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To Organizations: Please sign an open statement opposing Bill C-484.
(This statement was drafted by a coalition of women's groups.)

To sign, please send an email with your organization's name (in both French and English if applicable) to joyce@arcc-cdac.ca 
Type "Signing open statement" in the Subject line.
(Note: Individuals should sign the online petition.)
Thank you!

List of Signatories


Statement in opposition to Bill C‑484, the "Unborn Victims of Crime Act"

Last March, Bill C 484, the Unborn Victims of Crime Act, passed second reading in the House of Commons. This bill seeks to amend the Criminal Code and to create a separate offence for causing the injury or death of an “unborn child” when a pregnant woman is the victim of a crime. This would mean that the murderer of a pregnant woman could be accused of a second murder, that of the foetus.

This amendment would not protect pregnant women, and would do nothing to respond to violence against women. The Criminal Code already recognizes that spousal violence is an aggravating factor in sentencing. Judges already do recognize pregnancy as an aggravating factor in sentencing. What is really at stake here is the legal recognition of the fetus’ right to life and the possible re-criminalization of abortion.

In Canadian law, only “human beings” have a right to life. Legally, a child becomes a human being once it is born and has completely proceeded, in a living state, from the body of its mother.  In all the cases in which the Supreme Court of Canada was required to discuss the rights of the unborn, it ruled that the fetus is an integral part of the mother and has no independent legal personhood until it is born. Murder is the act of causing the death of a human being.  Recognizing the murder of a pregnant woman as a “double murder”, would be tantamount to recognizing that the foetus is a human being.

The adoption of Bill C 484 would introduce a major change in our law, since it would in effect recognize that a fetus has a “right to life”. This would undoubtedly result in massive intrusions in the lives of pregnant women, as has been the case in those states in the U.S. that have adopted similar legislation.  Some women have been criminally charged, and have been imprisoned for having a stillborn baby after refusing a caesarean, or for using drugs while pregnant.

Last January, we celebrated the 20th anniversary of the Morgentaler decision that struck down the Criminal Code provisions that made abortion a crime in Canada. This historic Supreme Court decision recognized that women’s constitutional rights to security of the person, autonomy and freedom include the right to end an unwanted pregnancy without state interference.

We the undersigned demand that all federal political parties and all members of Parliament:

This is a question that goes to the heart of women’s equality, dignity and human rights.


List of Signatories

Abortion Rights Coalition of Canada / Coalition pour le droit à l’avortement au Canada (ARCC-CDAC)
Action Canada Population Development / Action Canada pour la population et le développement (ACPD)
Action ontarienne contre la violence faite aux femmes
Ad Hoc Coalition for Women's Equality and Human Rights / la Coalition spéciale pour l'égalité des femmes et les droits de la personne
L'Association générale étudiante du Cégep du Vieux Montréal
Atira Women’s Resource Society / Société De la Ressource Des Femmes D'Atira, Vancouver
BC Teachers' Federation, Vancouver
BC Teachers' Federation Feminist Caucus, Vancouver
BC/Yukon Society of Transition Houses
British Columbia Women's Hospital & Health Centre
CALACS francophone d’Ottawa
Canadian Association of Elizabeth Fry Societies / Associations canadiennes des sociétées Elizabeth Fry
Canadian Federation for Sexual Health / Fédération canadienne pour la santé sexuelle (CFSH)
Canadian Federation of Nurses Unions (CFNU) / La Fédération canadienne des syndicats d’infirmières et infirmiers (FCSII)
Canadian Federation of University Women / Fédération canadienne des femmes diplômées des universités (CFUW)
Canadian Feminist Alliance for International Action / L’Alliance canadienne féministe pour l’action internationale (FAFIA/AFAI)
Canadian Labour Congress / Congrès du travail du Canada
Canadian Staff Union / Syndicat Canadien du Personnel
Canadian Union of Postal Workers (CUPW) / Syndicat des travailleurs et travailleuses des postes (STTP)
Canadian Union of Public Employees / Syndicat canadien de la fonction publique (CUPE)
Canadians for Choice / L’Association canadienne pour la liberté de choix
Catholics for Free Choice Canada / Catholiques pour un Libre Choix Canada
Centre de Santé des femmes de Montréal
Centre Novas, CALACS francophone de Prescott-Russell, Casselman ON
Le Centre Victoria pour femmes (Sudbury et Algoma)
Coalition for Reproductive Choice, Manitoba
La Coalition Solidarité Santé, Québec
Colibri – Centre des femmes francophones du comté de Simcoe
College of Family Physicians of Canada (CFPC) / Collège des médecins de famille du Canada (CMFC)
Communications, Energy, and Paper Workers Union of Canada (CEP) / Le Syndicat canadien des communications, de l’énergie et du papier (SCEP)
CUPE Ontario Women's Committee
Egale Canada / Égale Canada
Everywoman's Health Centre, Vancouver BC
La Fédération des femmes du Québec
La Fédération du Québec pour le planning des naissances (FQPN)
Federation of Medical Women of Canada / Fédération des femmes médecins du Canada
Graduate Women's Studies Student's Association, York University
Halifax Coalition for Choice
Hospital Employees’ Union, Vancouver
International Women's Rights Project - Canada Centre for Global Studies, University of Victoria
Kitchen Table Collective / Le Collectif de Table de cuisine
Klinic Community Health Center, Winnipeg
Law Union of Ontario
Maison secours aux femmes de Montréal
Manitoba Association for Childbirth and Family Education (MACFE)
Miss G__ Project, Ottawa Chapter
National Abortion Federation
National Association of Women and the Law (NAWL) / L’Association nationale Femmes et Droit (ANFD)  
National Council of Women of Canada / Conseil national des femmes du Canada
Newfoundland and Labrador Provincial Advisory Council on the Status of Women
Newfoundland and Labrador Feminist Coalition
North Shore Women's Centre / Centre des Femmes de la Rive Nord, North Vancouver
Northern Society for Domestic Peace, Smithers BC
Nova House, Selkirk MB
Ontario Association of Interval and Transition Houses (OAITH)

Ontario Coalition for Abortion Clinics
Ontario Federation of Labour
Ontario Secondary School Teachers Federation/ Fédération des enseignantes-enseignants des écoles secondaires de l'Ontario (OSSTF/FEESO)
Ontario Women’s Health Network / Réseau ontarien pour la santé des femmes
Ottawa Coalition to End Violence Against Women / Coalition d'Ottawa contre la violence faite aux femmes
Pictou County Centre for Sexual Health, New Glasgow, NS
Planned Parenthood Ottawa / Planning des naissances d’Ottawa
Planned Parenthood Toronto
Powell River Transition House Society, Powell River BC
Prince Edward Island Advisory Council on the Status of Women / Conseil consultatif sur la situation de la femme de l’Île-du-Prince-Édouard
Pro-Choice Action Network, Vancouver
Pro-Choice New Brunswick
Provincial Association of Transition Houses and Services of Saskatchewan, Regina
Public Service Alliance of Canada / Alliance de la Fonction publique du Canada, Ottawa
Quesnel Women’s Resource Centre Collective, Quesnel BC
Quinte Labour Council, Ontario
L'R des centres de femmes du Québec (qui représente 102 centres de femmes partout dans la province)
Regroupement provincial des maisons d'hébergement et de transition pour femmes victimes de violence conjugale, Québec
Revelstoke Women's Shelter, Revelstoke BC
Sexual Health Access Alberta, Calgary
Sexual Health Centre for Cumberland County, Amherst NS
Sexuality Education Resource Centre Manitoba, Inc.
Sisyphe
South Fraser Women's Services Society, Surrey BC
Surrey Women’s Centre
University of Alberta Women's Centre, Edmonton
Vernon Women's Transition House, Vernon BC
Victoria Faulkner Women's Centre / Centre de Femmes Victoria Faulkner, Whitehorse
Womanspace Resource Centre, Lethbridge AB
Women Elders in Action (WE*ACT), Vancouver
Women's Habitat, Toronto
Women's Health Clinic, Winnipeg
Women's Legal Education and Action Fund / Fonds d'action et d'education juridiques pour les femmes (LEAF)
Youth Coalition for Sexual and Reproductive Rights
Yukon Status of Women Council, Whitehorse
YWCA Canada
YWCA Munroe House, Vancouver BC