“Regulating abortion is not a fringe or radical position, even though it is portrayed as such by pro-abortion fanatics,” he told reporters in Winkler on May 17. “We’re not afraid. The PPC welcomes a debate on abortion.”
On May 12, Bernier announced he would run in the Portage-Lisgar by-election in rural Manitoba. The outspoken libertarian and political outsider from Montreal believes he can pull off an upset victory against his Conservative challenger Branden Leslie.
“This riding is where the PPC earned the most support in the 2021 general election, with our candidate receiving almost 22% of the vote,” he told Rebel News. “This is also where the largest rally of the campaign was held, with thousands of people attending near Winkler."
According to the former Conservative MP, breaking the taboo surrounding the issue is the most important thing. “We need to force the cowardly establishment in Ottawa to debate it,” he said.
If elected, he would table the Protection of Preborn Children Act to “limit the legal availability of abortion to 24 weeks maximum” in Canada and allow other PPC parliamentarians to vote their conscience on the issue.
“The controversial issue to be settled is where to put the dividing line,” said Bernier. “I believe it’s abhorrent that our laws put that line when the baby is born and do not recognize it as a human deserving protection before that instant.”
“This is what the law says in most other developed, civilized countries, such as in Europe. Canada is an outlier,” he added. “Those who support the current situation are the extremists.”
He called abortions at that stage of pregnancy “abhorrent” and akin to “infanticide.”
“It’s time to stop the infanticide. We must join the civilized world.”
Contrary to what some people claim, he said, there is “absolutely no contradiction” when defending bodily autonomy against vaccine mandates and the introduction of restrictions on abortion.
“At the beginning of pregnancy, I agree that the right of the mother to choose what to do with her body is predominant. But in the end, another human being needs society’s protection,” continued Bernier.
“Defending freedom and bodily autonomy means protecting this unborn child from harm. It’s not ‘her body, her choice’ anymore,” he said, claiming most people agree with this “common-sense view.”
Admittingly, the PPC leader said his supporters desire stricter anti-abortion legislation. However, he said Canadians “need to start somewhere.”
“The cutoff line that I believe would constitute a reasonable compromise for the vast majority of Canadians is at the beginning of the second trimester, when the fetus’ brain is sufficiently developed that it can process pain,” tweeted Bernier on May 19.
However, he wants to start from a position that is “so strong that our opponents won’t be able to reject or attack it without looking like depraved individuals with no moral conscience.”
“Woke fanatics tell me I have no say on the abortion issue because I don’t have a uterus,” he tweeted Tuesday. “They then claim it’s ok for biological men to use women’s bathrooms and changing rooms and compete in women’s sports, or even that ‘men’ can be pregnant!”
“The moral imperative to protect this being from harm then becomes paramount, again allowing exceptional medical circumstances,” said Bernier. The PPC leader said the legislation would permit exceptions to the rule, including abortions when the mother’s life is in danger, the baby has a lethal abnormality or no brain function, and rape cases.
He hopes that even “reasonable people” who are pro-choice support this bill.