Windsor

Chatham-Kent-Leamington Green party candidate clarifies position on abortion

Mark Vercouteren's comments come days after Green party leader Elizabeth May confirmed she was "re-vetting" a number of candidates — including Vercouteren — due to previous comments they made about abortion and Quebec nationalism. 

Mark Vercouteren says he agrees with the Green party's position on a woman's right to choose

Mark Vercouteren is the Green candidate in the southwestern Ontario riding of Chatham-Kent—Leamington. (Mark Vercouteren/Twitter)

Green Party Chatham-Kent-Leamington candidate Mark Vercouteren clarified his position on abortion Monday, saying his views aligns with the party's position.

"I strongly believe in a woman's right to a safe, legal abortion," Vercouteren said, in an email statement. 

Vercouteren's comments come days after Green party leader Elizabeth May confirmed she was "re-vetting" a number of candidates — including Vercouteren — due to previous comments they made about abortion and Quebec nationalism. 

CBC News previously reported Vercouteren made anti-abortion statements in two Campaign Life Coalition questionnaires — most recently during the 2018 Ontario provincial elections. 

Vercouteren confirmed that he said he was pro-life in a 2014 Campaign Life Coalition survey, explaining he meant he believes "in the sanctity of all life, but that this does not override a woman's right to choose."

He added that he believes the Campaign Life Coalition re-used his answers in a 2018 survey without his permission. 

"I did not disclose my past answers to the Green Party of Canada when they selected me as a candidate because I agree with the party's policies on this issue," Vercouteren said. "This includes support for abortion access, preventative measures like comprehensive sex education, access to contraception, and expanded support for low-income mothers."

Vercouteren also apologized for the confusion caused by his answers in 2018. 

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