Reject Bill C-484. Protect women's choice and equality.
Last March, Bill C‑484, the Unborn Victims of Crime Act, passed second reading in the House of Commons. This bill seeks to amend the Criminal Code and to create a separate offence for causing the injury or death of an “unborn child” should a pregnant woman be the victim of a crime. Although defenders of this bill claim they want to better protect pregnant women against violence, what is really at stake here is the legal recognition of the fetus' right to life and the possible re-criminalization of abortion.
The adoption of Bill C‑484 would thus introduce a huge change in our law that would undoubtedly result in massive intrusions in the lives of pregnant women, as has been the case in those states in the U.S. that have adopted similar legislation.
Last January, we celebrated the 20th anniversary of the Morgentaler decision that struck down the Criminal Code provisions that made abortion a crime in Canada. This historic Supreme Court decision recognized that women's constitutional rights to security of the person, autonomy and freedom include the right to end an unwanted pregnancy without state interference. We must now take action to protect this right.
The fact that Bill C‑484 received second reading in the House of Commons is cause for great concern, and victory is far from certain. Indeed, the bill has now been referred to the Standing Committee on Justice and Human Rights. After hearing representations from groups and individuals, the Committee will determine whether the bill should be sent to the House of Commons for a final vote. If the bill is adopted at third reading, it will then be referred to a Senate committee that will ultimately decide whether to pass or defeat it.
This is why it is important that we take a stand now to defend women's reproductive rights. This is a question that goes to the heart of women's equality, dignity and human rights.
Fact sheet on Bill C-484: http://www.psac-afpc.org/documents/issue
Email your MP: http://petition.web.net/psac/node/18
Sign the Abortion Rights Coalition of Canada's petition against Bill C-484: http://www.gopetition.com/petitions/oppo
For more information on Bill C-484, please visit the website of the Abortion Rights Coalition of Canada.