Canada’s Trudeau makes himself a U.S. laughingstock, says he’ll confront Pence on abortion restrictions

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Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is set to be meeting with Vice President Mike Pence and plans to discuss – abortions.

Trudeau reportedly wants to confront the pro-life vice president on the “backsliding” of women’s rights in the U.S. as several states have recently enacted stricter abortion laws, Bloomberg News reported.

(Video: Canadian Broadcasting Corp.)

“Obviously, I’m very concerned with the situation around the backsliding of women’s rights that we’re seeing from conservative movements here in Canada, in the United States and around the world,” Trudeau told reporters in Ottawa on Wednesday, speaking of the upcoming meeting as Pence heads to Ottawa, Ontario.

And while he noted that the meeting would focus mainly on the new trade deal between the U.S., Canada and Mexico to replace the North American Free Trade Agreement, or NAFTA, the Canadian leader intends to address the abortion issue with Pence.

“I will have a broad conversation with the vice president — of course that’ll come up, but we’re going to mostly focus around the ratification process on NAFTA and making sure that we get good jobs for Canadians.,” he said.

The discussion comes amid a time when several U.S. states have aggressively taken on the abortion issue, with Georgia’s “heartbeat bill” which bans the procedure after six weeks and a near-total abortion ban in Alabama, where it will only be allowed when the mother’s life is at risk.

Trudeau has been a vocal advocate for a woman’s choice to have an abortion while Pence, the first sitting vice president to address the March for Life rally in Washington in 2017, is staunchly anti-abortion. Hospitals and clinics in Canada provide legal abortions which, with government health insurance plans, are basically free.

The Canadian prime minister took a shot at the U.S. and the recent state laws targeting abortion while in Paris earlier this month.

“As a government, as Canadians we will always be unequivocal about defending women’s right to choose, defending women’s rights in general. It’s a shame that we increasingly see conservative governments and conservative politicians taking away rights that have been hard fought over many, many years by generations of women and male allies,” he told reporters, according to CNN.

With a federal election in Canada set for this fall, Trudeau has aimed criticism at his conservative opponents, accusing them of not supporting women’s rights while warning that a Conservative-led government will move to ban abortions which have been legal in the country since 1988.

Conservative leader Andrew Scheer has insisted he does not want to reopen the abortion debate and said it is “appalling and disgusting” that Trudeau’s Liberal party uses the issue to “divide Canadians.”

“The only person who is bringing up this issue time and time again is Justin Trudeau,” Scheer said, according to CBC. “I’ve made it very, very clear. Canadians can have absolute confidence that a Conservative government after the election in October will not reopen this issue.”

Meanwhile, many on social media found it just as appalling that the Canadian prime minister is concerned about something in the U.S. that is essentially none of his business.

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Frieda Powers

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