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e-4445 (Justice)

Initiated by Megan Johnston from Moosomin, Saskatchewan

Original language of petition: English

Petition to the House of Commons in Parliament assembled

  • Private Member’s Bill C-311, An Act to amend the Criminal Code (violence against pregnant women) creates an “aggravating circumstance” clause in the Criminal Code to allow for greater penalties when a pregnant person is attacked;
  • Abortion Rights Coalition Canada wrote an opposition paper where they argue that Bill C-311 is an anti-abortion bill, their arguments are as follows;
  • The bill is redundant as other clauses in that Criminal Code can cover pregnant victims;
  • Judges already have the discretion to apply greater penalties for aggravating circumstances;
  • Judges are not required to apply these clauses, only consider them;
  • The government can do better things to address gender-based violence than pass a criminal law;
  • No anti-violence group has expressed support for this bill, it is supported only by anti-choice groups and individuals;
  • The bill was introduced by MP Cathay Wagantall;
  • She introduced two defeated anti-abortion bills C- 233 and C- 225;
  • MP Wagantall’s website has both pro-choice and “pro-life” petitions in favour of this bill;
  • Both petitions mention abortion but the “pro-life” petition also uses language like “preborn children”; and
  • Anti-choice groups have been promoting Bill C-311 as a means to recognize two victims, this is a route to establish fetal personhood in law and if this bill passes, it would be leveraged for that purpose.
We, the undersigned, Citizens of Canada, call upon the House of Commons in Parliament assembled to protect abortion rights in Canada and vote in opposition of Bill C-311.
Open for signature
May 12, 2023, at 4:16 p.m. (EDT)
Closed for signature
September 9, 2023, at 4:16 p.m. (EDT)
Presented to the House of Commons
Laurel Collins (Victoria)
April 19, 2024 (Petition No. 441-02400)
Photo - Laurel Collins
New Democratic Party Caucus
British Columbia