Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s chief of staff, Katie Telford, was fact-checked by X’s community guidelines after sharing an article from the Guardian claiming that Canada has no pro-choice Conservative MPs.
“Canada has zero pro-choice Conservative MPs.” wrote Telford Thursday. The claim was quickly labelled false by X’s community notes team. X was called Twitter until a rebrand last week.
“Bill C-311 is a 78-word Bill that does not contain the word abortion,” wrote the note applied to Telford’s post. “The Bill is to protect a pregnant woman with aggravating circumstance for the purpose of sentencing.”
X provided a link to the one-page document summarizing the Violence Against Pregnant Women Act, which aims to give higher sentences to violent offenders against pregnant women.
CTV News columnist Don Martin retweeted Telford’s comments noting her interpretation of the Bill is misleading.
“Not sure why the Prime Minister’s chief of staff is retweeting something she knows is misleading at best but basically false.”
The Guardian’s article cites the Abortion Rights Coalition of Canada (ARCC), Canada’s largest abortion rights lobby criticizing Bill C-311.
According to the Guardian, ARCC’s executive director, Joyce Arthur, said the bill was a “thinly veiled attempt to encroach on Canada’s longstanding view that fetuses do not have personhood status.”
“[The bill] is basically singling out pregnant people for special protection. In an ideal world maybe that would be OK, but the bill was actually introduced by Cathay Wagantall, who’s got a reputation for introducing anti-abortion bills,” Arthur told The Guardian.
On June 14th, Conservatives voted in favour of Bill C-311 in the House of Commons, but was defeated 205-113.
“One cannot be pro-choice in a vacuum – or in this case a hotbed of growing right-wing extremism,” wrote the ARCC in a statement. “These ‘pro-choice’ Conservatives have signed up to a party that is largely anti-choice.”
The Canadian Institute for Health Information (CIHI) released its latest statistics confirming 87,485 induced abortions recorded in Canada in 2021.
An Angus Reid poll shows almost half of Canadians believe there should be some limit on abortion. The survey was conducted in the wake of the latest Roe v. Wade discussion south of the border.