07.16.2011 09:21 AM

Tim Hudak would defund abortion, part two

Yesterday’s postings by me, GritChik, Dammit Janet and others led to an eruption in nasty comments by partisan Conservatives here and elsewhere, some even paid Hudak staffers. Their responses took three forms:

  1. You’re desperate, nobody cares abortion, blah blah blah.
  2. Hudak’s desire to defund abortion is old news, who cares, blah blah blah.
  3. I’m glad he plans to defund abortion, and it’ll happen when we win the election, blah blah blah.

You can decide for yourself whether any of those arguments are compelling.  Me, I intend to continue to highlight what – in any political race – is a very important issue: namely, shouldn’t people know that PC leader Tim Hudak has never renounced his stated  desire to defund abortion?

Here is that position, in black and white, which has never changed:


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    paul c says:

    If the Liberals are already reduced to using this scare tactic, things must be worse than the polls suggest. What’s next: “Guns in the streets”?

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      Warren says:

      Funny, those exact talking points have been used many times in the past day. Must be a coincidence.

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        DB Smith says:

        Funny, (how) those exact (Liberal) talking points have been used many times in the past (eleven) years. (It) must be a coincidence and how did it turn out for the federal Liberals who were by coincidence using these exact same (Liberal) talking points these past eleven years.

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    RN200 says:

    Does nobody see the difference between the words “encourage” and “force”? The quote read “encourage”, you’re treating it as if he said “force”. I’d say that’s the definition of spin.

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      Attack! says:

      huh? you put words in his mouth and accuse him of spin? WK never said / wrote that Hudak would “force” women to carry unwanted babies to term… he said that Hudak would defund abortion, i.e., take it off the OHIP plan, if he were to become Premier. You’re the one seeing things and attacking straw men.

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      sharonapple88 says:

      “Encourage” — well, because he can’t legally “force” a woman not to have an abortion in Canada. The procedure isn’t illegal in this country.

      I do find it funny that Conservatives generally don’t like the government meddling with the public… except when it comes to issues like abortion and minority and gay rights.

      As for “encouraging” a woman not to have an abortion, hopefully this means putting programs in place like daycare, increase social assistance, and maternal care to help make raising a child easier (and which appear to decrease the abortion rate). Most of the time when people talk about “encouraging” a woman not to have an abortion, it means waiting periods, counseling, and making the procedure generally less accessible.

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        Erich Jacoby-Hawkins says:

        “hopefully this means putting programs in place like daycare, increase social assistance, and maternal care”

        Yeah right, good luck finding that in Hudak’s platform!

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    DB Smith says:

    From the link provided as it provides some prespective and is it a “Liberal truth” to say “which has never changed” when the site that was referenced does not support that statement.


    Caution CLC is still evaluating this individual, does not have enough data, or their record is mixed. View their quotes & voting history to help you decide.

    CLC rating: evaluation pending

    Rating Comments: Used to be solidly pro-life, but has not responded to a CLC questionnaire since 1995, nor done anything related to life and family issues. Shortly after winnning the leadership of the PC party in 2009, he chose to run an openly lesbian candidate in the St. Paul?s riding by-election.

    This may signal that Hudak?s world view has changed from ?socially conservative? to ?socially liberal?. Any expectations of Hudak becoming a life and family champion are further tempered by the fact that his wife, Deb Hutton, is said to be pro-abortion, pro-gay rights and firmly ensconced on the socially liberal side of the PC party. On the positive side, he made a campaign promise to abolish the oppressive Ontario Human Rights Commission which has been trampling the freedom of speech and freedom of religion for Ontario Christians.

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    WDM says:

    I understand politics can be messy and past quotes are going to be used all the time, that’s fair. But the Liberals should be VERY careful on this. Abortion is a much more divisive issue than some think, that is to say there is a large portion of the population who are, in my view, anti-abortion but pro-choice. In short, the Liberals should be careful with their language and not try and paint anyone who objects to abortion as being some sort of far-right reactionary. In my view, and it’s entirely anecdotal, is that this type of reactionary language and rhetoric hurt the Liberals federally more than it hurt the Conservatives (in that many traditional centrist voters were belittled for a view they held on an issue that probably wouldn’t have normally swayed their vote). So yes, force Hudak to clarify his position and what he’d do as Premier, but don’t attack him for the view of the topic of abortion in and of itself.

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      DB Smith says:

      It worked so well for the federal Liberal and I am sure that those in Ontario who rejected this spam attack then will deal with this misrepresentation in the same manner as they did for Ignatieff.

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        Attack! says:

        you seem sure of so many things here, lately, and sure seem to have a lot of your time on your hands to razz WK and try to paint the fed. and provincial Lib. parties with the same brush (gee, can we to the same? would the Hudak government be running the largest provincial deficits in history and cheat on elections spending to get there?);

        so tell us, oh, deafeningly high dB’s, what would you have done to prevent Ontartio’s current economic malaise? why are you ducking this question:

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          DB Smith says:

          Who is ducking, other than McGiunty who seems to be in hiding and never on any of his partied elections ads.

          I would not have created an enviorment that caused 300,000 manufactoring jobs to leave the province, I would not have turned a $5.0 billion deficit into a $18.9 billion deficit, I would not have raised taxes, I would not have bought off the unions, I would not turn the Province into a have not Province, I would not have to rely on the CPC to fund my health care, otherwords I would not have voted Liberal.

          As for your `comment`on cheating on elections spending, there is always that $100.00 of millions of taxpayers dollars that was sent to Liberal friendlty firms that saw a large portion of that money be returned to the Liberal party. (SF AG report)

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      Ted says:

      It only worked for the Conservatives and didn’t for the Liberals because Harper was forced to adopt a strong pro-choice position for his party. Prior to 2006, he and his party either avoided the issue or were tepid in their pro-choice support.

      But once he came out with a strongly pro-choice position – will never even allow anti-choice legislation to pass – the Liberal position became quite useless and scaremongering about a “hidden agenda”. The Liberals only failed on this issue because they had nothing else to offer and there was no difference between the two parties on this issue. Very definitely not the case here.

      Right now, I’d say we were about 2000-2004 on this issue for the Hudak/Hillier Progressive Conservatives of Ontario. We have their not very long ago (leadership campaign) record – strongly pro-choice, in favour of defunding – and we have silence today.

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    irmundv says:

    Defund abortion! Great! That just means that those choosing abortion pay for their own birth control. If people are too lazy to use birth control and pay for it themselves why should the rest of us pay for their laziness and pleasure seeking. I say, “I can’t wait until abortion is defunded”. Way to go Tim. Liberals want to take care of everything for everyone using someone else’s money. Conservatives believe in taking responsibility for their own actions.

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      nic919 says:

      By that same logic we should force people who get lung cancer because of smoking or who require liver transplants because of drinking to pay for their own treatment as well. The health care system is not in place to be the moral police and if we are going to pick and choose who gets treatment based on own moral code, then there will be many people paying out of their own pockets. Defunding abortion is a serious issue and since it’s the provincial government that manages health care, this is something that Hudak should be clear about.

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        CanadianSense says:

        Delisting publicly funded community-based physical therapy services in Ontario

        Credit Valley brochure

        Here is a brief list of defunded services best of luck with fearmonger on abortion as a moral wedge.

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          Attack! says:

          Gee, CS, not that you’d consciously mislead people or anything, but it’s sure interesting that:

          1) the document in the second link, Credit Valley Hospital’s list of defunded procedures:

          a) is almost entirely comprised by elective ‘plastic surgery’ items like ‘tummy tucks’ and nose jobs or the reversal of sterilization procedures that were optional in the first place; and

          b) was first compiled in June, 2003, acc. to the pdf’s document properties (ctrl-d), which, um, was several months BEFORE McGuinty took office.

          2) the abstract of the study in the first place doesn’t say anything about:

          a) the nature, purpose or indications of the community-based physical therapy services; that, um,
          b) were only PARTIALLY defunded or delisted; or,
          c) whether they were still widely available for no cost at public hospital facilities, for stroke victims, e.g., or whether there are alternate payers like WCB who are still picking up the tab for workplace injuries, leaving just the weekend warriors with sports injuries having to pay a higher deductible for rehab at a clinic if they’re not disciplined enough to do the follow-ups at home themselves; or,

          d) how this seemed to be be much more of a pragmatic economic decision to contain escalating costs rather than an ideological one based on a socially conservative moral code.

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            DB Smith says:

            Attack In addition to the $1.0 wasted on e health the delisting report reads that the LPC under McGunity has made matters worse – not better.

            Our results indicate that 12 months following delisting, and despite government assurances that access would be preserved, clients rendered ineligible for publicly funded services report ongoing access barriers across Ontario. Clients in this study also express concern about their overall health and report an increased use of other insured health professionals (e.g., physicians) and services (e.g., hospitals).

            On the other hand, providers within the network of publicly funded clinics report an important decrease in demand for PT services, whereas those from other settings report little change.

            We conclude that delisting policies may have long-term consequences on uninsured or underinsured clients and that evidence-based policy planning is warranted to ensure that the goals of reform are aligned with the desired outcomes at the client, provider, and system levels.

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    TDotRome says:

    Tim Hudak: I believe it’s the Conservative’s role to obliterate freedom.

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    wilson says:

    Perhaps Liberals should spend less time fearmongering with decades old culture wars,
    and more time looking for solutions.

    Imo, it would be a perfectly reasonable compromise to offer publicly funded abortion services up to 12 weeks, after that, women can choose to pay a private clinic or use an adoption service.

    In Ontario, only 48% of hospitals perform abortions.

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      Attack! says:

      “reasonable” is in the eye of the beholder, there, Wilson. Hasn’t it occurred to you that many don’t truly realize / admit to themselves that they even are pregnant until or even after 12 weeks, much less arrive at a considered decision about what to do about it… at which time irreparable damage may have been done to the developing fetus if they’d been ingesting various substances (smoking, drinking, etc.). Did you know it costs the various health, social and corrections services something like a million dollars for every child born with FAS, even those who get adopted.

      As for the ‘compromise’ you propose, it’d make Ontario the province with the poorest health care coverage for abortions of all the provinces and territories except Nunavut.


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        wilson says:

        In Saskatoon, publicly funded abortions are performed up to the 12th week only!
        So I guess women in Saskatchewan are considered smarter about their bodies, eh.

        Restricting ‘publicly funded’ abortions to 12 weeks still leaves pro-choice women with the choice of private clinics or adoption agencies.

        ‘Progressives’ ignore the majority (not just conservatives) who are very very uncomfortable with the “unrestricted access” aspect of abortions in Canada.
        But then too, Ontario is about to boot out the ‘progressives’,
        as they did on May 2, federally.
        You Libs are not listening!

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          Attack! says:

          way to miss the point, and don’t take so much comfort in the fact that so many others may be uninformed about the availability or purpose of abortions in Canada (both therapeutic and otherwise).

          – First, the only one I found (w. a quick search) saying that about Saskatoon is… you.

          – Second, even if it’s true that there’s a lack of access to facilities in SK due, presumably, to their social conservatism, you’re ignoring the fact provided in the table in the link I gave that the SK gov’t still provides funding for abortions done in the 2 clinics in neighboring Alberta, up to 14 weeks.

          – Third, just because they’ve restricted access and funding in those ways doesn’t mean their women are any “smarter about their bodies” than any those in any other province… or,

          – Fourth, that the health and social problems occasioned by conditions like FASD (or other forms of substance or drug induced damage or addictions passed on to the fetus) or AIDS etc. associated with unplanned and belatedly recognized pregnancies aren’t a horribly costly problem there;

          – Fifth, a fairly high percentage of the persons I alluded to who may not recognize or acknowledge their pregnancy until very near or after the end of their first trimester are also probably not only the least likely to be able to afford to have the procedure done in a private clinic, but also most likely to have engaged in risky behaviors during the pregnancy.

          So, like your original point, your rejoinder evinces both poor reasoning and poor public policy.

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        wilson says:

        poll…..”Four-in-ten respondents think a woman can have an abortion only during
        the first three months of her pregnancy.”


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    CQ says:

    1995. Yawn.
    Weren’t most Liberals against Gay Marriage way back then, too?
    Try campaigning 2011. Just what is the Ontario Liberal party offering in the here and now?

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      Pete says:

      Tim bits positive policies are all lies so far as has been proven by his past statements. So tell us what the real ones are.

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        Pete says:

        This page isn’t long enough for all of them but lets look at one in particUlar. A year ago HST was a goner in a Hudak government and since then the pollsters have told him its no longer an issue so he changes his mind and throws a few crumbs at it to cover his dirty tracks.
        it goes on and on with lying Tim bits and promises.

        The Libs now have his number and the upcoming ads will show how much a liar he is.

        His homophobic stuff and anti abortion stuff from the past are real statements of his beliefs as a politician regardless of when they were stated. He used them to get elected.

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        Attack! says:

        which was what, your missing the point, as usual?

        You keep trying to pin a charge of hypocrisy on WK, or evaluate his credibility, or try to tell him what his job is, or offer concern troll advice on how to do it better….

        without understanding that his job in the War Room, as he explained both in his book and in his column a couple weeks ago, isn’t to run for office himself, and isn’t to run the positive by crafting and setting out his client / Party’s policies…

        it’s to trip up, expose the shortcomings or drawbacks, and put egg on the face of his opponent… and to scramble to put out the brush fires that his counterparts in the other camp’s war room(s) start for them.

        Your ‘observations’ are like complaining that the grunts in the infantry shouldn’t be shooting people or complaining about landmines (cuz they used to use them, too)… the should be fighting an air war or a diplomatic or political or PR war.

        Sorry, but that just betrays a fundamental misunderstanding of the modern, multi-faceted approach to both political and military campaigns.

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        DB Smith says:

        You are asking for what the Liberals cannot provide and will not provide – substance to support their allegations and insults.

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    Tiger says:

    Re comparisons to the federal Liberals’ fear-mongering tactics from 2004-2011 — those tactics _did_ work. Their use by the Martinites delayed Harper becoming PM from 2004 to 2006, and helped ensure he didn’t get a majority until now.

    So it absolutely makes sense that the Ontario Grits are bringing them up now — you use whatever ammunition you can find.

    That being said, that they’re coming out in mid-July for an early-October vote… potential death spiral, anyone?

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      Tiger says:

      Well, what helped that stuff work particularly well in 2004 was, the CPC didn’t have a platform — they really weren’t ready for an election.

      That isn’t true of the PCPO — say what you will about the Ontario PCs, they have a full platform, the four pillars of which have about 65-70% support among the Ontarian electorate. That’s a bit more like the 2006 scenario for the federal Tories.

      This is a punch that’s meant to get Hudak to forswear a portion (but only a portion!) of his base, and to get them off-topic.

      I don’t think it’ll work — but we’ll see. I can easily see why they’re doing it.

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        Tiger says:

        (Yes, there was a document out for the Tories with a “platform” label attached, and I liked it more than the later platforms. But it wasn’t one that was crafted to win votes, the way the later ones were.)

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      DB Smith says:

      It worked in 2004, not so much in 2006, not as well in 2008 and bombed in 2011 as Canadians have dismissed the am old, same old Liberal talking points as being nothing more than white noise from a party without policies or principles.

      Just to remind the the LPC just how well all of their talking points, comments and personal observations have served the former natural Governing party over the last 11 years and that there is a reason that 85% of voting Canadians see the LPC as the Forest Gump party of Canadian politics.

      2000 LPC 172 seats 40.85%, CPC 78 seats 37.0%
      2004 LPC 135 seats 36.7% Chrétien is forced out, CPC 99 seats 29.6%
      2006 LPC 103 seats 30.2% Martin resigns, CPC 124 seats 36.2%
      2008 LPC 77 seats 26.6% Dion is removed, CPC 143 seats 37.6%
      2011 LPC 34 seats 18.9% Ignatieff resigns, CPC 165 seats 39.6%

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        Tiger says:

        Diminishing returns, sure.

        But the Ontario Liberals are in a majority government and are facing a rookie opposition leader. They’re down by double-digits. What do they do?

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    Dave Redekop says:

    A pox on both of your houses! Time to turn orange this election. Get away from all this negative politics!

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      Pete says:

      Yea lets all broke together

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        George says:

        Ontario’s already “broke”. Liberal watch. NDP are looking like a refreshing change. If they bring in their One School System plank more Liberals and Conservatives will support that leaving the Catholics to split the vote between Hudak and McGuinty.

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    Paul McKeever says:

    There is nothing “Liberal” about pointing out a man’s convictions. A man’s convictions are simply a man’s convictions. And, when that man seeks to have what – in our Parliamentary system – is nigh equivalent to the power of a dictator, it is only fitting that we know what he believes should be the “role of government”.

    Saying “I believe the government’s role is” is not the same as saying “I promise to”. A belief is not a campaign promise. A belief transcends campaign promises and elections. It colours all promises and elections. Promising to take the HST off of electricity, but to otherwise leave the HST in place, tells you something about the PCs at this point in time (mostly, that they are all bark and no bite when it comes to promises to cut taxes and spending, and that they are entirely unprincipled). Saying “I believe” tells you something about Tim Hudak, the man who wants to be the CEO of Ontario.

    It follows that arguments to the effect of “Oh, that quote is 16 years old” are decidedly pointless, unless Tim Hudak has changed his beliefs. Has he? If so, let me hear him say it: “I, Tim Hudak, no longer believe that government’s role is to promote the choice of life in childbearing decisions. I no longer believe it is the government’s role to encourage women to carry their babies to term. I no longer believe it is the government’s role to encourage women to give up unwanted children for adoption.” Until he says it, we must take the man at his word: his belief remains the same.

    Moreover, this is not just any belief. It is a belief he has about “the role of government”. Hudak’s not merely talking about his personal moral position. He’s talking about how the power of government should be used and directed. That is clearly a material consideration for any voter.

    As for the argument “he was only talking about encouraging, not forcing”: when we are talking about “the role of government”, that’s a false distinction. Government does nothing without the money it takes from us in taxes, fees etc. It does not merely “encourage” us to fund a campaign against abortion. It holds us, ultimately, at gunpoint (try not paying your taxes, and refusing arrest), requiring us to fund whatever it desires to promote or discourage. Tim Hudak might not have the power to criminalize abortions, but there are a host of “encouragements” he could engage in. For example, Hudak could make ones medical license dependent upon not providing abortions. He could impose massive fees for various made-mandatory services (e.g., environmental fees for disposal of the foetus); he could make the having of an abortion a basis for denying property distribution upon the breakdown of a marriage; he could require all sorts of procedures to be followed, and permissions to be obtained, before having an abortion. For example, consider the regulations, procedures, fees, and approvals that are usually imposed on such things as chopping down a flipping tree. The “he’s only talking about encouraging” argument is dead in the water.

    As for the notion that “culture wars” are decades old: look around you. We’ve gone from the summer of 2003 to an era of bizarre governmental pot fetishes, the glorification of sacrifice, the building of prisons, prayer in our public schools. We’ve gone in reverse: from 2003’s growth into adulthood and personal responsibility, to a father-knows-best paternalism, spawned in no small measure from a primarily conservative desire to merge religious commandments with the laws of man. If we’re in a culture war – and we are – it is a war being brought on by the conservatives, seeking to make government their god, delivering them, as increasingly child-like people, from “evil” such as the temptation having sex with someone of the same sex, the temptation of smoking pot, the temptation of not “dying for ones country” etc. It’s a war brought on by children, against adulthood. It is only fitting, therefore, that the adults do not spare the rod, in this case.

    Here endeth the sermon. Amen.

    P.S. For the record, full disclosure: I believe that it is *not* the role of government to promote the choice of life (or the choice of abortion) in childbearing decisions. I believe it is *not* the government’s role to encourage or discourage women to carry their babies to term. I believe it is *not* the government’s role to encourage or discourage women to give up unwanted children for adoption. The government’s only role in the matter of abortion is to defend the woman’s life, liberty, and property as she makes and carries out her own choice in the matter.

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    George says:

    Wow! I’m thinking that the Conservative blogs must be not meeting the needs of their support base judging by the number of conservatives flocking to your most popular discussion vehicle Warren:-)

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