by Steven Ertelt
March 11, 2008
Ottawa, Canada (LifeNews.com) — A Canadian bill that would offer protection and justice for pregnant women and their unborn children who are victims of violent attacks may have been approved by the House of Commons last week. However, pro-abortion lawmakers say they plan to kill Bill C-484 when it heads to committee for further consideration.
The measure won approval on a second reading vote by a 147 to 133 margin last week.
Now the measure goes to committee for further discussion and examination and its sponsor, MP Ken Epp, says he has been told pro-abortion MPs from the Bloc and NDP still hope to defeat the bill.
People who vote against this bill will do it out of a lack of compassion; they don’t know what a family goes through when they lose their daughter and then an unborn child," Epp told the Sherwood Park News in response.
"Theres two losses there, and both need to be recognized by the laws," he explained.
Epp plans to retire from parliament after this session and he told the newspaper he is going to make a "royal effort" to ensure members of the committee understand the false claims from abortion advocates who say the bill will make abortions illegal.
My bill explicitly excludes abortion, Epp said.
My bill is very specifically targeted towards women who had made the choice to have a child and then had that choice taken away from them — usually through an act of violence, he added.
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.
Bill C-484 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.
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.