Monday, 25 February 2008

Conservative Bill Takes Small Sneaky Step Towards Re-Criminalizing Abortion

The “Unborn Victims of Crime Act”, seeks to amend the Criminal Code to allow separate homicide charges to be laid in the death of a fetus when a pregnant woman is attacked. Currently a fetus is not considered a person under the law until it exits the birth canal alive. The bill tries to amend Part VIII of the Criminal Code, “Offences Against the Person and Reputation”; however, the fetus is not a legal person and cannot rightly fall under this section.

This bill takes the focus from the real issue which is violence against pregnant women and places focus on the victim's fetus. The bill does not protect women, only fetuses and similar laws in the U.S. have resulted in the pregnant woman being charged with a crime against her unborn child rather than addressing the issue of violence against women. A better approach would be to place harsher penalties on persons that attack pregnant women.

Since the focus of the bill is on the "murder" of fetuses and provides no protection for the mother, it is reasonable to suspect that the real intent of the bill is to give fetuses personhood and thereby criminalize abortion.

Bill C-484 was introduced in Parliament on December 13th, 2007 and is projected to be coming up for its second hour of debate on February 29th, 2008.

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