When an elected representative abstains from voting on an issue, however unimportant they may claim it is, they are failing those who elected them.
That is exactly what Airdrie MLA Angela Pitt and the United Conservative Party (UCP) are doing by abstaining from the debate and vote on Bill 9: Protecting Choice for Women Accessing Health Care Act.
We understand the subject of abortion is a controversial one to some, but Bill 9 is not about abortion – which, we should note, is an entirely legal procedure in Canada. Bill 9 is about providing a safe, harassment-free experience for women who are accessing health care.
To us, it seems it is the UCP that is making this Bill about “political games” – and not, as Pitt said, “clearly a move by the (NDP) to distract from their horrible budget....”
Pitt said this isn’t a “real” issue and something she has not “ever heard, ever, in any circle, from any constituent, at any time.”
She should tell that to the more than 13,000 women in Alberta and more than 100,000 in Canada, according to an Abortion Rights Coalition of Canada report, who had an abortion in 2015.
What is perhaps most stomach-turning about the decision to abstain from Bill 9 discussions is Pitt’s own words in a March 15 column published in the Airdrie City View.
“Imagine an Alberta where women were denied the simple right to vote and run for office.”
We are not only imagining it now, we are seeing it in action as Pitt is denying the voice of every single woman that voted for her by refusing to participate in this important discussion.