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e-381 (Rights of pregnant women)

Initiated by Joyce Arthur from Vancouver, British Columbia

Original language of petition: English

Petition to the House of Commons in Parliament assembled

  • Bill C-225, An Act to amend the Criminal Code (injuring or causing the death of a preborn child while committing an offence), also known as “Cassie and Molly’s Law”, would create a new Criminal Code offence: injuring or causing the death of a “preborn child” while committing a criminal offence against a pregnant woman;
  • The proposed “Cassie and Molly’s Law” conflicts with the Criminal Code, because it grants a type of legal personhood to fetuses, which are non-persons under the law;
  • Giving any legal recognition to fetuses would compromise women’s established rights, and violate Supreme Court precedent that says a woman and her fetus are “physically one”;
  • Pregnant women being assaulted or killed is largely a domestic violence issue and “fetal homicide” laws elsewhere have done nothing to reduce domestic violence against pregnant women or their fetuses;
  • The proposed bill has no exemptions for pregnant women or those helping them in good faith, while in the U.S., hundreds of arrests of pregnant women have occurred under state fetal homicide laws, including some that make exemptions for the pregnant woman;
  • The proposed “Cassie and Molly’s Law” is supported mostly by the anti-abortion movement, which would leverage it to re-criminalize abortion or pass restrictions; and
  • The best way to protect fetuses is to provide pregnant women the supports and resources they need for a good pregnancy outcome, including protection from intimate partner violence.
We, the undersigned, Residents of Canada, call upon the House of Commons in Parliament assembled to oppose the passage of Bill C-225 (“Cassie and Molly’s Law”).
Open for signature
June 22, 2016, at 8:27 a.m. (EDT)
Closed for signature
October 20, 2016, at 8:27 a.m. (EDT)
Photo - Sheila Malcolmson
New Democratic Party Caucus
British Columbia
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