OTTAWA - Status of Women Minister Rona Ambrose has not explained her motivation for endorsing a controversial motion calling for a review of "when life begins", despite outrage from critics.
Ambrose has come under fire from some women's groups and opposition parties for her decision to support Stephen Woodworth's abortion motion on Wednesday evening, that was defeated 203-91.
Following the vote, Ambrose took to Twitter to express concerns about sex selection abortions. The Edmonton MP has not responded to requests for interviews.
"I have repeatedly raised concerns about discrimination of girls by sex selection abortion," Ambrose tweeted Wednesday. "No law needed, but we need awareness!"
Seven other sitting cabinet ministers, including Immigration Minister Jason Kenney and International Cooperation Minister Julian Fantino, supported Woodworth's motion. Two parliamentary secretaries also backed it, as did four Liberal MPs.
But Woodworth has vowed to continue his fight and says those who rejected his proposal are "preoccupied with abortion."
Woodworth says he has received thousands of letters from Canadians who have supported his bid to discuss evidence regarding whether a fetus is a human being prior to birth.
Prime Minister Stephen Harper, who voted against the proposal, promised to leave the abortion debate closed in the 2011 election.
NDP leader Thomas Mulcair says it is clear Harper's words and actions do not match up.
"In a democracy, a political party approaches the Canadian voting public with an offer, and the offer of the Tories was not to pen the debate on abortion," Mulcair said. "They broke that promise. It's one thing when you look at backbenchers, but it's another thing when you have eight of your sitting ministers who are bound by the rule of cabinet solidarity."
Mulcair said he found Ambrose's decision very surprising considering her ministerial role.
Conservative MP Mark Warawa introduced a motion Thursday calling on the House to condemn discrimination against females occurring through "sex-selective pregnancy termination."
"Recent studies have shown that the practice of aborting females in favour of males is happening in Canada," said Warawa.