Here's where UCP leadership candidates stand on abortion and access to it
After the U.S. Supreme Court stripped away constitutional protections for abortion Friday by overturning Roe v. Wade, NDP Leader Rachel Notley demanded that everyone running to become the next leader of the UCP clarify their stance on the issue.
"I am horrified. Lives will be ruined as a result of this court decision and make no mistake, people will die," Notley told reporters.
"I call today on every UCP leadership candidate…to definitively state that they will never do anything to undermine the fundamental right to reproductive healthcare for women, girls and people who can become pregnant."
Abortion laws in Canada are federal jurisdiction but provinces fund services and Alberta Health Services decides what services will be offered and where, Health Minister Jason Copping said recently..
There are three abortion clinics in Alberta, one in Edmonton and two in Calgary.
Copping promised Friday that services in the province will stay the same. That may change when a new leader, and premier, is chosen in October.
Eight people were registered for that race on Saturday.
The MLA for Chestermere-Strathmore, called the U.S. decision calling it "devastating on so many levels" in a Friday Twitter video.
"We, as elected officials, must protest women's rights locally, nationally and internationally," an impassioned Aheer said.
"Abortion will happen, regardless of the decisions that are being imposed. The overturn of this decision undermines choice or the ability to get support."
The former Wildrose Party leader did not react directly to the Supreme Court decision or clarify his stance on abortion.
"Nothing that happened in the United States today changed any law, regulation, or rule in Alberta or Canada," he wrote in a statement to CTV News Edmonton.
"Any politician or leftist activist who implies otherwise is simply trying to create divisions amongst Albertans."
The MLA for Calgary-North East wrote in a statement Saturday that, “abortion is a federal matter. Having said that, my government will not make any legislative changes on abortion.”
The MLA for Calgary-Shaw promised to protect access to abortion in Alberta.
"As a woman, I believe all women should have the freedom to choose and have access to the health care services they need. Under a Schulz government this will not change," she wrote in a statement.
The former Wildrose leader included vaccines in her pro-choice statement.
"This is an American court decision that has no bearing on what happens in Canada or Alberta," Smith wrote to CTV News Edmonton.
"That said, I am pro-choice, and that includes supporting a person’s right to make choices on what do do with their own body, such as medical treatments and vaccines. I feel so strongly about this it is why I announced last week I would amend the Human Rights Act to protect an individual from discrimination for their medical choices or political beliefs."
The former finance minister stated that he is pro-life in a recent Postmedia article and a spokesperson for him sent the same statement, and only that, to CTV News Edmonton.
“My personal views would put me in the pro-life camp on that issue, but I have no intention or agenda on limiting access to health care with respect to abortion. I’ve shared my personal views but what really matters is how I would lead in this area,” Toews said.
The campaigns for Todd Loewen and Bill Rock did not respond.