I need to tell you a personal story.
I think when you know it you will understand why abortion is not a settled issue for me.
And I believe that even if you have a different opinion than me, you will understand my position a little better.
When I had just completed Law School and was starting my law career, articling on Bay street, I got pregnant.
From a career perspective this was the worst possible timing. Who would hire a law student walking around pregnant? How was I even going to study for and pass the bar exam?
The pressure to have an abortion was immense.
Friends went ahead and booked abortion consultations on my behalf.
People told me that I didn’t have a choice. It was my future, or my baby.
I need to be honest with you. In some sense they were right. For example, I was the only student not hired by the firm I was articling for, despite performing very well in my time there.
But I had something almost nobody else in my situation ever has: a supportive partner.
The most important person in my life stood by my side and helped me withstand the pressure.
And in the end, despite initial setbacks in my career, I have thrived, running my own law firm and getting incredible opportunities to teach in universities. And now I am running for leadership of our party.
My children have helped give me purpose and made me a better lawyer. They have shown me the power of choosing life.
And they are the reason I want to fight for all the women and girls who, like me, felt immense social social pressures to have an abortion.
I have been clear with my “No-Hidden Agenda” plan that:
- I will fight for the vulnerable through banning the misogynistic practice of sex-selective abortions.
- I will end abortion funding overseas and focus Canadian funding on actually helping women and girls overseas thrive.
- I will criminalize coerced abortions.
- And I will increase funding for pregnancy centres.
The last point is very important to me because I want women and girls all across Canada to have what I actually had: the support to choose life.
I want them to know that in this country you don’t have to choose between following your dreams, and having a family.
That’s what I’m fighting for.
And now you know why.