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.

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  1. They can still protest, they just can’t get in someones face or interfer in the functing of the place so I don’t see it as a violation of free speech.

    I do wish they’d make the same rule for speakers on university campuses, no more Antifa and other tools silencing people by pulling fire alarms, or screaming into peoples faces.

    1. Pulling a fire alarm in the absence of a fire is already a crime. I think you will find, though, that the reports of “Antifa” silencing campus speakers are greatly exaggerated, while the anti-abortion shouters are very real, numerous and active.

  2. Everyone would prefer less abortions to be done. There are ways for that to happen. Quote, Michael Coren:
    …”by making contraceptives readily available, by insisting on modern sex education in schools, by reducing poverty, by funding public daycare, by empowering women more generally.”
    Also, another suggestion is to look to the countries who have the lowerst abortion rates. Here is some info:
    We, including social conservatives, need not kid ourselves here. Again, being raised in a right wing social conservative family, I know, that despite the mantra of ‘no sex before marriage,’ sex before marriage goes on for many anyway. It reminds me of the parent I know who supplies condoms in the household and saying to the kids, “glove up.”
    The paradox is the resistance to high abortion rates but also the resistance to the solutions which would beget lower abortion rates. It entails rejigging political and culture belief systems. To be possibly crass, “take your pick.”

    1. Absolutely agree. You only have to think about the opposition to the teaching of basic sex education in our schools from some quarters. Ditto for birth control and family planning.

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