Inside Politics

Tory MP takes fight for right to vote on sex-selective abortion to committee

Conservative backbencher Mark Warawa will get his first -- but not last -- opportunity to revive his bid to condemn sex-selective abortion at a special meeting of the Standing Committee on Procedure and House Affairs later this week.

Last week, an all-party subcommittee effectively nixed his non-binding motion after MPs unanimously ignored the advice of an independent analyst, and ruled it non-votable, thus sparing the Commons from being obliged to put its collective position on the issue to the official record.

On Wednesday afternoon, Warawa will make his case to reconsider that ruling before the full committee, which can either accept or reject the subcommittee recommendation before reporting the matter back to the House.

If Warawa is successful, the motion will be restored to full votable status.

If not, he can take the matter to the House of Commons as a whole -- provided, that is, that he can muster the support of at least five other MPs from two recognized parties, and that the appeal is otherwise in order.

If the appeal is accepted, the Speaker would proceed to hold a secret ballot vote over the course of two sitting days to determine whether to allow the Chamber to vote on the motion after all.

Interestingly, the Standing Orders do not include a timeline for calling that vote, but presumably, he'd want to do so as soon as possible lest apparent foot-dragging were to spark even more grumbling from the backbenches.

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