Security issues raised as topless protester infiltrates National Assembly
Authorities are vowing to tighten security after a topless protester infiltrated the National Assembly posing as a journalist and staged a brief demonstration Thursday in favour of abortion rights.
Femen Canada's Neda Topaloski, who last month staged a topless protest inside the House of Commons, interrupted a news conference by Culture Minister Helene David to repeatedly scream "No To Bill 20!"
After a few seconds of frantic shouting, the topless Topaloski was ushered out of the room by security.
National Assembly authorities later issued a press release describing the incident as "unfortunate" and noted that a pair of companies had been hired recently to help tighten security but journalists had not traditionally been subject to high-security measures.
Topaloski entered the National Assembly Thursday after applying to the Parliamentary Press Gallery for a temporary press permit
In a written statement Femen Canada said Bill 20 would reduce access to abortions in Quebec by reclassifying it as a non-priority measure.
"A FEMEN activist went to the National Assembly to lift up her skirt and show HER priority: her uterus and the violence done to her body by the suppression of essential health care services," reads the statement.
The organization argues restricting access to abortions is a way of "enslaving women to a patriarchal economy."
Last month Health Minister Gaetan Barrette confirmed that abortions would not be a mandatory service, but the ultimate classification under Bill 20 would be up to the Health Minister.
Bill 20 grants the health minister the discretion the make it a mandatory service, something Barrette said he would do if women found it difficult to get abortions in the future.
Both Barrette and Premier Philippe Couillard said the government was not going to restrict access to abortions.
More than 25,000 abortions are performed in Quebec every year.
Last month Topaloski was thrown out of the House of Commons after exposing her breasts in a protest against Bill C-51, saying the powers it would give to Canada's spy agency would be too extreme.