HAMILTON—In June the Ontario New Democrats not only reaffirmed the Party’s strong pro-abortion commitment but also extended their position to include support of private abortion clinics and of dropping criminal charges against Henry Morgentaler.

About 900 NDP delegates attended the three-day policy-planning meeting in Hamilton over the Canada Day weekend.  Unlike the Liberals and the Conservatives, NDP leaders are bound to any policy decisions arrived at by the membership.

The pro-abortion resolution was not supported by all delegates but did eventually pass.

The Ontario resolution is identical to the one passed by the federal NDP party last summer.

Delegates also voted in favour of a censorship resolution, which tightens classifications of films and videotapes, strengthens Criminal code definitions on pornography, and would censor films or videos, which “portray or promote the sexual exploitation of children.”  This is a direct reversal of the party’s traditional stand against censorship of any kind.

Both the pro-abortion and censorship resolutions were approved by the NDP women’s caucus.  Mary Rowles, chairman of the women’s caucus, said the strong presence of women at the meeting, and the attention paid to their views, was the result of the party’s affirmative action policy requiring equal representation on all committees.

Ms Rowles stated in an interview with the Globe and Mail that the NDP is the most attractive political choice for women because it approves such policies as equal pay for work of equal value and universal subsidized day care.  She did not, however, cite the NDP pro-abortion policy as being one of the attractions.