Man set to be next premier of Newfoundland under pressure from pro-life group

The Canadian Press
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The man poised to become the next premier of Newfoundland and Labrador is facing pressure from a pro-life group to follow the lead of Prince Edward Island in restricting abortion access in the province.

Frank Coleman. File photo

Frank Coleman’s views on abortion have sparked controversy after he said Friday that he attends a rally each year in Corner Brook opposing abortion.

Coleman issued a statement saying he won’t deny his beliefs, but he does not intend to force his personal views on others.

But Pro-Life NL says it finds Coleman’s comments about not imposing his pro-life views puzzling.

Patrick Hanlon, a spokesman for the group, says a well-formed conscience does not allow for one view privately and another publicly, adding that he hopes Coleman’s conscience will guide him in using the influence he will wield as premier.

Coleman became the sole Progressive Conservative leadership contender last Thursday after his only competitor dropped out of the race.

Premier Tom Marshall replaced Kathy Dunderdale in January when she stepped down from the position, but he has done so only on an interim basis until a leadership convention scheduled for July.

Geographic location: Newfoundland, Corner Brook

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Recent comments

  • McMann
    April 22, 2014 - 18:14

    Patrick Hanlon's group is not supported by the arch bishop of the Roman Catholic Diocese

  • Scott
    April 22, 2014 - 16:49

    Mr Coleman, I have to say, you were more honest with you answer then Lorraine Michael and Dwight Ball. Today Lorraine made a statement to Pete , On his radio show, She said there topics you stay away from. This happen to be one, then she also said you had no political experience, Really what Lorraine was trying to say. was you have to be able to lie to the people with a straight face, at the same time laughing at those you are speaking to. Letting them think they heard good news on their part. Mr Coleman, ask Dwight this question. woman he was about to marry, said if she became pregnant , she was going to have abortion, would he still went a head and marry her. Dwight answer would be no. Because like any man, he would love to have children. and grandchildren.

  • taxpayertoo
    April 22, 2014 - 12:19

    I am constantly amazed at the folks who want to protect unborn babies....what about the women, as usual no one wants to protect them. I will NEVER vote for a politician that chooses unborn babies over women, even if he says he will not push his position. I was hopeful that the PC's may rise again but it looks like that is not likely. To all you pro-lifers out there shame on you, you give no support to the women involved so if you had your way women will be dying in back rooms again from illegal abortions. You folks need to step out of your religious self righteousness and start considering protecting those that are already born and struggling on this earth.

  • Lloyd
    April 22, 2014 - 02:56

    I don't want my precious tax dollars to kill the innocent babies. Someone has to speak for the voice they don't have. There is a big judgement day coming, make no mistake about that. There has been 1.72 BILLION abortions in the past 40 yeas, world wide. This is NOT sin? Take your blinkers off! If you haven't got a conscience now, in supporting the killing of the innocent, who will be next, the aged, the terminally ill, the mentally ill? Remember folks that is what happened under HITLER. Do people have a very short memory? History is repeating itself. Hitler killed 18 million people. The Holy Bible is as up to date as the newspaper of tomorrow. What's happening to the leaders of the Protestant churches? Do they support abortion? Are you afraid to speak in support of those little babies, that CANNOT speak for themselves. Church leaders are silent, except for the Catholic Churches. I am totally ashamed of you Church leaders who are NOT speaking out. Remember, you will be answerable to GOD, and ONLY GOD, NOT mortal me. The Bible talks about what is happening in the closing days of history, and people are ignoring it. Soon, it will be too late. Where is the leader of the Liberal and NDP parties? I support government leaders who are PRO-LIFE all the way. I rest my case. GOD is a loving GOD, bur also JUST! People will answer for their individual sins, NOT to man in confession, but to GOD. There is only ONE mediator between GOD, and man, and he is JESUS CHRIST....NOT mere MEN. You do NOT confess your sins people men...only GOD Scoffers are laughing now, but won't laugh on judgement day, make no mistake about that. It is Mr. Coleman for me, all the way. If people don't stand for something, they will fall for anything/

    • taxpayertoo
      April 22, 2014 - 12:36

      There is no room for religion in politics otherwise decisions are made because of emotion rather than logic and I see here you are full of emotion and nothing else. So let's see, god determines that unborn babies should live but their mothers should die, or better yet these unborn babies should be born into poverty and or addiction. Get real mister and get your head out of the sand, you have no idea what sort of people you are talking about and live in an ideal world cloaked by religion. If you were really a christian you would be trying to help instead of calling names. There is no easy answer to this issue but withholding medical care from women who need it is not the answer.

    • Chris
      April 22, 2014 - 13:02

      I am moved by your eloquent arguments, impeccable grammar, and gratuitous use of capitalization.

    • Chris
      April 22, 2014 - 13:41

      So, just out of curiosity Lloyd, how many adopted or foster children have you taken into your home?

  • jim
    April 21, 2014 - 20:26

    Let's try and be optimistic. If he lasts, he will only be premier for a brief period and get in the history book. Leaders...where are they ??

  • Artie
    April 21, 2014 - 20:22

    Harvey.... another man trying to control the reproductive organs of a woman. Maybe you should have grown up in the south of the good old USA. Vote Romney. Praise jesus. Please do not tax the 1%.

  • Joe
    April 21, 2014 - 19:44

    Everybody is entitled to express their own view thanks to freedom of speech. The only person not entitled to an opinion is the unborn fetus!!!

  • Harvey
    April 21, 2014 - 18:04

    When does it become right to kill babies, except under special circumstances ? I will never agree with anyone who says that it is right to use my tax dollar to destroy life. If you want to have your fun do it in the safe way.

    • sean
      April 21, 2014 - 20:47

      if someone rapes your daughter, is that someone that should be brought into this world.

    • Luke
      April 21, 2014 - 23:05

      Only under YOUR special circumstances eh? Is it when baby isn't christian? Ugly social conservatism rears its head again. I think the problem is that there are few supports for young moms starting out. I also think that the 1000 dollar 'baby bonus' is ridiculous. Raising a child requires a community, not the price of a new sofa and chair set.

  • willyschilly
    April 21, 2014 - 18:02

    If I want an abortion it's MY choice, not his and sure as hell NOT YOURS !!!! If you are pregnant at any age just go to the Dr. and tell him?her you simple can't afford it and an appointment will be made for a D & C.

  • W Bagg
    April 21, 2014 - 17:53

    hundred bucks says he will drop out of the leadership race

  • Corporate Psycho
    April 21, 2014 - 17:28

    The Coleman train wreck continues. Where is Danny hiding?

  • Judy
    April 21, 2014 - 17:01

    Politicians are good at double talk....and for a topic that's supposedly settled back in '88; Why is there so much media coverage? Ouh, here's a thought: It's not settled. I won't go so far as to say abortion shouldn't be allowed, but why is my tax dollars paying for it? I could see in certain circumstances it being funded, but this 'pay all' mentality is totally absurd. I don't want my tax dollars paying for someone's birth control. I guess that's the problem - It's not regulated enough to substantiate the difference. - no more minors w/o parental consent... - manditory licensed counselling required prior to procedure... - repeat users should have to pay their own procedure - or get their tubes tied!

  • Guy Incognito
    April 21, 2014 - 16:34

    What a large can of worms Mr. Coleman has opened up for himself....

  • Virginia Waters
    April 21, 2014 - 16:15

    If Coleman hopes to succeed in politics he will need to act less like a bull in a china shop. It is one thing to acknowledge that he is opposed to abortion, but yet another to loudly proclaim that if he had been home in Corner Brook he would have attended a rally demanding government outlaw it. Surely he should have expected this kind of backlash. A woman's right to choose is not only the law of the land, it is a constitutionally guaranteed right.. If you're opposed to it, then you are opposed to the constitution and to the charter of rights and freedoms. While Coleman can't alter that fact, as premier he could instruct his minister of health to make it make it difficult for women to access that medical procedure. But the threat goes beyond that since we know that the typical profile of an anti-abortion activist includes other regressive, antiquated notions. Ironically they are typically opposed to sex education, in favour of capital punishment, and against gay marriage. In other words they tend not to be very tolerant of lifestyles or values other than their own. While I strongly endorse a woman's right to choose, I think there are things government and ordinary citizens can do to help minimize the need for abortions. They can demand a robust program of sex education in elementary schools (with no provision for parents to opt their children out), they can demand greater support for all new and expectant parents (see other Tely story on our failed system for screening newborns), they can insist on public day-care as a means of easing the burden on parents - a burden that often plays a key role in a woman's choice to proceed with a pregnancy, and - in rural parts of the province in particular - they can avoid the subtle process by which some unmarried mothers are ostracized within the community.

    • calvin
      April 22, 2014 - 00:49

      Well said. We have no right to tell others how to conduct their private lives. As Trudeau once said, " the State has no business in the bedrooms of the Nation".

  • Political Watcher
    April 21, 2014 - 16:10

    Firstly, what give S Mr. Hanlon the right to tell a woman what she can do with her own body. Secondly, it is time for Mr. Coleman to tell us what he is planning on doing for the Province. Seeing he is going to be leading the group of yahoo's who got us in this position I want to know what the difference will be.

  • Olivia
    April 21, 2014 - 15:44

    So now the pro choice and the pro life groups are both threatened by Coleman!? We have to stop allowing people with views at the far ends of either the pro-choice spectrum or pro life spectrum to dominate the debate as they do now. There is a big difference between not prohibiting something legally and approving of it. Lets try starting our discussion where we agree rather than disagree - polls show that 92 percent of Canadians agree with prohibiting sex selection abortion or after a certain period of gestation. Coleman doesn't intend to overrule the majority. He surely would not have the power to do so anyway. But he has a valid stance on this important, not over, human rights issue and so be it,people will always disagree about whether the value of respect for life or that of individual autonomy should take priority when they conflict. People who fail to see this are just plain ignorant. This should be over. Give the man a chance.

  • Bob
    April 21, 2014 - 15:18

    Who would have thought we in Atlantic Canada would follow in the footsteps of the southern States!

  • Susan
    April 21, 2014 - 15:11

    I think when a person is ask a question, and if that question is straight and forwards. Then the person who is been ask such question, should also answer straight forward with a reply. No double talk.

    • james
      April 21, 2014 - 15:38

      Come again?

  • Diane Sullivan
    April 21, 2014 - 14:08

    Everyone has a freedom of speech. He isn't imposing his opinion on others so what's the problem?

    • Adam
      April 21, 2014 - 14:43

      What is alarming, is the shift happening to reproductive rights in Atlantic Canada. Mr. Coleman's conflicting actions (protesting a government service) and statements (saying this doesn't reflect his politics) only provide murkier waters for the future of a woman's right to choose. I only hope this province doesn't follow it's PC counter parts in NB and force all our clinics to close.

    • calvin
      April 21, 2014 - 14:54

      Keep religion and personal views out of politics. Respect others.

    • Morris
      April 21, 2014 - 16:03


    • paul
      April 21, 2014 - 17:36

      He is PRESENTLY not in the position to impose his beliefs on others! However, he was against the removal of religious schools in the province SO HE FOUNDED A PRIVATE CATHOLIC SCHOOL IN CORNER BROOK. He is obviously again abortion and in support of a demo national school system. So there is a problem, he waited 30 yrs too late to enter politics