Tuesday, May 06, 2008

Ken Epp: Claims that fetal homicide laws criminalize women are a smokescreen

MP Ken Epp has written an analysis of American fetal homicide laws in response to feminist critics of Bill C-484.

In conclusion:

The alarmist claims made by the National Advocates for Pregnant Women, that “Unborn Victims of Violence Acts…become tools for policing and punishing pregnant women,”8 and relied upon by the Abortion Rights Coalition of Canada in an attempt to discredit C-484, are without foundation in the facts of the US experience and do not apply to the proposed amendment of the Criminal Code contained in Bill C-484. Such claims provide only a smoke-screen in an effort to take the focus off of what Bill C-484 is really about—protecting pregnant women and their unborn children from third-party attacks and to condemn the actions of anyone who would harm or kill a pregnant woman’s unborn baby against her will. By painting an alarming picture of the US situation and analogizing it to Canada, these organizations seek to instill an irrational fear that C-484 will be used against pregnant women in Canada, when C-484 goes to clear and stated effort to ensure that the choice of pregnant women will be respected.

Simply put, Bill C-484 has not been designed, intended, nor can it be interpreted to restrict the actions of the mother of the unborn child or result in her criminal prosecution for her decisions in regard to that unborn child. It is strictly and explicitly aimed at third-parties who criminally attack a pregnant woman and in the process, harm or kill her unborn baby.

The onus is on those who claim that C-484 can be used to “police” and “punish” pregnant women to prove how. Given they are unable to do this, then intellectual honesty and integrity demand that they put an immediate end to their campaign of fear.

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