LETTER TO THE EDITOR: MINISTER'S ACTIONS SURPRISING, CONFUSING
by Sarah Sonne
The Guelph Mercury, August 30 2008
Dear Editor - Federal Justice Minister Rob Nicholson's announcement Monday that the Conservative government would be introducing a replacement bill to Bill C-484, the Unborn Victims of Crime Act, in order to avoid "reopening the abortion debate" was both surprising and confusing.
Bill C-484 only broadens what is already law in Canada -- embryos, fetuses, and unborn children are already afforded some protection through Section 238 of the Criminal Code and the Assisted Human Reproduction Act.
Section 238 of the Criminal Code, which Bill C-484 would be amending, protects unborn children during the act of birth. Likewise, the Assisted Human Reproduction Act states it is a criminal offence to destroy an embryo or fetus without the written permission of the parents or donors.
At conception and birth, it is a criminal offence to "kill or destroy" a wanted unborn child, and yet abortion has not been affected by either of these laws, which have been in place for years.
Bill C-484 simply takes that foundation and bridges the gap between conception and birth, making it a criminal offence to kill or harm a wanted unborn child at any point in a pregnancy without the permission of the mother. It's nothing new, and it has no ability to affect abortion since all three laws hinge on the mother's consent (or lack thereof).
Fifteen pregnant women have been brutally murdered since 2004, five of them this year.
This is a much needed amendment and I fully support it.
-- Sarah Sonne, Guelph