Cassie & Molly’s Law is on the table!

24/02/2016 / Politics 

What a great day for Canada! As you may know, we have been calling for a pre-born victims of crime law for over a year. In fact, it was one of three laws that we focussed on during lifeTOUR 2015 as having a real possibility of being introduced in the next 3 – 8 years. Now, only four months after the conclusion of lifeTOUR, the House of Commons is set to debate and vote on a bill that would protect pregnant women and their pre-born children! 

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Bill C-225, just introduced by Ms. Cathay Wagantall in the House of Commons, is titled the Protection of Pregnant Women and their Preborn Children Act. The short title is Cassie and Molly’s Law

The full text of Bill C-225 can be found on the Parliament of Canada website. Here is the short summary:

This enactment amends the Criminal Code to make it an offence to cause injury or death to a preborn child while committing or attempting to commit an offence against a pregnant woman and to add pregnancy as an aggravating circumstance for the purpose of sentencing. 

There will be more analysis in the coming days and weeks but here’s a quick rundown of what Bill C-225 WILL do: 

  • Create new offences in the Criminal Code for injuring or causing the death of a pre-born child during the commission of a criminal offence against a pregnant woman.
  • Add pregnancy to the list of aggravating factors for sentencing. This means that even if the pre-born child is not injured or killed, the courts can come down harder on anyone who is convicted of violence against a pregnant woman.
  • This bill will protect a woman’s choice to bring her child to term safely and protects the life of that child through criminal law. 

Here are a couple things that Bill C-225 will NOT do: 

  • Penalize a pregnant woman for any harm done to her pre-born child. The new offences in Bill C-255 can only apply when the pregnant woman is the victim of a crime. 
  • Bill C-225 will not change the status quo regarding abortion.
  • The bill does not change the legal definition of a human being. Instead, it creates new offences to cover the specific circumstances whereby a pre-born child is harmed or killed during the commission of an offence against the child’s mother. 

Is Bill C-225 an imperfect law? Yes, it is. Will it stop abortions? No, abortion will still be completely legal. But, it is a step in the right direction. Cassie and Molly’s Law is not the ultimate answer, but it will protect the human rights of children whose mothers have chosen to carry them to term. And, as we often say, “We need to embrace opportunities to protect some as we work towards protecting all.”

 What can you do to support this bill?

 With your support and engagement, we have been pushing for incremental changes in law as we seek to advance pre-born human rights. Today we stand at the beginning of what will be an exciting number of months, and we hope you’ll join us in supporting this bill!

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