ARCC Cannot Support Bill C-225

Private member’s Bill C-225, the “Protection of Pregnant Women and Their Preborn Children Act (Cassie and Molly’s Law)” was introduced on February 23, 2016 in Parliament by Conservative MP Cathay Wagantall. This bill would amend the Criminal Code to create separate offences for injuring or killing a fetus when an offence is committed against a pregnant woman. ARCC opposes the bill because it establishes some fetal rights and could pose a threat to women’s constitutional rights and to abortion rights.

Our position paper:  ARCC Cannot Support Bill C-225 – Includes:

  • Highlights / Summary
  • Background / Legal Situation
  • The Bill Smuggles in Fetal Personhood
  • Risk of Arrest for Pregnant Women and Support Persons Cannot Be Ruled Out
  • The Bill Won’t Prevent Intimate Partner Violence
  • The “Aggravating Circumstance” Clause Should Be Presented as Separate Bill
  • Conclusion: ARCC Opposes Bill C-225

Bill C-225 Is Almost the Same as Previous Bill C-484 –- A clause-by-clause comparison of the two bills, with our interpretation on what the differences mean.

Take Action!

Parliamentary E-petition: Please sign this online petition! 
(Note: You can sign both the e-petition and paper petition, as each has advantages: Paper petitions can be officially presented in the House at any time and are recorded in Hansard. E-petitions can collect many more signatures and help with publicity and building awareness and opposition to the bill. Further, once an e-petition reaches 500 signatures, it is tabled in Parliament and the government must respond.)

Paper Petition: Please print out and sign this official petition for Parliament, and collect more signatures if you can. You can print double-sided or just page 1.  Mailing address for signed petitions is at the bottom.

Send a letter to your Member of Parliament asking them to oppose Bill C-225 – Here’s a sample letter you can use or adapt, or write your own or make a phone call. Feel free to use any of the points in our papers linked above.

Groups Opposed to Bill C-225 – A list of organizations opposed to the bill. To add your group’s name, please email

Other Resources

Text of Bill C-225, in English and French.

Parliamentary Debate on May 2 – Full Hansard transcript. Both the Liberals and NDP opposed the bill.

Conservative MP Cathay Wagantall’s page, with links to her various C-225 documents, including Backgrounder, Q&A, Summary of the bill, “Legal Facts About the Bill” and a press release. 

Arrests of and forced interventions on pregnant women in the United States (1973-2005): The implications for women’s legal status and public health, Journal of Health Politics, Policy and Law. 2013. Research report by Lynn Paltrow and Jeanne Flavin. 

Anti-choice Private Member Bills and Motions: 46 anti-choice private member bills and motions have been introduced in Canada since 1987. 

Bill C-484 resources:

Because Bill C-225 is so similar to Bill C-484, most of the extensive criticisms we made of that bill are still very relevant to C-225. We invite readers to review these selected pages on our website:

“Oppose Bill C-484 page: contains links to all articles and ARCC campaign materials. 

Talking Points Against the “Unborn Victims of Crime Act – 14 arguments explaining why C-484 is a bad law, endangering both abortion rights and women’s rights in general.  

C-484 Brief: A 3-page summary of the problems with Bill C-484, compiled by an ad-hoc group of pro-choice and women’s organizations, including ARCC. 

Bill C-543 Far Better Than Bill C-484:  Adding pregnancy as an aggravating circumstance that judges must take into account when sentencing an offender for an assault on a pregnant woman, while not necessary, would also not endanger women’s reproductive rights and equality or give any legal status to fetuses – unlike C-484 (or C-225). 

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