Wednesday January 9, 2008

Women’s Health Group Urges Readers to Sign Unborn Victims of Crimes Bill Petition

TORONTO, January 9, 2007 ( – Marie-Christine Houle, Executive Director of Women for Women’s Health, is appealing to all concerned people to sign a petition directed to the government of Canada regarding the up-coming vote on the Unborn Victims of Crime Bill (C-484).

The petition is available here ( and may be sent to the address on the petition or to Women for Women’s Health, PO BOX 541, Norval, Ontario, L0P 1K0. It is being asked that signed petitions be returned no later than January 25th, 2008.

There have been five pregnant women murdered in Canada in the past three years, the most recent being Aysun Sesen, 25, of Toronto. She and her seven-month unborn child died after she was stabbed in the abdomen. Her husband has been charged with second-degree murder.

However, under Canadian law the child is not recognized as a human being until it has emerged from the mother’s body alive so police cannot charge perpetrators with murder of the unborn baby.

Seventy-two percent of Canadians polled in an Environics poll commissioned by Life Canada/Vie Canada say they would support legislation making it a separate crime to injure or kill a fetus during an attack on the mother.

The Unborn Victims of Crime Act (C-484) was introduced on November 21, 2007, by Conservative Member of Parliament for Edmonton-Sherwood Park, Ken Epp, and received its first hour of debate in the House of Commons on December 13, 2007.

“This bill is about giving a woman the freedom of choice to bring her child to term in safety,” Mr. Epp said. “In anticipating the birth of her baby, she has become emotionally attached to it, and has experienced the greatest violation of her right and freedom possible – the criminal assault and death or injury to her child that she loves and wants to protect.”

Two of the families of pregnant mothers who were killed along with their unborn children have issued a media statement saying, “We commend the members of the Subcommittee on Private Members Business for the step forward they took today in allowing the Unborn Victims of Crimes Bill (Bill C-484) to be debated in the House. We can only hope that Canadian parliamentarians understand that Olivia Talbot and Aysun Sesen’s cases are not isolated incidents and that Canada must incorporate protection for unborn victims of violence in the criminal code. We joined together in the hopes that the Prime Minister and the Members of Parliament will hear our cry for justice.”

The US government passed the Unborn Victims of Violence Act (H.R. 1997) in 2004, recognizing the unborn child as second victim of violent crimes. The bill recognizes as a legal victim any “child in utero” who is injured or killed during the commission of a federal crime of violence.

See previous coverage:

U.S. House Passes Bill to Recognize Unborn Child as Second Victim of Violent Crimes

Unborn Victims of Crime Bill Debated in House of Commons

Families of Victims Pleased that Unborn Victims of Crime Act Will Come to a Vote in Canada’s Parliament

Two Murders of Pregnant Canadian Women Renew Calls for Unborn Victims’ Legislation

Almost Three out of Every Four Canadians Supports Fetal Protection Law

Police Say Murder of Mother and Unborn Child a Crime that “Defies Comprehension”

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