Tory government will put abortion rights at risk, pro-choice advocates warn

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TORONTO - A number of pro-choice advocates say a Tory government would endanger abortion rights for women in Ontario.

The advocates speaking at the Morgentaler abortion clinic in Toronto say Progressive Conservative Leader Tim Hudak's run for premier is worrying because he previously signed a petition to end abortion funding and hasn't publicly reversed that position since.

Hudak says he has no intention of reopening the issue if he is elected Thursday and considers ''the matter settled."

He has also said in the past that he'll follow Prime Minister Stephen Harper's lead on abortion and leave the issue alone, but pro-choice groups point out the Conservative government in Ottawa has excluded abortion funding from its G8 maternal health initiative.

They say Hudak following Harper's lead would mean a gradual erosion of abortion rights over time.

The subject of abortion made national headlines last week when a Tory MP publicly condemned the Harper government's decision to donate to the International Planned Parenthood Federation.

Ottawa had announced the organization would get $6 million over three years as part of its international mother-and-child health initiative, but the funds would only be spent in countries that ban abortion.

That condition prompted Saskatoon MP Brad Trost to rail against his own party saying the funding decision was a slap in the face for social conservatives and reopened the abortion debate in Canada.

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