Posts Tagged ‘women’s rights’
The federal election means that all legislation that was on the table in the last session of parliament is gone and will need to be re-introduced. That includes Bill C-484, the Unborn Victims of Crime Act, a controversial proposed legislation introduced by MP Ken Epps as a private members bill. You can read more about it here and here (read the actual bill here). Essentially, under the guise of ensuring greater protection of ‘unborn children’ there are serious concerns any such bill would also be used to attack women’s right to chose to have an abortion. Epps has denied this is his intent, but comments from his supporters point otherwise.
While C-484 has attracted so much negative attention that the Conservatives have essentially axed it, as you can see on the image to the right, there are other bills following in the footsteps of C-484: C-543, C-537, C-338. They will all need to be re-introduced, and the Conservatives plan to follow through.
That’s why – along with the Harper government’s terrible track record on women’s rights so far – people will be gathering on the streets across the country this weekend to make sure that women’s rights are heard during this election campaign and the remind politicians that while the economy and environment are at the forefront, there are more than two issues that people are voting on.
Sunday September 28th
Meeting point: Parc Lahaie (corner of St-Joseph and St-Laurent)
Rally at 1:30pm
March at 2:00pm
If I have more time, I’ll post more on this later, but this Sunday there will be a very important march in Montreal on an issue I think all Canadians should be concerned about. The fight for legal abortions in Canada was a hard fought, decades-long battle. And while there is definitely no unanimity on the issue, it has been 20 years that women have not had to fear legal repercussions for seeking out an abortion.
Bill C-484, though, has raised serious concerns among many that the right to an abortion could be facing its most serious challenge in at least the last 10 years, if not longer. Officially the Unborn Victims of Crime Act, and introduced by Conservative MP Tom Epps, the bill seeks to increase the penalty for those who harm a woman who is pregnant, essentially on the basis that greater harm is done because a second potential life is taken. While on the surface this may appear harmless, there are fears that such a law would reopen the debate on the rights of a foetus. Proponents of the bill claim that there are provisions built in so that women are not held liable for injury to a foetus, and that this law does not go any further than any pre-existing laws, but critics still fear the repercussions and precedent set by the law.
There will be a demonstration this Sunday, June 1st, against the bill in Montreal. People will be assembling at 2pm at the corner of St-Jospeh and St-Laurent, and the march will begin at 2pm sharp.
I wish I had more time to post links to back up all this, but here are some sites with lots more information:
- Oppose Bill C-484, “Unborn Victims of Crime Act” , from the Abortion Rights Coalition of Canada
- Bill to protect ‘the unborn’ is the wrong approach, by the Toronto Star’s Antonia Zerbisias
- One Body. One Person. One Count. from Breadnroses.ca
- Contre le c-484, a Quebec based blog about organising against the bill.
- A petition against and information about C-484 by the Federation of Specialist Doctors of Quebec.
- Projet de loi C-484: La bonne chose à faire, a well argued piece by UQAM law student Cathy Wong