OTTAWA (LifeSiteNews) — A new bill that would amend Canada’s criminal code to specifically protect pregnant women from violence passed its first reading in the House of Commons on Tuesday.
The Private Members bill was introduced by Cathay Wagantall, a pro-life Conservative Party of Canada (CPC) Member of Parliament whose riding is in Saskatchewan.
Titled An Act to Amend the Criminal Code (violence against pregnant women) Bill, C-311 reads: “Paragraph 718.2(a) of the Criminal Code is amended by adding the following after subparagraph (ii.1).”
“(ii.2) evidence that the offender, in committing the offence, abused a person whom the offender knew to be pregnant,” and “(ii.3) evidence that the offence caused physical or emotional harm to a pregnant victim.”
On Tuesday in the House of Commons, Wagantall introduced her bill and said that it “would go a long way to addressing violence against some of the most vulnerable people in our society, pregnant women.”
“The violence against pregnant women act seeks to amend the Criminal Code to ensure that the acts of knowingly assaulting a pregnant woman and causing physical or emotional harm to a pregnant woman are factored in as aggravating circumstances during the sentencing process,” Wagantall said.
She told fellow MPs that the risk of violence against women “increases when they are pregnant.”
“However, consequences for their attackers do not increase at all. There are more than 80 cases in recent Canadian history of women who have been killed while pregnant. Each of these women was killed by men who knew they were pregnant,” Wagantall said.
“The killers intentionally sought to do harm to the mother or, in many cases, end the pregnancy. As it stands at this moment, our justice system fails to take these actions into account.”
Wagantall ‘confident’ that the bill will get widespread support
Wagantall said she is “confident” her bill will get widespread approval and support from MPs to stand united against “gender-based violence in all its forms.”
Canada’s own Liberal Minister of Minister for Women and Gender Equality and Youth Marci Ien has even said, as noted Wagantall, that violence against women is a form of “abuse that costs lives, and it must not be tolerated in Canada.”
Wagantall noted that Canada is “failing” at protecting pregnant women and the “children they have chosen to carry to term.”
“Sentences issued by our courts should match the crimes committed. Our country needs this law to ensure that criminals who attack or kill a pregnant woman can be sentenced appropriately by our courts,” she added.
It remains to be seen how far Wagantall’s bill will go in Parliament, given the Liberal government under Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s full approval and promotion of abortion on demand.
Indeed, just before Christmas Trudeau’s pro-abortion government reaffirmed it remains committed to stripping pro-life organizations of their charitable tax status, a move that has been blasted by Canada’s top pro-life group.
Since the 2021 election, Campaign Life Coalition (CLC) has been working non-stop to rally all Canadians to demand that his government not remove charitable status from pregnancy centers.
CLC’s petition to MPs asking them to save the country’s crisis pregnancy centers has now been signed by over 13,000 Canadians.
Wagantall first became an MP in 2015 and since that time has made a name for herself as outspokenly pro-life and pro-family.
Her previous attempts at pro-life legislation have been met with fierce opposition from the Trudeau government and abortion activists.
Last year, a private members bill she brought forward that would have made it illegal for any doctor in Canada to knowingly commit an abortion merely because of the sex of the unborn baby was defeated in the House of Commons.
Wagantall made headlines last year after being forcibly removed from the House of Commons after she refused to abide by the rule mandating all MPs have two COVID vaccines or medical exemptions.