OTTAWA, March 13, 2017 (LifeSiteNews) — In a new bill the federal Liberals are aiming to scrub the remains of Canada's ban on abortion, which was struck down nearly three decades ago by the Supreme Court, from the law books.
The same bill (C-39), which seeks to remove so-called “zombie laws,” would also repeal Section 159, the ban on anal sex between more than two people, in public, and for anyone under age 18.
Zombie laws refer to sections of the Criminal Code that have been struck down as unconstitutional by the courts.
However, although the anal sex ban has been declared unconstitutional by federal courts and appeals courts in Nova Scotia, Quebec, Ontario, Alberta and British Columbia, it is not a “zombie law” as such.
The Liberals have elected to have Bill C-39 absorb and replace Bill C-32, a stand-alone bill introduced last November that would have repealed the anal sex ban.
When introducing Bill C-32 Justice Minister Jody Wilson-Raybould stated that Section 159 was “discriminatory” to the LGBTQ community and the bill was a substantive, not symbolic change, according to the CBC.
Sixty-nine people were charged under Section 159 from 2014 to 2015, but no one was convicted, reported the CBC.
Justice Minister Wilson-Raybould tabled Bill C-39 on International Women’s Day.
She highlighted at a press conference that the Criminal Code section banning abortion is among the Criminal Code provisions to be repealed.
The Supreme Court struck down the law prohibiting abortion in its 1988 Morgentaler decision, ruling that it violated the Charter right of security of the person.
The Court instructed Parliament to pass a new abortion law, but this was never done, leaving Canada with a legal vacuum on abortion. Consequently, abortion is legal in Canada up to birth without restriction.
“Our government without equivocation recognizes and acknowledges the constitutional rights of women and are taking the courageous step to ensure that we remove this section from the Criminal Code,” Wilson-Raybould said.
“We’re not opening or reopening the abortion debate,” the minister said in response to a media question if pro-life protests on the bill could spark renewed debate on abortion, reported Canadian Press.
“We are simply taking a leadership role and hoping that we will have this bill passed through and we can clean up the Criminal Code once and for all,” said Wilson-Raybould.
As for Section 159, “The intent of the law has always been to protect children from exploitation by prosecuting the adults involved, which took priority over concerns about equality,” observed Gwen Landolt, vice president of REAL Women of Canada.
“Anal intercourse is one of the riskiest behaviors associated with the transmission of AIDS and sexually transmitted diseases,” she wrote.
“Given the interest of some adults in having sex with youngsters, which is well documented, why then are those who should be protecting them compromising children’s physical and emotional health?”
Bill C-39 in general is “a monument to the power of the court, that they can throw out anything that Parliament puts in,” Landolt observed.
“What’s happened is the court has thrown out laws put in place by elected representatives in Parliament not on the basis of what is legal but really out on the basis their liberal ideology,” she told LifeSiteNews.
Landolt faulted Wilson-Raybould, who as minister of justice “should know better” for saying women “have a constitutional right to abortion.”
Minister of International Development Marie-Claude Bibeau also stated this, and it is the conviction of Liberal Prime Minister Justin Trudeau as well, noted Landolt.
But the Supreme Court’s Morgentaler decision striking down the abortion law in 1988 “was simply to say the law itself was unconstitutional for technical reasons.”
The Court also said at the time that “Parliament could go back, if they so willed, to put in other legislation on abortion.”
“There is no, no constitutional right to abortion,” emphasized Landolt. To draw that conclusion is “a superficial, dimwitted response to what actually occurred.”