First, they nailed Status of Women Canada which forced the doors of many women’s organizations across the country to close. Then they (with the support of the Liberals) allowed Ken Epp’s wedge issue Bill C-484 to pass Second Reading in the House of Commons. And now the right-wing extremist, Maurice Vellacott, the MP for Saskatoon-Wanuskewin has introduced, for what I think is the 3rd time, his ridiculous Bill-537!
Fortunately, the folks in Quebec have it together! Their National Assembly unanimously condemned C-484 after one of their doctors’ associations condemned it as a backdoor attempt to restrict women’s right to abortion. I fight it incredibly interesting that a province, whose traditions are based in Roman Catholicism, can be so progressive!
Here’s hoping Vellacott’s Bill will not make it beyond First Reading in the House of Commons. The Abortion Rights Coalition of Canada / Coaltion pour le droit a l’avortement au Canada,outlines reasons for opposing C-537:
- It’s discriminatory against women (mostly).
- It would decrease access to abortion and contraception, and stigmatize both.
- It’s an abortion restriction that can be used as a wedge to re-criminalize abortion.
- It confuses the definition of “human being” under the CC by defining the term “human life” as including fertilized eggs and embryos.
- The patient’s conscience and rights must be paramount.
- Medical professionals have an obligation to help patients.
- It is broadly worded to the point of absurdity, basically exempting medical personnel from the duty to practice medicine.
- It would force medical institutions to hire personnel who refuse to perform services the institution specializes in – for example, it would force abortion clinics to hire anti-choice staff who refuse to do abortions.
- It would impair the ability of professional medical organizations to regulate health professionals (e.g., if an individual complains to the College about sub-standard care, the physician can say it’s related to his/her religious beliefs).
- It conflicts directly with Harper’s promise not to legislate on abortion.
- It’s a matter for civil law, not criminal law, so cannot be included in the Criminal Code.