Canada Liberal Party Leader Vows to Block Bill Protecting Pregnant Women

International   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Jun 5, 2008   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

Canada Liberal Party Leader Vows to Block Bill Protecting Pregnant Women

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by Steven Ertelt Editor
June 5
, 2008

Ottawa, Canada ( — Liberal Party leader Stephane Dion promised on Thursday that his party will block any vote on a bill that would provide further protection for pregnant women. The measure allows for two crimes when both mother and unborn child are killed or assaulted in an attack on the mother.

The United States and 36 states across the U.S. have similar laws that have been used to hold criminals accountable in such crimes.

But Dion has caved in to false arguments from abortion advocates who say the bill, even though it has an exception for abortion, would re-open the abortion debate.

"We will not allow that to happen," he said, according to a CNews report.

Intergovernmental Affairs Minister Rona Ambrose accused Dion of politicizing a bill to help women.

"It’s shameful that he’s using this private member’s bill in a partisan way," she told CNews.

"He’s using this as a way to turn this into a partisan issue, to fearmonger women. The abortion debate is over. (Neither) I nor our government have any interest or intention of reopening the abortion debate," she added.

Ambrose said MPs who support legal abortions should back the bill, sponsored by Edmonton Tory MP Ken Epp.

"This is the other side of the choice coin," she said.

"When a woman does make a choice to have a child and she is attacked violently by someone . . . with the intention of killing her and her child, there should be repercussions for that."

Dion said Liberal whip Karen Redman will decide whether the party will force members to vote against them bill or not.

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 –