Derek Sloan, a candidate to replace Andrew Scheer in the Conservative party’s upcoming leadership election, has proposed a mandatory ultrasound for women who want an abortion. 

Sloan’s “12 Point Pro-life Plan” would force women to have an “ultrasound prior to abortion”, included as the eighth point, on the grounds that “many women complain that information is withheld” before they undergo the procedure. 

Currently MP for Hastings-Lennox & Addington, Sloan identifies as a social conservative without apology. In comparison, Peter Mackay and Erin O’Toole, also eyeing the UPC Leadership, are less conservative on the issue of abortion. 

Mackay says he supports abortion rights, and O’Toole said he’s pro-choice. However neither of them will bar MPs from presenting bills on the issue. 

Sloan’s socially conservative stand on the abortion issue places him well outside the mainstream of Canadian opinion. According to a February 2020 Dart and Maru poll, 75% of Canadians surveyed are satisfied with Canada’s current policies on abortion, and seven in 10 people believe that abortion is acceptable.

The candidate has staked out extreme positions on other issues as well. He has said he will “never support mandatory vaccinations for Canadians”. When asked whether he would support banning conversion therapy, Sloan said that it can be “broadly defined” and “nobody should be forced to do anything they don’t want to do”. He previously gained attention for racially charged comments against Canada’s Chief Medical Office, Dr Theresa Tam, claiming she was working with China.

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