'We pledge to make abortion unthinkable in our lifetime': PC MPP Sam Oosterhoff

Niagara West MPP, Sam Oosterhoff spoke in support of anti-abortion at rally in front of Queen's Park Thursday.

Niagara West MPP spoke at an anti-abortion rally at Queen’s Park

Sam Oosterhoff denies he's been quiet on the abortion issue since his party won the election. (Lisa Xing/CBC)

Niagara West MPP Sam Oosterhoff pledged at an anti-abortion rally in Toronto Thursday to make abortion "unthinkable." 

"I'm pro-life. I believe children should be allowed to live, no matter how small they are," said Oosterhoff.

"We have survived 50 years of abortion in Canada and we pledge to fight to make abortion unthinkable in our lifetime."

He made the comments at an anti-abortion rally in front of Queen's Park Thursday. Toronto's event comes alongside a similar rally Thursday at Parliament Hill in Ottawa.

Oosterhoff told CBC News that he doesn't have a problem raising these issues at the provincial legislature, or anywhere else.

"I have no problem talking about the importance respecting life no matter how small child is," said Oosterhoff.

He thanked people for attending the rally, citing that it was the first March for Life in Toronto.

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"Thank you for being among the first. You are all trailblazers because you believe in the rights of mothers and children."

Oosterhoff was one of three MPPs to take the stage at the rally. Christina Mitas, MPP for Scarborough Centre, and Will Bouma, MPP for Brantford-Brant, were alongside him.

The comments came in time for the topic to be addressed during question period. 

NDP MPP for the riding of Nickel Belt, France Gélinas, asked Premier Doug Ford if he supports his MPPs who were at the rally.

Ford deferred the question to Energy Minister Greg Rickford. 

Rickford addressed the legislature, touching on various topics including the carbon tax, but avoided the topic of the rally altogether. 

Sam Oosterhoff (PC, Niagara West), Christina Mitas (Scarborough Centre) and Will Bouma (Brantford-Brant) took the stage at an anti-abortion rally at Queen's Park Thursday. (Lisa Xing/CBC)

Ford later issued a statement after Oosterhoff's comments saying abortion was not part of his agenda.

"The Ontario PC Party is a big tent. We welcome members from a wide variety of backgrounds and beliefs," said Ford. "The government will not re-open the abortion debate."

After Ford's statement, Oosterhoff was asked again by the media about his stance on abortion. 

"To quote Dr. Seuss, "A person's a person no matter how small," said Oosterhoff.

Horwath says NDP are 'horrified'

Andrea Horwath, leader of the official opposition NDP and Hamilton Centre MPP, has condemned the comments.

"We are horrified that Doug Ford continues to refuse to denounce his MPP's dangerous, anti-choice and anti-women position," said Horwath.

"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."

This is the second time in days that Oosterhoff, 21, has been in the news. The anti-abortion comments come on the heels of the MPP's office staff called Niagara Regional Police to have a small group of seniors reading books removed from his Beamsville office Tuesday.


Laura Clementson is a producer for CBC's The National. She can be reached at laura.clementson@cbc.ca. Follow Laura on Twitter @LauraClementson.

With files from Lisa Xing