Mr. Brent St. Denis (Algoma—Manitoulin—Kapuskasing, Lib.)
moved for leave to introduce Bill C-543, An Act to amend the Criminal Code (abuse of pregnant woman).
Mr. Speaker, the reason I am tabling the bill is many of us felt that Bill C-484, while it did attempt to accomplish certain things in protecting pregnant women from assault or abuse, left too many unanswered questions and too many doors were left open.
For those of us who are pro-choice, but did not want to go down that road, I have created a simple bill, which would provide judges with the ability to increase the penalties for those who would knowingly assault or abuse a pregnant woman.
I have had this tested to see whether it would open the door to recriminalization of abortion, and it will not. I have had it tested to see whether it would have any censure against the women herself, should she choose to have an abortion, and that will not be the case. In fact, it plugs all the holes left by Bill C-484.
I invite members, who felt as awkward as I did in not supporting Bill C-484, to look at this as a very helpful option to assist pregnant women, should they be attacked by those who are knowingly aware they are pregnant.
(Motions deemed adopted, bill read the first time and printed)
Topic: Routine Proceedings
Subtopic: Criminal Code