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Willow
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 13, 2008 1:25 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

One other thing. Gilles Duceppe shows up as Leader of the Bloc, yet they do not have Hon. in front of his name. Why is that?
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RP.
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 13, 2008 2:08 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

He has refused it.
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DSquared
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 13, 2008 10:14 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

sparqui wrote:
The NDP said they would whip the vote but at least one NDP member (Peter Stoffer) voted in support.


He says he just wanted to advance the bill so it could be studied:

Quote:
Mr. Layton said last week he would have a talk with Mr. Stoffer about his vote, as the NDP is strongly pro-choice. He said Monday that Mr. Stoffer has explained to him that he voted for the bill only for it to be studied. But if he voted for it on third reading, which would send it to the Senate for approval, Mr. Layton might have a problem.

"The NDP has been very, very clear as a pro-choice party, and there’s no question this law opens the door, despite the government’s rhetoric, to challenging a woman’s right to choose," Mr. Layton said Monday. "So that’s certainly an issue of fundamental principle to our party."

Mr. Stoffer said Monday he wanted the bill to go to committee so that MPs could hear from experts about what its effect would actually be.

"The principle of it was that if a woman is seven months pregnant, and that’s your choice, and someone comes along and violently beats her and destroys that opportunity, should there be additional penalties for that?" he said. "If you say it just like that, who can be against that? If it gives legal status to a fetus, then it opens up the abortion issue, and that is something as a pro-choice candidate that I couldn’t support. But I didn’t know."

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TS.
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 13, 2008 11:30 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

"Didn't know" my ass. If he actually didn't know, then he was willfully blind, and should have known.
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DSquared
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PostPosted: Fri Mar 14, 2008 7:16 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Just discovered this on the NDP page:

Quote:
Mr. Speaker, Bill C-484 proposes changes to the Criminal Code that will have no real positive effect, but rather will potentially jeopardize a woman's right to choose.

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TS.
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PostPosted: Fri Mar 14, 2008 9:11 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I posted that ^ up thread.
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DSquared
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PostPosted: Sun Mar 16, 2008 4:54 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

TS. wrote:
I posted that ^ up thread.
Embarassed
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Tehanu
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PostPosted: Mon Mar 17, 2008 11:57 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

So I was doing a quick look at Google News to see if there was any new stuff on this bill, and leave it to the Sudbury Star to have a good, strong editorial column.

Quote:
... When I first started hearing about this bill, the alarm bells started going off. I had remembered reading about similar laws in the United States, where assurances were made to women that this was not a back door attempt to criminalize abortion. But the truth is many pregnant women are being arrested under the new laws and now some of the States are proposing punishing women who are in abusive relationships who are unable, for very valid reasons, to leave the abuser.

... This bill is a back door attempt to re-open the abortion debate. Even more abhorrent, I believe if it is passed it will be seen as a legal way to punish women for any choice they may make concerning the fetus.

... If I had any doubt about the real intent of this bill, all I had to do was go to pro life websites and see they are busy promoting this and congratulating Epp for bringing it forward.

Of course, Prime Minister Stephen Harper said in the last election campaign that he had no desire to open the abortion debate, but this gives him an easy out on that one. He can say this is a private member's bill and nothing to do with the Conservatives. Yeah, sure and if you believe that one I have some swamp land for sale that you might like.

This bill does nothing to protect women. If someone is charged and convicted with two murders in Canada, they serve their sentences concurrently.

So, I ask you again, what is the real point of this bill?
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fork
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 19, 2008 1:35 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Here's a handy guide - talking points, sample letter - brought to you by the Abortion Rights Coalition of Canada.
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Tehanu
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 20, 2008 11:11 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Very helpful, thank you fork!

An Angus-Red poll that says there is a high level of support for Bill C-484 is being called flawed by Joyce Arthur of the Pro-Choice Action Network.

Quote:
... On March 13, Angus Reid Strategies released the results of its poll on Bill C-484 with the headline, "Canadians Support Bill Seeking Special Penalty for Crimes Against Pregnant Women".

... "Feminists who are politically aware hear about this bill and immediately know what the problem is," Arthur told the Straight. For others, however, "the link between this bill and abortion is complicated. It needs more than a simple statement [in a poll] to explain it."

According to the poll, just 24 percent of Canadians believe that the "Unborn Victims of Crime Act is actually an attempt to recriminalize abortion in Canada." B.C. was the region most skeptical of the bill, with 29 percent saying the bill is meant to recriminalize abortion. Alberta was least skeptical, at 18 percent.

... John Hof, B.C. president of the Campaign Life Coalition, a lobby group and self-described "political wing of the pro-life movement in Canada", told the Straight that the poll shows that an overwhelming number of Canadians support "this type of commonsense legislation".

He maintained that there was no link between Bill C-484 and abortion, saying "I really don’t see this as pro-life legislation at all."


Georgia Straight.

You know, I'd take these anti-choice groups a lot more seriously when they say this is not "pro-life legislation" if they weren't making such a gung-ho effort to get it passed.
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Willow
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PostPosted: Fri Apr 18, 2008 2:13 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I finally received a response from my MP, Leon Benoit.
Do I bother to write back???

Thank you for your email regarding Bill C-484.
This bill is actually a re-incarnation of my original Private Member’s Bill (PMB) which I had tabled earlier in 2006.
I am attaching a copy of a recent letter which appeared in the National Post. I think it will further explain the misconceptions which have been circulated about C-484. I hope you will take the time to read it.
All the best, and may God bless.


Leon Benoit, MP

Attachment: 1

PUBLICATION: National Post
DATE: 2008.04.02
EDITION: National
SECTION: Letters
PAGE: A17
BYLINE: Ken Epp
SOURCE: National Post

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Children, fetuses and Bill C-484

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Re: Bill C-484 Is All About Abortion, Joyce Arthur, April 1.

Joyce Arthur says that referring to a human fetus as a "child" in my bill C-484 is "unprecedented" in the Criminal Code (CC). In fact the exact opposite is true. I used the term "child" precisely because that is the term currently used in the CC to refer to a woman's offspring before birth-- not "fetus." The CC states: "223. (1) A child becomes a human being within the meaning of this Act when it has completely proceeded, in a living state, from the body of its mother … "

The word "becomes" implies that at some point in time, i.e., before fully exiting the mother's body, a child is not a "human being" for purposes of the CC. My bill does not change this.

Furthermore, the very section of the CC which my bill amends, namely 238, also uses the term "child" to refer to the unborn child/fetus.

My bill extends criminal law protection to unborn children in a very narrow circumstance that is not currently covered by section 238, using existing CC terminology, and despite the fact they are not considered "human beings" in the code. As the Law Reform Commission of Canada pointed out in its 1989 report: "to decide whether to give the foetus criminal law protection we don't need to decide if it is a person … There is nothing which limits criminal law protection to persons."

I think that if Ms. Arthur would debate what my bill actually says instead of basing her arguments on a misrepresentation, she would be advocating for C-484. How can she argue against protecting in law the unborn child which the pregnant woman has chosen to keep, and to provide criminal sanctions against any third party who would unilaterally take that choice and that anticipated new life away from her, without her consent, against her will and with violence?

Ken Epp, MP, Edmonton-Sherwood Park, Alta.
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sparqui
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PostPosted: Fri Apr 18, 2008 8:45 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
All the best, and may God bless.


Is Benoit another social conservative religious zealot?

On the good news front, not that the mainstream English media is covering it, the FMSQ (Quebec medical specialist association) and LEAF (women's legal group) have issued public statements condemning this bill.

And truly amazing, the Quebec National Assembly has voted UNANIMOUSLY against the Bill C-484.

More details from April Reign, Bastard Logic and Birth Pangs below:



http://www.breadnroses.ca/frontpage/2008/04/welcome-to-the-church-o...

http://bastardlogic.wordpress.com/2008/04/16/fmsq-considers-bill-c-...

http://www.breadnroses.ca/birthpangs/2008/04/who-hears-dog-whistles...
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Tehanu
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PostPosted: Wed Jun 04, 2008 9:06 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

There was a sizeable march in Montreal on Sunday against Bill C-484. Good. The heat needs to be kept on this issue.

Quote:
Anaïs Bertrand had no trouble defending her choice to get graphic.

At a protest yesterday against the federal government's proposed Unborn Victims of Crime Act, she carried a sign depicting a coat hanger dripping in blood. A slogan above the picture read: "Illegal abortion: never again."

... Bertrand, a sociology student at UQÀM, was among nearly 1,000 protesters who gathered at Lahaie Park in the Plateau Mont Royal to warn the government against passing a bill they say could lead to an unprecedented rollback of reproductive rights.

... In recent weeks, Ken Epp, the MP who introduced the bill, has maintained that it is "inoculated against the abortion question" and will not affect Canadians' reproductive rights.

... But that's not good enough for Bertrand, who said the bill goes too far in attempting to protect a woman's fetus.

... "It refers to a fetus as a child - and that's dangerous. If a pregnant woman has a glass of wine, can she then be convicted of giving alcohol to a minor?"


Montreal Gazette.

Note that the Abortion Rights Council of Canada has an activist page with updates on work that's being done to oppose it.
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Hephaestion
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PostPosted: Thu Jun 05, 2008 1:08 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
"It refers to a fetus as a child - and that's dangerous.


Bingo. That's key.
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obscurantist
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PostPosted: Thu Jun 05, 2008 7:00 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Stephane Dion vowed today that Liberals will block passage of a Tory bill that some fear might re-open the dormant abortion debate.

"I want to give my word to all the women of Canada that the Liberal Party of Canada is against to reopen woman's right to decide as a debate," the Liberal leader pledged.
Quote:
Dion made the promise during a news conference at which he also announced that a Liberal government would create a commissioner for gender equality. The independent officer of Parliament would be tasked with analyzing the impact on women of all government programs and policies. ...

Dion indicated that he shares the view that the bill would reopen the abortion debate and vowed: "We will not allow that to happen." ...

The NDP cast doubt on Dion's commitment to women's equality by circulating a list of 26 Liberal MPs who voted for the bill on second reading.

Virtually all New Democrat and Bloc Quebecois MPs are opposed to the bill so its fate rests with the Liberals. Dion would not specify whether Liberal MPs will be required to vote against the bill, saying the process for ensuring it doesn't pass will be decided by Liberal whip Karen Redman.

"But the point is, at the end of the process, we will not allow that to be reopened."
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Tehanu
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PostPosted: Thu Jun 05, 2008 8:59 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Let's see if his commitment to this includes whipping the vote, eh?
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Cartman
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PostPosted: Thu Jun 05, 2008 9:35 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
The NDP cast doubt on Dion's commitment to women's equality by circulating a list of 26 Liberal MPs who voted for the bill on second reading.

Wow. Gives you real comfort in the Liberals. Is that not about 1/4 of their MPs?
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TS.
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PostPosted: Thu Jun 05, 2008 9:37 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I don't have any confidence that Dion will whip the vote on this. After all, he didn't apply a three line whip to his caucus on the vote to reopen equal marriage.
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Tehanu
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PostPosted: Fri Jun 06, 2008 8:14 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Antonia Zerbisias is pissed off. Both at the anti-Pill rallies planned this weekend, and also at Ken Epp.

Quote:
... Meanwhile, here in the Great Pink North, Conservative MP Ken Epp's Bill C-484 is still in play, three months after it comfortably passed second reading in the House of Commons. Liberal leader Stéphane Dion missed the vote, as did nine members of his caucus. But yesterday he told reporters that he would never reopen the abortion debate.

The bill is properly called "An Act to amend the Criminal Code (injuring or causing the death of an unborn child while committing an offence)" but Epp and its supporters always refer to it as "The Unborn Victims of Crime Act."

... What's more, no anti-violence group or women's shelter supports the bill. But pro-lifers love it.

... "Even if people do start questioning abortion, it does not necessarily follow that they will change their minds about whether a woman should have the freedom to choose that option," Epp wrote in The Ottawa Citizen last month. "What it means is that pro-choice advocates will be in a position of having to justify abortion without relying on the illusion that the fetus is absolutely worthless.

"They will need to defend the view that, in spite of the unborn child being recognized as something of value, the woman's interests are paramount."

Which means that, in Epp's view, the woman's interests are not paramount at all.

... No, the Pill doesn't kill.

The bill does.
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Tehanu
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PostPosted: Fri Aug 15, 2008 10:46 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Another Toronto Star columnist, Lorraine Sommerfield, is taking on Epp. Must say I'm pleased that the Star is running anti-C-484 articles.

Quote:
... Epp has devoted considerable time and resources to his Bill C484, which, on the surface, wants to see additional criminal punishment for anyone harming a pregnant woman. The problem, of course, is in the wording; he persists in calling a fetus a child. Massaging the language to create "unborn victims," he has managed to steer too many off the tracks. Check to see if your local representative was responsible for getting this past the second reading. If so, wake up.

Another columnist in another paper recently declared that "(despite) all the noise from the anti-abortion faction, the abortion debate is all but dead." I would like her to be correct, but I believe she is wrong. As long as legislation like Bill C484 has legs, the abortion ball will remain very much in play. Politicians like Epp are throwing everything they have at truncating a woman's right to control her own body. Frankly, if he were my representative, I'd be enraged that he seems to spend little time on anything else.

... When it comes to women's reproductive rights, if you don't have a uterus, you don't get a vote. And if you don't own my uterus, you don't get to vote for me. The headlines in any paper will tell you the story of parent after parent who never should have had a child, yet I don't picket outside of maternity wards; I respect one's right to choose. If a man doesn't want a child, he can practise abstinence, use protection, or religiously take that 99 per cent effective male birth control pill. Oh wait, they don't have that, do they?

Epp goes to great lengths to defend his language, and refute those of us who take offence at his crusade. Wade through his acres of protesting, but you still get to this distillation: If the bill passes, the fetus will be recognized as a person. But somehow, he insists this is not about reopening the abortion debate.

Epp is aboard a Trojan horse and he's fiercely attempting to ram the wooden decoy through the gates of women's rights.


Toronto Star (in the "ParentCentral" section, no less).
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Willow
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PostPosted: Fri Aug 15, 2008 7:30 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I finally got a reply from Stephane Dion. He SAYS they will defeat it. If he shows up!

Dear Sir/Madame,

We would like to thank you for your recent letter regarding the Private Member’s Bill C-484 presented by Conservative member Ken Epp.

Members of Parliament have the right to put forward a Private Member’s Bill in the House of Commons. However, our concern with Mr. Epp’s bill, a concern shared by many lawyers, health professionals and women’s rights organizations, is that it would undermine a woman’s right to choose and could ultimately be a threat to a woman’s ability to access safe abortion services. We are committed to the Liberal Party of Canada, under Stéphane Dion's leadership, standing firm against the idea of reopening the debate surrounding a woman’s right to choose. Passage of this bill will reopen the debate and threaten the rights of women – we will not allow that to happen.

Mr. Epp’s bill has been sent to the Justice committee and would only become law after receiving a majority vote in favour on its third reading in the House of Commons. Mr. Dion intends to work to ensure the bill is defeated at that time.

Thank you for taking the time to share your views on this important issue.

Sincerely,




The Office of Honourable Stéphane Dion, P.C., M.P.
Leader of the Opposition
Leader of the Liberal Party of Canada
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Tehanu
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PostPosted: Fri Aug 15, 2008 7:40 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for that, Willow! Very Happy

As far as the letter, well, good ... I guess. Note that they don't say the vote will be whipped. What about those 26 who voted in favour on the second reading? And what about the people (including Dion) who were conveniently out of the House at the time?
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sparqui
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PostPosted: Fri Aug 15, 2008 8:00 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I don't trust the retrogrades in Dion's caucus to "vote against their conscience" and never does he mention whipping a vote (I received the same letter).
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TS.
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 25, 2008 8:30 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Good news!

The Conservatives are putting the kibosh on C-484. Apparently they are going to amend the Criminal Code to include a woman's pregnancy as an aggravating factor to be considered in sentencing instead of this bill.

Grope and Flail
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 25, 2008 9:16 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

That is good news. Chickenshits. But a relief, nonetheless, and it's clear that they got a lot of pressure from those of us who support women's rights. Huge congratulations to all of us who wrote in!!!

From the Globe article TS linked to:

Quote:
The Harper government cut loose a contentious private member's bill that would have made it a crime to take the life of a fetus just as election speculation hits fever pitch.

... "We've heard criticism from across the country, including representatives of the medical community, that Mr. Epp's bill as presently drafted could be interpreted as instilling fetal rights. Let me be clear. Our government will not reopen the debate on abortion," [Justice Minister Rob] Nicholson said.

"For this reason ... I'm announcing that the government will introduce legislation that will punish criminals who commit violence against pregnant women but do so in a way that leaves no room for the introduction of fetal rights."


Okay, though, but what does "cut loose" exactly mean? They won't vote for the private member's bill? From my understanding, a private member's bill remains on the docket unless they withdraw it, no? Or would the speaker rule it out of order? This seems a bit vague to me.

And the Globe article also points out that introducing a new bill to include pregnancy as an aggravating factor (with spousal abuse, violence against people under 18, and if the crime is motivated by bias, prejudice or hate based on race, ethnic origin, sexual orientation, etc.) might indeed be moot, if an election is called.

I'm reserving judgement about the inclusion of pregnancy as an aggravating factor until I actually see the language. Because if it includes "unborn child" then it's going to be the same thing all over again. Hopefully Nicholson is smarter than that.
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TS.
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 25, 2008 9:22 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Probably what will happen is simply that the Conservatives will never allow the bill to reach the top of the order paper, and will use their chairing position on the relevant parliamentary committee to avoid it every being brought to a vote there. In other words, the same thing they do to most private members bills.
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 25, 2008 9:23 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hmm. Turn that around and they would have had to give C-484 particular attention on the order paper for it to pass, no?
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TS.
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 25, 2008 9:43 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

No, they would just have had to not actively suppress it.
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sparqui
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 25, 2008 10:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Is this damage control re: election that Harper is suddenly itching for?

Still, something very fishy with this. Does the government have the authority to "cut loose" a private members bill? Even if we go with TS' scenario, doesn't Nicholson's statement then smack of meddling in legislative process. Why not have Epp withdraw the bill?
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TS.
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 25, 2008 10:11 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Procedurally, I don't believe that it is possible to withdraw a bill after it has passed second reading, since that stage constitutes "agreement in principle". As for "interfering in the legislative process", no. All the government is doing is exercising its traditional prerogative to control the order paper, and to propose legislation as it sees fit.
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PostPosted: Thu Nov 20, 2008 1:21 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

It's baaaa-aaack ...

Apologies for linking to these charmers but it's indicative about how chuffed the FFFs (fundie fetus fetishists) are about Proposition 207. Bill C-484 by any other name.

(P-203 is a resolution to take away the Human Rights Commission's powers to deal with hate speech.)

Quote:
While the 2000 delegates at this weekend’s Conservative Convention in Winnipeg voted on numerous resolutions relating to the party's future, commentators say that the passing of Resolutions P-207 and P-203 in particular indicate that social conservatism is still alive among many delegates of the in-power party.

... Resolution P-207 is similar to former Conservative MP Ken Epp’s Unborn Victims of Crime Bill in that it seeks additional charges for anyone who harms or kills an unborn baby while attacking a pregnant mother. While P-207 is not binding, it is now official Conservative Party policy to recognize the rights of pregnant women by bringing to justice those who harm an unborn baby against their mother's will.

... Following the vote on P-207 Justice Minister Rob Nicholson reaffirmed Prime-Minister Stephen Harpers' commitment not to re-open the abortion debate.

... Nicholson indicated that the Conservative government would continue to move forward with its own version of Epp’s bill.
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Tehanu
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PostPosted: Wed Apr 15, 2009 2:44 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Oklahoma wants to introduce a similar act, with a twist. In this case, women can use force to defend their fetuses.

Quote:
Fetus worship and self-defense fantasies (preferably with guns) compete with each for the rank of most favorite right-wing fantasy of all. As fantasies, they have a lot in common, since both are rooted in an anxious masculinity that's always about proving male power, either over women's bodies or through violence, especially with an unsubtle phallic symbol. But it took the imaginative Oklahoma legislature to figure out a way to put the two fantasies together. Ladies and gentlemen, I present a brand new level of wingnuttery, the Use of Force for the Protection of the Unborn Act.

At first glance, the title would incline you to think Oklahoma is legalizing violence against workers at women's clinics that provide abortion, but actually, it's a law making it legal for pregnant women to defend themselves with fatal force against attackers out to get their pregnancy. The law should raise a number of red flags, not the least being the redundancy--Oklahoma already gives its citizens strong self-defense rights, including the right to shoot first and ask questions later if someone is trespassing on your property. The law is supposedly in response to an incident that happened in Michigan, where a pregnant woman killed her boyfriend when he punched her in the stomach, and got jail time for it.

Conservatives have become absolute experts in the art of crafting disingenuous legislation that nominally addresses women's health and safety concerns while actually attacking women's reproductive rights. This bill is no different; right out front, the bill references the depressing reality that is domestic violence against pregnant women. It's true that pregnant women are more likely to experience domestic violence than non-pregnant women, and it's true that the violence is often aimed directly at causing the woman to miscarry, or at least fear it. Domestic violence is more about breaking someone down psychologically than anything else, and scaring a woman with the potential of a horrible miscarriage is just too juicy a target for many abusive men to ignore.

But reading this bill, you get the strong impression that the people who wrote it can't bring themselves to care about violence towards women, pregnant or not, because it hurts women. But if a fetus is in danger, pull out all the stops! If they actually cared about reducing the rate of domestic violence experienced by pregnant women, they'd do a lot more than offer women the right to protect their fetuses with gunfire. We know what works, especially after years of seeing the Violence Against Women Act in action--pregnant women who fear violence need services, the community needs public education programs, and the police need to be trained to deal with the specifics of violence against pregnant women.

Of course, the main purpose of this bill and others like it is to create a long trail of laws that define a fetus as an "unborn child" that deserves state protection equal and usually greater than that offered to real children. As a strategy, I'm not entirely sure that it's as great as anti-choicers seem to think it is. It's almost as if they hope that once a certain number of laws with the words "unborn" in them are on the books, some mystic scale will tilt and Roe v. Wade will be reversed. But so far, it appears that the strategy isn't really working as planned at all.

Which doesn't mean we shouldn't worry about it. As a legal strategy, this may not work, but as a cultural strategy, it's effective in sending the message that women don't count nearly as much as the contents of our wombs. There's not a lot of moral grand-standing from the right about protecting women from domestic violence because women are human beings who deserve that kind of protection. But if a fetus is imperiled, batten down the hatches! This kind of erasing of women's lives and concerns is so ham-fisted that one would hope it would backfire, but unfortunately, it doesn't. It's incredibly effective at slowly erasing women's rights to be treated as full human beings.

To make it worse, the whole thing dumbs down the discourse on what real pro-woman activism should look like. If feminists criticize the legislation, right wingers get to grandstand about how they're the only people who care about women's right not to get beaten during pregnancy, which is obviously untrue. (I dare say that women have a right not to be beaten regardless of their reproductive status.) But legislation like this--or legislation that purports to be protecting women by making them suffer through a bunch of needless scripts and agitprop ultrasounds to get an abortion, or moralizing lectures if they want contraception--instead is about stereotyping women at best, and at worst, separating them into categories of who does and doesn't deserve basic protection against violence and coercion. The fierce mother bear protecting her pregnancy gets state protection, but the supposed slutty woman who wants to protect herself from unintended pregnancy (and her family from the consequences of having more members than resources) gets nothing but obstacles and harassment.

Will the bill pass? I'd actually be surprised, though if something that springs so obviously from the fevered wingnut imagination was going to pass any legislature, it'll probably be Oklahoma's. It's tempting to say that if the state wants a reputation as Crazytown, they can have it, but unfortunately the direct victims are the women of the state who don't have an available path to move to places that are more accepting of women's basic rights.


RH Reality Check. (Creative Commons site)
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Senor Magoo
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PostPosted: Wed Apr 15, 2009 1:34 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I wonder: if you asked 100 pregnant women what they have inside them, would most say "a fetus" or "a baby"? If a friend miscarried and told you she lost her "baby", would you remind her that she actually lost a "fetus"?

I'm a bit creeped out by language like "unborn" too, but when it comes to extra penalties for harming a woman and her collection of dividing cells, I don't know that most people wouldn't find that reasonable on the grounds that what's inside her is not simply a bundle of potential.
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PostPosted: Wed Apr 15, 2009 1:42 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Senor Magoo wrote:
I'm a bit creeped out by language like "unborn" too...


I have a pile of lumber in my yard -- I refer to it as "the unbuilt". I also have a pile of paper on my shelf, which I call "the unwritten". The point is, it's MY lumber and MY paper, to decide to use (or not) as I see fit.
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fork
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PostPosted: Wed Apr 15, 2009 3:16 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Senor Magoo wrote:
. . . but when it comes to extra penalties for harming a woman and her collection of dividing cells, I don't know that most people wouldn't find that reasonable on the grounds that what's inside her is not simply a bundle of potential.

Having had a collection of dividing cells on several occasions, I would not support extra penalties. For all the reasons mentioned in Tehanu's link and in the Talking Points against Bill C-484. Whether it's a bundle of potential or something more doesn't even make my radar as a reason to support or reject extra penalties. But maybe I am not reasonable. I am most definitely not overly sentimental. Regardless, given the opposition to such bills, I don't think that you can say that most people would find it reasonable on those grounds; it's not like that hasn't been brought up in an attempt to garner support for anti-abortion bills. You could say, though, that most, even all, anti-choicers would find such a reason eminently reasonable.
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PostPosted: Wed Apr 15, 2009 5:37 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

It's entirely anecdotal, and based on my experiences with women I know, some of them pregnant at various times.

I guess I was just thinking that most of them would regard their collection of dividing cells as a baby, and if someone punched them in the stomach and they lost that baby, they'd probably regard it as something more than just a common assault on them. I honestly think most would see that as someone killing their baby.

But I'm honestly not trying to take this away from women to decide. If most women don't actually see it this way then no problem from me.
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PostPosted: Wed Apr 15, 2009 7:36 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Senor Magoo wrote:
I honestly think most would see that as someone killing their baby.

OK, but viewing it as a baby doesn't necessarily mean supporting extra penalties, which is how I read this:
Quote:
. . . but when it comes to extra penalties for harming a woman and her collection of dividing cells, I don't know that most people wouldn't find that reasonable on the grounds that what's inside her is not simply a bundle of potential.

Although I see I was wrong to link the Oklahoma law to Bill C-484 after reading this.
Some comments:
Quote:
I initially shared your suspicion that the law was redundant, and looked like just another sneaky way to “protect the unborn” from abortion doctors, but if you read the act, it’s not. It only applies in situations where the woman is being attacked, not a consensual situation like an abortion. It appears to be pretty specific that way.

Quote:
Yes, exactly. Also C-484 focused on the fetus as an individual victim, a scenario that could be escalated into other “civil rights” for fetuses (an impossible situation because in any conflict of interest between the woman and the fetus, one’s rights must supercede the other’s). The Oklahoma bill focuses on the pregnant woman and her right to protect herself and her pregnancy, NOT on the fetus’s right to life.

And in relation to Canada:
Quote:
In Canada the class of assault known as “grievous assault” includes miscarriage caused by an attack on a pregnant woman. So it appears that pregnant women can already plead self-defense if they use force while protecting themselves/their pregnancies from an attacker. (But again, INAL.)

However, if the Michigan story is any indication, they don’t have this class of assault in the states. Basically that’s what the Oklahoma law does, without calling it “grievous assault”.
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PostPosted: Wed Apr 15, 2009 9:11 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
OK, but viewing it as a baby doesn't necessarily mean supporting extra penalties


Fair enough. Though purely guessing I think I'd still expect, particularly among women, support for some kind of extra penalty. That said, I suppose such support wouldn't necessarily be predicated on that fetus having new, independent rights. It looks like Canada has something like that.
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PostPosted: Mon Mar 29, 2010 8:57 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Boy, 12, to stand trial as adult in shotgun death of dad's pregnant fiancee, her fetus

Quote:
PITTSBURGH - A boy who was 11 when he was accused of killing his father's pregnant fiancee with a shotgun blast to the back of her head as she lay in bed will be tried as an adult in the death of both the woman and the fetus, a judge ruled Monday.

Jordan Brown, now 12, is charged with criminal homicide in the death of 26-year-old Kenzie Marie Houk in their farmhouse in western Pennsylvania, on Feb. 20, 2009. Houk was 8 1/2 months pregnant; the male fetus died from a resulting lack of oxygen.

"This offence was an execution-style killing of a defenceless pregnant young mother. A more horrific crime is difficult to imagine," Lawrence County Judge Dominick Motto wrote in his opinion refusing to move the case to juvenile court.

The boy could be convicted of anything from involuntary manslaughter to first-degree murder under Pennsylvania's homicide law. Prosecutors have said they will seek a conviction on first-degree murder charges, for which he could face up to life in prison if convicted.

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Tehanu
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PostPosted: Thu Dec 22, 2011 4:32 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

This just keeps coming round. Nope, not the winter solstice, nor New Year's, but another fetus=person=rights initiative from the Cons. Let's hope Harper sticks to his slightly astute reading of the tea leaves that letting these nutjobs run riot in his caucus just makes his party look scarier.

Quote:
... “Canadian law provides no human rights protection whatsoever for children before the moment of complete birth,” [MP] Stephen Woodworth said in a statement emailed to reporters Wednesday.

“This means that in Canada a child is legally considered to be sub-human while his or her little toe remains in the birth canal, even if he or she is breathing.”

Woodworth doesn’t explicitly mention the word abortion, but he gently suggests that it is time to “examine” the question of granting human rights protections to unborn children.

“Parliament has a responsibility to lead that examination,” he wrote.

It won’t likely have the opportunity to do so.

... “As our government has always said, we will not open the debate on this issue,” Sara MacIntyre, Harper’s press secretary, wrote in an email Wednesday.

Woodworth’s interest in the issue of fetal rights is longstanding.

... One possibility would be to have the issue taken up at the House of Commons justice and human rights committee, of which Woodworth is a member and the Conservative party has the majority of members.

But even that’s not certain to succeed given that the government keeps tight control over parliamentary committees and not all Tory MPs are sure to support the initiative.


Toronto Star.

"Gently suggests," Star reporter? Really?

Woodworth is the MP for Kitchener-Centre in southern Ontario. Sigh.
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Timebandit
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PostPosted: Thu Dec 22, 2011 5:22 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

It's just amazing how the abortion issue just won't go away. And so often it's men, which is even more aggravating.

Let's hope Harper shuts him up.
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Tehanu
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PostPosted: Thu Dec 22, 2011 5:29 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Unless it's a trial balloon, of the "now we've got a majority let's just see if this flies" sort. Because Harper does also exercise a considerable stranglehold on his MPs. So we'll see whether and how soon he reacts.
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cco
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PostPosted: Thu Dec 22, 2011 7:56 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
“This means that in Canada a child is legally considered to be sub-human while his or her little toe remains in the birth canal, even if he or she is breathing.”

So presumably Woodworth has some examples of cases in which this has been a problem. Does anyone have a link to the horrifying epidemic of crimes against fetuses with one toe in the birth canal? I mean, there must be gangs of fetus-molesters running around, invading delivery rooms, knocking out the doctors and the mothers and taking the fetal organs to be sold overseas, knowing they're safe from prosecution because that toe was still in there....right?
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PostPosted: Thu Dec 22, 2011 8:01 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

IIRC, once you got to the toes there wasn't much delay...
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PostPosted: Thu Dec 22, 2011 8:16 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Tehanu wrote:
Unless it's a trial balloon, of the "now we've got a majority let's just see if this flies" sort. Because Harper does also exercise a considerable stranglehold on his MPs. So we'll see whether and how soon he reacts.


That's exactly what I was thinking.
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PostPosted: Thu Dec 22, 2011 9:06 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Awhile back and elsewhere, a professed orthodox Jewish scholar and zealot insisted that a human did not exist until its head had exited the mother's womb (tactful). If that is indeed 'written' then some devout Abrahamic anti-abortionists are heretics.
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PostPosted: Fri Dec 23, 2011 4:34 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Interesting. Something to keep in mind when fighting these attempts to define humans as being full persons from conception.
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 23, 2012 9:59 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Vellacott's back in the news. Possibly this will stink so badly (as in, people get surprisingly emotional about stuff like medals and awards and shiny things) that even Harper will have to do something about it. Our Maurice has handed two of the 30 Queen's Jubilee medals he's been allocated to convicted anti-choice protesters, one of whom is still in jail. They've been jailed for violating injunctions against harassing and trespassing at abortion clinics, which says to me that they must have been truly and continually awful, because normally for shit like that you might just get a fine.

Vellacott compares them to Martin Luther King. Um, right.

Law and order party? Huh. Not re-opening the abortion debate? You betcha.

Quote:
... Linda Gibbons, a grandmother who has spent 10 years on and off in prison for violating injunctions in front of abortion clinics, and Mary Wagner, who is in jail in Toronto charged with mischief and breaching court orders at abortion clinics, have both received the special medals that commemorate the Queen's 60 years on the throne.

Both women were nominated by Conservative Saskatchewan MP Maurice Vellacott, who has compared them to the American civil rights icon Martin Luther King Jr.

... "Unlike the justice minister [who said he gave his medals to crime victims], Vellacott was unable to award these medals to the victims of crime, because these baby victims are dead, so instead the award to those 'heroines of humanity' Mary Wagner and Linda Gibbons who are trying to protect defenceless, voiceless human beings in the womb from butchery and death, and trying to let vulnerable women know that there are other options and support and adoption possibilities," Vellacott said in his statement. "It's what you would expect in a caring compassionate society."

Vellacott continued, "It's a pretty upside down world when we honour abortionists like Henry Morgentaler for killing over 5,000 babies and imprison precious women, like Mary Wagner and Linda Gibbons, who try to save babies from such savagery. They are the real heroes of humanity!"


CBC.
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 23, 2012 11:15 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

These Harper creeps (both front and back benchers) are certainly making us twist and turn with every attempt they make to control women and deny them rights. Evil or Very Mad
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PostPosted: Wed Oct 24, 2012 12:04 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
Law and order party? Huh. Not re-opening the abortion debate? You betcha.

They are not even hiding their hidden agenda anymore. Why people vote in these freaks is scary. I say all the opposition parties should change their party colours to blue and fuck up all of the voters in Alberta and Saskatchewan. Now that would be a clusterfuck.
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