Canada Catholic Leader Endorses Bill C-484 to Protect Women and Children

International   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Apr 22, 2008   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

Canada Catholic Leader Endorses Bill C-484 to Protect Women and Children

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by Steven Ertelt Editor
April 22
, 2008

Ottawa, Canada ( — A leading Canadian bishop has endorsed Bill C-484, the measure in the Canadian Parliament that would offer protection and justice for women and unborn children who are brutalized in violent attacks. Bishop Jean Gagnon urges Canadian Catholics to ask MPs to support the legislation.

The measure received a 147 to 133 second reading vote in early March.

Now, the all party justice committee will examine the bill and its sponsor, Conservative MP Ken Epp, is hopeful that it will get a debate and vote towards the end of the month.

When it does, Bishop Jean Gagnon says MPs should strongly support it.

"Known as the Unborn Victims of Crime Act, this bill would recognize intentional assault upon an unborn child as a separate offense from assault upon the pregnant mother," he said.

"Bill C-484 is a welcome development because it recognizes, at least in the case of violent assault against the mother, the human dignity of the unborn child and the value of human life," Bishop Gagnon added.

The measure has come under assault from abortion advocates even though it wouldn’t affect the status of legalized abortion in Canada. Gagnon’s letter addressed that debate and said abortion proponents are wrong.

Ultimately, Bishop Gagnon said he encourages "Catholics and all Canadians to contact their local MPs and ask them to vote in favor of Bill C-484" and to sign a petition from Epp urging support for the measure.

Last week, Epp told Today’s Family News there’s no reason why legislators should vote against a common sense bill that holds criminals accountable for two crimes when they kill or injure a mother and her unborn child in a violent attack.

“I don’t see how anybody could vote against it,” Epp said.

“Saying this attacker should go free and the family of this woman should grieve the loss of her unborn child without any recognition of it in law at all – I don’t see how people can be for that," he added.

But Epp understands Canadian abortion advocates are heavily lobbying MPs and making the bill appear as if it would ban abortions.

“It has nothing to do with anything other than a woman who is pregnant who has chosen to have her child . . . and who has had that choice and her wanted child taken away from her without her consent, against her will,” EPP told TFN in response.

Epp is encouraged about the prospects for the bill because of a recent poll showing a strong majority of Canadians across the country support it.

The Vancouver-based Angus Reid Strategies conducted the poll and found 70 percent of Canadians support it while just 19 percent of the people in Canada oppose the measure.

The survey found 44 percent of Canadians strongly support the bill while 26 percent moderately support it. Another 11 percent are undecided.

Residents of the Atlantic provinces were most likely (82%) to support the bill along with those living in Alberta (79%) and Manitoba and Saskatchewan (79%).

Canadian citizens in Quebec and (63%) and British Columbia (64%) were less likely to support the bill but still felt Parliament should approve it.

Epp concluded, “People out there recognize that there’s a huge difference between a woman who says, ‘I’m pregnant and I don’t want to be,’ and a woman who’s being attacked and who’s screaming and yelling for her life and the life of her unborn child that she wants.”

ACTION: Use this web site to contact your member of parliament and express support for the bill.

Related web sites:
MP Ken Epp –