Langley MP Mark Warawa wants the Canadian Parliament to unite in condemnation over sex-selective abortion.
This week Warawa introduced a motion against the practice, which sees some families terminate pregnancies if the fetus will be a girl.
The practice is common in some parts of China and India, where the widespread desire for a boy and the low value placed on girls has caused a massive gender imbalance, with 120 boys to 100 girls being born in some regions.
While the practice is much less common in Canada, a CBC investigation in June showed that a number of Canadian ultrasound clinics were willing to offer information on a fetus's gender before 20 weeks of pregnancy. That is early enough for an abortion.
"We got a lot of phone calls of concern," said Warawa.
While his motion would not ban early tests for the gender of a fetus, Warawa said he hopes the condemnation will send a message.
All parties in the House of Commons have condemned the practice, and a poll showed 92 per cent of Canadians opposed sex selective abortion as well.
"It's rare that you get 92 per cent of Canadians supporting the same thing," said Warawa.
The Society of Obstetricians and Gynecologists of Canada has also opposed sex selective abortion.
Warawa said he wrote his motion carefully so as not to inflame any other issues. It's about gender discrimination, he said.
However, a recent controversial bill by a Conservative backbencher has seen Warawa's issue drawn into its wake.
The bill, to study the Criminal Code definition of where life begins, was defeated, but a number of MPs voted in favour, including Status of Women Minister Rona Ambrose. So far, she has only cited sex selective termination as a reason for her vote.
If Parliament wants to pass a law banning early gender screening outright, that might come later, he said.
His motion will likely be heard in March or April, unless there's an unexpected gap in this fall's Parliamentary session.
@ Copyright 2013