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Ken Epp’s motivation behind his Unborn Victims of Crime Bill?

Great catch by Laura over at We Move to Canada. She caught a show in CP24 with a debate involving Ken Epp trying to reassure everyone how his bill has nothing to do with granting legal status to a fetus, is not anti-abortion, could not be used to prosecute pregnant women. When others began to press Ken on why not toughen sentences on attackers of pregnant women rather then bringing the fetus into it as he has done with his bill, his answer according to Laura was that he wanted to recognize the humanity of the unborn child.

This was said just moments after insisting his bill had nothing to do with granting legal status to a fetus, which seems to me to be a big contradiction on his part. A fetus and a child are not the same thing, Mr. Epp. A child has legal personhood rights, a fetus does not. The Canadian Criminal Code and the Supreme Court of Canada say that very clearly, and I agree with Laura that she can’t see how this doesn’t lead to the next step of declaring “legal personhood” for the fetus, leading then of course to the next step of declaring that abortions are therefore violating the rights of the fetus’s “unborn humanity”

Something else to consider is that everyone on that show agreed that even if this law was passed, murderers of pregnant women would get no longer of a sentence for murdering someone then without this proposed law in place. All this does is recognizes that 2 people were killed, not 1. Therefore, this law would do nothing to protect women. It is designed solely to recognize that the fetus is somehow a person. The main motivation of Ken Epp and his supporters then, in my view, is a backdoor attempt down the road to try and turn back the clock and turn women and their health-care providers into criminals for wanting to have a choice, and giving them that choice.

I urge the Parliament, and particularly the pro-choice Liberals in that caucus to not allow this back-door attempt to be passed. Defeat Bill C-484.


12 comments to Ken Epp’s motivation behind his Unborn Victims of Crime Bill?

  • Ted

    My reference was to the general issue of Abortion, not the bill itself.

  • You got some proof Ted, that more and more progressive thinkers think that something isn’t right? Because, all I’ve seen at Progressive Bloggers is overwhelming support to defeat this Bill. I’ve even seen a self-described pro-life Catholic – albeit a Liberal 0ne – state that he could not support this Bill.

  • Ted

    What I do know is that we have a disconnect in our values. We make it legal to abort a 8 month "fetus" , for any reason, on one floor of the hospital, while on a prenatal pediatrics floor we preform surgery on 4 month old "fetus" so it can be saved. More and more "progressive " thinkers are realizing that maybe something is not right.

  • ALW

    Sigh.  Guess what, CC? This is precisely the debate the Court declined to engage in in Morgentaler!  It’s also why there is a legal vacuumn around abortion – because the Court acknowledged that maybe giving some rights to a fetus would be okay, but not as much as a "live" person, but wasn’t going to tell Parliament what the line was.  Consequently, abortion is now legal in the same way that breathing is – there’s simply no regulation at all. None, whatsoever.  If you like that, super.  But let’s dispense with this nonsense that the Supreme Court has at any point declared that any law whatsoever governing abortion is unconstitutional.  It hasn’t.

  • CC

    God Almighty, Aaron, but do you need grownups to chew your food for you, too?  I Googled on "canada criminal code fetus personhood" and, eight seconds later, I was reading this:

    which clearly refers to Section 223[1].  And as for this bit of inanity of yours:

    "He’s not trying to make a fetus a person; he’s trying to give a fetus some rights."

    perhaps you’d like to explain how one gives a fetus "some" rights without bestowing upon it some special property it hasn’t possessed until now.  you know … like personhood or something like it.

    If I were you, Aaron, and I’d spent a great deal of money on law school so far, I’d seriously be considering a refund.

  • ALW

    Mike – um, no, it’s not.  Morgentaler only said the existing abortion law at the time was unconstitutional.   That says nothing about any potential other abortion law.

  • ALW,

    Look up R. v Morgantaler 1987…its very clear right there.

  • ALW

    I’m not a criminal lawyer, CC.  I was asking to be pointed to the section, which Scott has kindly done (it may come as a shock to you, CC, that most lawyers don’t memorize long statutes). Regardless, I’m not sure why it matters – the fact that a foetus is not covered as a "human being" under the Code is precisely why Epp brought Bill 484 forward – if it was covered, there wouldn’t be any need for 484 because the rights Epp is seeking to enshrine would already be there.

    As for Dobson,  I wasn’t able to find it "clearly stated" that a fetus isn’t a person, but again – supposing a fetus isn’t a person is why Epp has brought forward 484.  He’s not trying to make a fetus a person; he’s trying to give a fetus some rights.  That’s not the same as saying a fetus should have the same rights as human being; it’s simply arguing the deserve to be recognized as something more than an inanimate object.  You may disagree with that, but it’s hardly an insane or indefensible position to take, and it’s one that the Courts have repeatedly shied away from doing precisely because it’s so stick (read for example Wilson J’s comments in Morgentaler where says that the state’s interest in protecting a fetus becomes stronger the closer the fetus comes to ‘viability’.  And recall this is by far the most feminist justice on the bench at the time).

    It sounds like what’s being made here is a slippery-slope argument. Fine.  But on its face itself C-484 is as harmless as the "Quebec is a nation" resolution, which you will all recall was supposed to destroy Canada.

  • Actually, Aaron can just refer back to my first post urging the defeat of this bill to find the info.

    Try Section 23(1) of the Criminal Code, and try the Supreme Court case of Dobson vs Dobson that I referred to in that post.

  • CC

    I’m sorry, Aaron … you’re a law student and you can’t figure out where to look in the Criminal Code of Canada to figure that out?  What are they teaching you people these days?

    And, no, I’m not going to tell you where it is.  For God’s sake, figure it out.

  • ALW

    A child has legal personhood rights, a fetus does not. The Canadian Criminal Code and the Supreme Court of Canada say that very clearly

    Where do they say that?

  • Thanks, Scott – for the link and for your support.

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