PHOTOS: Alberta Health Minister Sarah Hoffman. Below: United Conservative Party House Leader Jason Nixon.
Later this week, Alberta’s NDP Government will introduce Bill 9, the Protecting Choice for Women Accessing Health Care Act.
The legislation will ban demonstrations within 50 metres of an abortion clinic, as is already the case in British Columbia and Ontario.
Creating safe zones is necessary because of “deliberate targeting by intimidation, shame, harassment and bullying of women who are often vulnerable,” Health Minister Sarah Hoffman told a news conference in Edmonton yesterday.
Led and dominated by social conservatives, Alberta’s UCP Legislative Caucus is not likely to be very happy about this. Expect to hear anguished cries from the far-right rage machine claiming the measure is an infringement of free speech.
Count on it, these will be made by the same people who think it’s reasonable to demand anti-pipeline protesters in British Columbia be jailed without trial for exercising their right to free expression, and that similar restrictions at Kinder Morgan Inc.’s Trans Mountain Pipeline terminal don’t go nearly far enough.
Yesterday, UPC House Leader Jason Nixon was cagey about the NDP legislation, stalling for time before he had anything to say about it. Well, they do deserve a chance to have a look at it before commenting, I guess. We’ll see how that works out.
Sooner or later, the UCP is going to have to say something as anti-abortion activists line up to seek riding nominations to run for the party.
In February, Mr. Nixon was on social media enthusiastically sharing an interview with UCP Leader Jason Kenney by a far-right U.S. website, in which Mr. Kenney revealed a back-door strategy for reintroducing restrictions on abortions to Alberta by allowing “free votes” in the Legislature on “contentious social issues,” including women’s reproductive rights.