Thursday, August 28, 2008

Epp still hopeful of meeting with the President of the CMA

Epp still hopeful of meeting with the President of the Canadian Medical Association,despite Justice Minister’s announcement earlier this week

For Immediate Release

August 28, 2008

(Ottawa) – “It has been a disappointment that the Canadian Medical Association has come out against my Private Members Bill C-484. I believe physicians have unfortunately been influenced by a misinformation campaign as to the real intent of the Unborn Victims of Crime Act.

“After the CMA announcement, I requested and received the legal opinion which outlines the specific concerns outlined by the Canadian Medical Association. I have now had the opportunity to review that opinion.

“Preliminary legal advice presented to me suggests that while C-484 ensures that no doctors could ever be in jeopardy of facing criminal charges as a result of this bill, as it specifically excludes any and all elective abortions, very modest amendments to the bill could and should eliminate any concerns physicians might have. This can be accomplished without jeopardizing the bill’s intended effect which is to make it a criminal offence for someone to intentionally attack a woman knowing she is pregnant and harming or destroying her not-yet-born child.

“The CMA contacted me last week to arrange a meeting. I was encouraged by CMA president Dr. Robert Ouellet’s offer to meet. I have accepted the offer and had hoped to meet with him tomorrow, August 29.

“Despite several contacts by my office we have not been able to confirm a time to meet. It now appears no meeting is possible until at least mid-September.

“Hopefully the announcement by Minister Nicholson earlier this week has not resulted in diminishing the CMA’s interest in pursuing a meeting.

“I believe that a meeting with Dr. Ouellet would be fruitful in explaining to him the real intent of Bill C-484 and how it can in no way present difficulties for physicians, even in its present form. And to assure the CMA that I have taken physicians’ concerns seriously and am acting in good faith, I welcome the opportunity to present to Dr. Ouellet my proposed amendments.

“I am prepared to do everything I can to meet CMA’s concerns.

“It is also important that I respond to the countless everyday Canadians who continue to contact me daily with expressions of support for C-484. Their response proves even further that the vast majority of Canadians, not constrained by political agendas or strident ideology, see the Unborn Victims of Crime Act as a genuine and compassionate response to a cry for justice. I am truly grateful for their support.

“I would also like to thank my parliamentary colleagues for their continued support for Bill C-484.”

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For More Information, contact

Ken Epp, MP

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