NewsWed Nov 21, 2007 - 12:15 pm EST
Canada Unborn Victims of Crime Act Introduced in Parliament by Conservative MP
OTTAWA, November 21, 2007 (LifeSiteNews.com) - Ken Epp, Conservative Member of Parliament for Edmonton-Sherwood Park, introduced in the House of Commons today a Private Members Bill that would allow criminal charges to be laid in the death or injury of an unborn child when the child’s mother is the victim of a crime.
"This is all about protecting the choice of a woman to give birth to her child," said Mr. Epp. "It is about condemning the actions of those who would take it upon themselves to criminally assault a pregnant woman and the child she wants and loves, destroying that child against her will."
Known as the Unborn Victims of Crime Act, Bill C-484 is a response to repeated calls from the families of murdered pregnant women-and from the public at large- to recognize unborn children as crime victims when they are injured or killed during the commission of an offence against their mothers.
"Having heard the heart-rending stories of the families of the victims, I am absolutely convinced that this is an issue which cannot be swept aside," Mr. Epp said. "How do you tell these grieving families that the child they loved and lost never even existed in the eyes of the law? My Unborn Victims of Crime bill addresses this grave injustice, and I encourage all my Colleagues from all parties to support this bill when it comes up for a vote in the House."
An Environics poll released in October 2007 found that 72% of Canadians-75% of women-would support "legislation making it a separate crime to injure or kill a foetus during an attack on the mother."
Even among those Canadians who support unrestricted abortion for the full nine months of pregnancy, 55% support "legislation making it a separate crime to injure or kill a foetus during an attack on the mother."
Such legislation is also supported across party lines: 77% of Conservative supporters, 71% of Liberal, 71% of the Bloc Quebecois, 67% of the Green Party, and 66% of the NDP supporters are in favour of "legislation making it a separate crime to injure or kill a foetus during an attack on the mother."
This is the second time in as many years unborn victims legislation has been proposed. In May last year, Conservative MP Leon Benoit proposed similar legislation which was blocked by the Conservative Government before it was even allowed to come before Parliament for a vote. (see coverage: