Canadian Abortion Activists Oppose Bill Protecting Pregnant Women From Violence

International   |   We Need a Law   |   Sep 28, 2016   |   3:40PM   |   Ottawa, Canada

A private member’s bill put forward by Cathay Wagantall is receiving pushback from Joyce Arthur, executive director of the Abortion Rights Coalition of Canada.

Arthur has initiated a petition calling upon the House of Commons to oppose Bill C-225. The petition is sponsored by Sheila Malcolmson, MP for Nanaimo-Ladysmith.

Bill C-225 (Protection of Pregnant Women and Their Preborn Children Act or “Cassie and Molly’s Law”) addresses gender-based violence – specifically by protecting pregnant women who have chosen to carry their child to term.

“It is shocking that Ms. Arthur is opposed to a bill that is designed to protect choice,” said Mike Schouten of “Cassie, who the bill is named for, chose life for her daughter Molly, but Cassie was murdered before her baby could be born. Under our laws their killer will not be brought to justice for taking the life of her daughter without her consent.”

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Schouten challenged Ms. Arthur and other pro-choice activists by saying, “If they truly believed that a woman’s choice is paramount, then they would have no problem justifying a woman’s choice to have a legal abortion while also supporting a law against the violent crime of killing a fetus when the pregnant woman has not chosen abortion. If they cannot do this, the only option they support is abortion, which is really no longer a choice at all.”

Schouten continued, “If choice is removed from the equation, there is nothing left to distinguish a legal abortion from a violent attack on a pregnant woman that results in the death of her wanted child. In failing to consider what distinguishes the two scenarios, these supposedly strong defenders of “choice” instead draw attention to how the two scenarios are alike: the death of a preborn child occurs, the very thing they don’t want people to think about.

Schouten concluded, “In opposing C-225 out of fear that it will endanger abortion, ‘pro-choice’ activists end up exposing their own inability to defend abortion using a choice-based narrative. Their lack of consistency as to what ‘choice’ really means for a woman becomes clear and thus, paradoxically, compromises choice.”