caucus" of MPs in the House of Commons, introduced a private member's bill designed to protect vulnerable women from "abortion abuse."
The bill would penalize anyone who "coerces" a woman into ending her pregnancy against her will.