Scheer's position on abortion a shift, but not a surprise to some conservatives

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One of Conservative leader Andrew Scheer's main challengers during the party's leadership race says if Scheer had been clear at the time on how he'd handle abortion debates, he might never have won.

But Brad Trost says it should still come as no surprise to social conservatives that Scheer insisted this week he personally, and as the prime minister in a Conservative government, would oppose any effort to reopen the abortion debate.

Trost finished fourth in the Tory leadership race in 2017, with the bulk of his socially conservative supporters moving over to Scheer in the final rounds of voting, securing his win.

Scheer stressed at a news conference Thursday that his position has always been clear: MPs are free to express their own opinions, but a Conservative government would not back any legislation restricting abortion.

But Trost says during the leadership race, Scheer appeared to both support anti-abortion activists and toe the established party line on not supporting new legislation.

Trost says that caused confusion at the time, but it was obvious that as leader Scheer was going to have to pick a side and align with past party practice.