OTTAWA, Ontario, November 25, 2010 ( – The vote on the Canadian bill seeking to criminalize abortion coercion, which was initially pushed back to February, is now set for December 15th.

The bill, called “Roxanne’s Law,” is named after Roxanne Fernando, a Manitoba woman whose boyfriend attempted to coerce her to have an abortion after she became pregnant in 2007.  After refusing to have the unborn child killed, Roxanne was beaten and left to die in a snow bank.

It was introduced in April as a private members bill by Conservative MP Rod Bruinooge (Winnipeg South), who serves as chair of the parliamentary pro-life caucus.  It is opposed by Prime Minister Stephen Harper, who says he “will oppose any attempt to create a new abortion law.”

The bill, also known as C-510, received its first hour of debate on November 1st.  “No pregnant woman should ever have to choose between protecting herself and protecting her baby,” Bruinooge told the House of Commons.

It will receive a second hour of debate on December 13th.

The bill has gained wide support among religious and pro-life organizations, including the Evangelical Fellowship of Canada, the Canadian Bishops’ Catholic Organization for Life and Family, and Priests for Life, among numerous others.

Campaign Life Coalition, the political arm of Canada’s pro-life movement, has called on MPs to support the bill so that it can be amended in committee.  They expressed reservations, in particular, about passages that could be interpreted to recognize abortion as an acceptable option.

The vote on December 15th will determine the bill’s fate.  If passed, it will go for discussion before a parliamentary committee.


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