Liberal Party leader Justin Trudeau held a “Ladies Night” fundraiser on Nov. 7 in Toronto in which he invited women “to (really) get to know the future prime minister,” during a Q&A focusing on women’s issues. Conservative and NDP MPs complained it was sexist and sexually suggestive, but American feminist icon Gloria Steinem defended Trudeau’s pitch: “If the problem is that there was a kind of a small sexual implication to come and get to know Trudeau … I think it’s so innocuous because it was coming from the group itself” … During the Ladies Night event, Trudeau was asked which country’s government he most admired and answered that he had “a level of admiration” for Red China’s “basic dictatorship” because it lets them deal with economic and environmental concerns … Newfoundland and Labrador Progressive Conservative Justice Minister Darin King will introduce a bill adding “gender identity” and “gender expression” to the list of prohibited grounds of discrimination under the province’s Human Rights Act. NDP MLA Gerry Rogers has been urging the government to make those changes to the act … Prince Edward Island Progressive Conservative Justice Minister Janice Sherry brought forward a bill to add “gender identity” and “gender expression” to the list of prohibited grounds of discrimination under PEI’s Human Rights Act … A pro-life ad showing a newborn posted on a bus shelter outside Victoria General Hospital in Halifax, where most of Nova Scotia’s abortions take place, has sparked outrage from Dr. Erin Killorn, a paediatrician at IWK Health Centre: “I really disagree with the fact that that would be allowed to be posted so near a hospital where we have to have sympathy for all of the people that we’re caring for there,” she told CTV.

United States

On Nov. 7, Republican Senator Lindsey Graham (S.C.) introduced the Pain Capable Unborn Child Protection Act, which would prohibit abortions after 20 weeks with exceptions for rape, incest, or the life of the mother … On Nov. 20, President Barack Obama awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the highest U.S. honour for civilians, to feminist icon and abortion activist Gloria Steinem … In a new undercover video from Live Action, a counsellor at Albuquerque’s Southwestern Women’s Options, which carries out third trimester abortions, said that its procedure that typically stabs the baby’s head with an injection needle is the “safest” and most “humane” way to have the abortion … At least nine abortion facilities in Texas have shut down in the wake of an Appeals Court ruling on Oct. 31 that reinstated a provision in Texas’ new pro-life law requiring abortionists to have admitting privileges at a local hospital after it was struck down by U.S. District Judge Lee Yeakel. Texas’ pro-life law bans abortion after 20 weeks and requires higher safety standards from abortion facilities … The U.S. Supreme Court declined to consider two pro-life laws from Oklahoma that were struck down by the Oklahoma Supreme Court. The laws would have mandated that abortionists administer abortion drugs according to FDA regulations and required that they show and explain the ultrasounds to women before abortion … The Missouri Department of Health stopped its investigation of a Planned Parenthood facility in St. Louis despite producing a 14 page inspection report documenting several deficiencies. The abortion facility had at least 25 emergency patient hospitalizations since 2009… Emily’s List and Planned Parenthood were among the top 10 election campaign spenders nationwide in September, giving almost $4 million to pro-abortion candidates such as successful Virginia Democrat Terry McAuliffe, who won the gubernatorial election against pro-life Republican candidate Ken Cuccinelli on Nov. 5.


By a 9-5 vote in the Legislative Council of Tasmania, the island’s government passed the Reproductive Health Bill and removed abortion from its criminal code, becoming the third Australian state to allow abortion. The new law permits abortion up to 16 weeks with the consent of one doctor and after 16 weeks with the consent of two doctors. Doctors who conscientiously object to abortion are required to refer women to an abortionist if they will not carry out the procedure themselves. It also creates a bubble zone of 150 meters to prevent pro-life counselling near abortion facilities … The British Medical Association is opposing MSP Margo MacDonald’s euthanasia bill put forward in the Scottish Parliament. “If doctors are authorised, by law, to kill or help kill they are taking on an additional role which we believe is alien to the one of care giver and healer,” said Dr. Lewis Morrison, chair of the Scottish BMA … Christian, Jewish, and Muslim leaders in Belgium made a joint statement against legislation that would allow euthanasia for children and dementia patients. The group included Archbishop Andre-Joseph Leonard (Catholic bishops’conference president), Geert Lorein (evangelical and protestant synod president), Albert Guigui (grand rabbi of Brussels), and Semsettin Ugurlu (Muslims’ executive president).