Burnaby MLA Janet Routledge has spoken out in defence of accessible abortion services and a women’s right to choose following the recent comments of two BC Liberal MLAs.
Routledge rose in the legislature earlier this week to talk about her personal history fighting to abortion rights.
Routledge said she helped establish the Everywoman's Health Centre, the first freestanding abortion clinic in British Columbia.
“I remember being part of a human shield to protect [women] from being pushed, spit on and verbally abused. Supporters serving as human shields became a daily activity, and it was common for staff to arrive for work to find someone chained to the front door,” said Routledge. “We learned how to check the washroom for bombs, and we were urged to look under our cars for bombs before we drove home. I remember discussing what kind of Kevlar vest we should buy for the doctors and how to get them to wear one, even after one of our doctors, Gary Romalis, was shot by a sniper through his kitchen window.”
The statement came just weeks after two BC Liberal MLAs, Laurie Throness and Rich Coleman, spoke at a rally on the lawns of the legislature. Throness is the official BC Liberal spokesperson for Children and Families.
Coleman said at the rally that abortion is “totally, totally wrong.”
Routledge countered these comments by talk about how abortion accessibility impacts women.
“Making abortions illegal doesn't stop women from ending unwanted pregnancies. It just stops them from ending them safely.”
This is the full speech: