by Steven Ertelt
March 6, 2008
Ottawa, Canada (LifeNews.com) — A bill that would put Canada in league with the United States and offer legal protection and justice to pregnant women and their unborn children has advanced in the nation’s parliament. Bill C-484, sponsored by Conservative MP Ken Epp, would allow prosecutors to bring two charges when mother and baby are killed or injured.
The Unborn Victims of Crime Act does what U.S. federal law and the laws of 36 states do by acknowledging that there are two victims when a pregnant mother is assaulted and she and her baby are affected.
Canadian MPs had a free vote on the issue, meaning they didn’t have to follow the dictates of their party leadership.
As a result, the measure won approval on a second reading vote by a 147 to 133 margin.
Prime Minister Stephen Harper voted for the bill while four conservatives, including cabinet ministers Lawrence Cannon, Gordon O’Connor and Josée Verner voted against it. Those votes were offset by the more than 20 members of the Liberal Party who backed it.
Pro-abortion groups in Canada had tried to mislead lawmakers in the Canadian Parliament by claiming it would infringe on legal abortions there despite that not happening in the United States.
"It definitely is a back-door attempt to attack abortion rights," Joyce Arthur of the Abortion Rights Coalition of Canada claimed in an interview with the Edmonton Sun newspaper last month.
But Mary Talbot, whose 19-year-old pregnant daughter Olivia and her baby were killed in November 2005, doesn’t see it that way.
She told the Sun newspaper she backs legal abortions and understands the bill has nothing to do with limiting abortions, but is a recognition that two people are killed or injured in attacks on pregnant women.
"I’m pro-choice. I’ve always been pro-choice. One has nothing to do with the other," she said.
"The guy who murdered my daughter, he admitted that he shot her in the torso to kill the baby. To me, there needs to be some kind of legislation that addresses that," she said.