Canadian MPs Affirm Continued Support for C-484 - Unborn Victims of Crime Bill

Thu Aug 28, 2008 - 12:15 pm EST

By John Jalsevac

OTTAWA, ON, August 28, 2008 ( - Following the surprise move of Conservative Justice Minister Rob Nicholson to introduce legislation that could, in effect, kill Bill C-484, the Unborn Victims of Crime bill, a group of MPs have expressed their continued support for C-484.

The legislation proposed by Nicholson, on behalf of the Conservative Party, would add the fact of a woman’s pregnancy to the list of ‘aggravating factors’ which must be considered when sentencing criminals who have perpetrated a violent crime against a pregnant woman. The bill would not, however, recognize the individual life of the unborn child, something which C-484 proposes to do.

Ken Epp, the MP who is sponsoring C-484, has denounced the proposed Conservative Party legislation as adding little to current criminal law.

"Why have increased penalties for attacks on pregnant women if the not-yet-born baby doesn’t matter?" Epp asked earlier this week. "Either that child matters so that attacks on pregnant women are more heinous, in which case Bill C-484 is a direct recognition of that reality; or that child doesn’t matter, in which case we don’t need any new law…The saddest thing of all is that the government Bill likely adds nothing that doesn’t already exist in law."

"As Members of Parliament, we continue to support the passage of the Unborn Victims of Crime Act, a Private Member’s Bill, sponsored by Ken Epp, MP for Edmonton-Sherwood Park," said the group of MPs in a media release.

"The Unborn Victims of Crime Act (C-484) is an important piece of legislation, one that will create a separate offence under the Criminal Code to injure or kill an unborn child when the mother is assaulted.

"At the present time, the Criminal Code of Canada ‘does not provide for any charges to be laid in respect of the unborn child who is injured or dies as a result,’ according to MP Epp.

"We, the undersigned, will continue to use all the legislative avenues at our disposal to ensure the successful passage of The Unborn Victims of Crime Act into law. We look forward to supporting Mr. Epp’s bill at third reading."

The list of MPs who have pledged their continued support for C-484 are:

David Anderson, MP, Cypress Hills-Grasslands
  Rod Bruinooge, MP, Winnipeg South
  Royal Galipeau, MP, Ottawa-Orléans
  Colin Mayes, MP, Okanagan-Shuswap
  Myron Thompson, MP, Wild Rose
  Brad Trost, MP, Saskatoon-Humboldt
  Maurice Vellacott, MP, Saskatoon-Wanuskewin
  Chris Warkentin, MP, Peace River

See related coverage:

Conservative MP Epp Will Not Scrap Unborn Victims Bill

Conservative Party of Canada Kills Unborn Victims of Crime Act with Gutless Alternative

Canada’s Abortion Militants Reiterate Condemnation of Unborn Victims of Crime Bill

Pro-Abortion Liberal Introduces Bill to Counter Unborn Victims of Crime Bill

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