Friday, August 29, 2008

Ken Epp's bill

From Alberta Pro-life:
E-Update – August 28, 2008

Bill C-484 bombshell

On Monday, federal Justice Minister Rob Nicholson announced that the Harper government would not support Bill C-484, a Private Member’s Bill introduced by Conservative MP Ken Epp, which would make it a separate crime to kill or injure a fetus during a violent attack on a pregnant woman. Instead, Minister Nicholson said the government would introduce legislation to add pregnancy as an aggravating factor to be considered during sentencing. That is the proposal advocated by pro-abortion groups who have opposed the bill. Judges can already vary sentencing based on aggravating factors. Mr. Nicholson said the bill, which has not been drafted, would “leave no room for the introduction of fetal rights." Mr. Epp’s bill already explicitly excludes abortion. The Harper government was apparently responded to a taunt from Liberal leader Stephane Dion who told reporters last week that he opposed Bill C-484 because he supported a “woman’s right to choose” and asked where Mr. Harper stood on the issue. Prime Minister Harper made it clear this week that he will probably call an election very soon and most pundits saw this move as a way to take abortion off the table before the election is called. Mr. Epp, MP for Edmonton-Sherwood Park, responded quickly saying he would not withdraw his bill because Mr. Nicholson’s bill did not address the loss of life that families experience when the unborn child dies. The pro-abortion Globe and Mail concurred in an editorial saying “Mr. Epp's bill was no danger to freedom of choice. It would have been a shield for unborn, wanted children; it would not have been a sword to threaten women who choose to terminate pregnancies, or their physicians. It should have been fully considered on its own merits.” Eight other Conservative MPs issued a media release expressing their support for Mr. Epp’s bill. They are: David Anderson, Cypress Hills-Grasslands, Rod Bruinooge, Winnipeg South, Royal Galipeau, Ottawa-Orléans, Colin Mayes, Okanagan-Shuswap, Myron Thompson, MP, Wild Rose, Brad Trost, Saskatoon-Humboldt, Maurice Vellacott, Saskatoon-Wanuskewin, Chris Warkentin, Peace River. Until an election is called, Bill C-484 is still proceeding through Parliament. It has passed second reading and has been sent to the Justice Committee for further study. The House of Commons is set to resume on September 15 and the bill could return to the Commons for third reading and vote this fall. You still have time to contact your MP to tell him or her where you stand and how you expect them to vote. You can find out who your MP is and how to contact him or her at If an election is called, all bills, including this one, die but it could be brought back by another MP in the next Parliament.

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