Thursday, March 27, 2008

C484: A Bill about Justice, Not Abortion

Published today in the editorial section of The Telegram, Newfoundland & Labrador's daily provincial paper.

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C484: A Bill about Justice, Not Abortion

by Eric Alcock

Lane Jr. was 27 weeks old, still in the womb, when his mother Olivia Talbot was fatally shot twice in the head in 2005 by a childhood friend. Baby Lane perished too. Olivia had been shot three times in the abdomen as well. No charges could be laid in Baby Lane’s death.

When Aysun Sesen, 25 and seven months pregnant, was brought to hospital in October 2007 with multiple and fatal stab wounds to her abdomen, her fetus still had a faint heartbeat but died shortly thereafter. Her husband was charged with her slaying. No charges could be laid in the unborn child’s death.

Five pregnant women have been murdered in Canada in the past three years. Unquestionably, the torment of the grieving families of the victims due to their double loss is compounded by the impossibility of securing justice for their newest family member. They say society refuses to recognize their loss. How profound their pain!

Bill C-484 brings justice to these unborn children and their families. C-484 is titled “Unborn Victims of Crime Act,” and will amend the Criminal Code to prosecute attackers who injure or kill an unborn child during the commission of a crime against the mother.

Thus far, the word “abortion” is as distant from the discussion as green cheese. Why? Because C-484 has nothing to do with abortion. The bill explicitly excludes abortion. Clear headed and fair minded Canadians obviously agree. An Angus-Reid poll showed 70% of Canadians support this legislation, with only 19% of women suspecting the government of a sneak attack on abortion rights.

Joyce Hancock of the Newfoundland and Labrador Feminist Coalition recently captured the attention of The Telegram by claiming the federal conservatives were using C-484 as a back door attack to outlaw abortion. Ask Hancock what she sees in the bill and she’ll tell you abortion.

But I’ll let you in on the secret here. What she really sees is a law that recognizes the fetus as a distinct entity, separate from the mother and worth something. And that scares her because radical feminists and abortion advocates have unceasingly drummed into Canadians that, in effect, the fetus does not exist until it’s born. That’s their justification for abortion, which, incidentally, happens to kill the fetus every time. But it’s no excuse for fear mongering and misrepresentation over C-484.

They’ll tell you the bill grants a “form of personhood” or legal status to the fetus. It plainly doesn’t. They’ll try to sidestep the fetus by saying the “real issue” is domestic violence, not losing an unborn child, or that it does nothing to stop violence against women. Perhaps they should check the title of the bill. It’s not a domestic violence bill. We have those already and if they’re ineffective, let them put their energies into improving them.

They’ll tell you the bill blunders through a loophole in favour of perpetrators of domestic violence or that double charges won’t change anything because criminals serve concurrent sentences anyway. False—they’re grasping at straws.

Liberal MP’s in our province voted against this bill. Provincial Opposition Leader Yvonne Jones immediately pledged support for Hancock but admitted she hasn’t even read the bill! How telling. Shame on them all!

Get fully informed about C-484. Visit MP Ken Epp’s website where you can examine the bill from every possible angle. Contact your own MP as soon as possible and urge support for this bill which corrects a serious flaw in our justice system.

2 comments:

SUZANNE said...

EXCELLENT ARTICLE! Concise, to the point. Congratulations.

ELA said...

Thank you Suzanne.
Just following in your footsteps.