Wednesday , September 23 2020

'This is superfluous': 2 PRO members announce opposition to conscience law


Two members of the United Conservative Party have said they oppose critics of the conscience law, saying it would limit access to health care.

APDI Adriiri-Cochran Peter Gutierrez said Bill 207, a private member law, allegedly enforced by the Charter of Conscience Beliefs, is complicated and unclear.

"We have freedom of conscience. We already have freedom of religion, "Guthrie told the SBS ouz on Saturday. "This is superfluous. I think it adds a red bar. "

Justice Minister Doug Schweitzer shared his support for Guthrie's stance on Twitter on Saturday, saying he would vote against the law unless major changes were made.

Bill 207 says that a health care provider or religious health organization is not required to provide health care, including "providing official or informal referral to a patient" that violates their personal beliefs.

Critics of the controversial bill fear it could limit access to reproductive health care, dying medical assistance and trans people health services.

Guthrie said he was worried.

"There are more areas where this fails," he said.

"Such a bill will end up in the judicial system and will do nothing but cause problems for the judicial system."

Peaceful Peace River PRO, MOC Dan Williams, introduced Bill 207 last week. (Dan Williams / Twitter)

The MLA Peace River, Dan Williams, presented the law to parliament last week. He said the intention is to strengthen the Charter's rights to the conscience belief – not to limit access to certain health services.

Guthrie said she believed in freedom of speech, which is why she voted for the law at first reading. By doing so, the law gave an opportunity to be heard, he said.

"It's nice that we can have these conversations and be able to disagree with them and still have a very good working relationship," Gutierrez said.

Guthrie said the government was not telling PRO MMA how to vote on the bill.

& # 39; This is a test & # 39;

Opposition leader Rachel Nottley said she is not buying that PRO members will vote freely.

"Probably the outcome of this vote is predetermined by the conservative caucus," Nottley told reporters Saturday. "I don't know exactly where they will land."

Knowley said the NDP is strongly opposed to the "extremist account".

NDP leader Rachel Knutley called Bill 207 "a extremist bill". (Gabriel Brown / Radio Canada)

"The UCP as a whole has an unhealthy obsession with the desire to control female bodies," she said.

"Playing games like this encourages limiting those health care rights that people should otherwise enjoy."

Many members of the NAP have said they have not read the law – a statement taken by Prime Minister Asoney Kenny on Friday.

Bill 207 does not come from the PRO government, but some people in protest outside the Alberta legislature on Saturday expressed frustration with the party.

"This is a test," said Essen Reinhard-Simpson, founder of the Abortion Access Network in Alberta and one of approximately 200 protesters. "This is deliberate to see how far the PRO can go."

She said she was concerned Bill 207 would lead to the flooding of "hand in hand" abortion legislation with the United States.

People were protesting against Bill 207 in Edmonton on Saturday. Critics of the law say it can be used to restrict access to abortion, contraception, trans-people health care and medical death assistance. (Craig Ryan / FBC)

Sandra Azokar is the executive director of Friends of Medicare, which helped organize a protest on Saturday.

"It is an unnecessary expense and will harm many Albertans," she said.

Azokar said conscience rights are already protected.

“I don't know what [Williams is] talking about the need for additional protections, "she said." The only protection you give people is protection so you can discriminate. "

Bill 207 will be heard by the Legislature's Standing Committee on Private Records and Public Records of Private Members on Monday. The PRO and NDP MPP committee will decide whether the law should be returned to the hearing.

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