Sample Letter to Your Member of Parliament Against Bill C-225

You can just copy and paste the following into an email to your MP, or adapt it to say what you want.

The best thing is to write your own letter or make a phone call.
Please feel free to use any of the points in our position paper “ARCC Cannot Support Bill C-225”.

To find your Member of Parliament’s contact info, enter your postal code at this link.

Dear [your MP’s name]

I’m writing to ask you not to support Private Member’s Bill C-225, the “Protection of Pregnant Women and Their Preborn Children Act (Cassie and Molly’s Law)” when it comes up for debate this fall. I oppose this bill because it establishes some fetal rights and could pose a threat to women’s constitutional rights and to abortion rights.

Bill C-225 was introduced in Parliament on February 23 by Conservative MP Cathay Wagantall, and would amend the Criminal Code to create separate offences for injuring or killing a fetus when an offence is committed against a pregnant woman. The bill arose from the murder of Cassandra Kaake of Windsor in December 2014, who was seven months pregnant at the time. Cassie’s murder was a horrible tragedy, and while family members deserve our deepest sympathy, their voice should not be the primary driver of such a law. Our justice system needs to remain impartial to protect the common good. Further, justice is already being served in this case. Cassie’s accused murderer has been charged with first-degree murder. The judge will also have the discretion to take into account the aggravating circumstance of the pregnancy loss in the decision and sentencing.

Bill C-225 is almost identical to Bill C-484 (“Unborn Victims of Crime Act”), a 2008 bill that passed second reading but got no further, and was widely criticized as a sneak attack on abortion rights. Like C-484, the new bill ascribes an implicit form of legal personhood to a fetus. Although it defines the fetus as not a human being, I think that’s disingenuous because C-225 would modify the “Offences Against the Person” section of the Criminal Code, and give the fetus the human right not to be injured or killed. But legal precedent in Canada has already established that a pregnant woman and her fetus are considered “physically one,” and that separating them would risk infringing women’s Charter rights (Supreme Court in Dobson v. Dobson). Also, I find it telling that support for the bill comes largely from the anti-choice movement. I fear that the anti-choice movement would use this law as a stepping stone to restrict abortion.

I believe there are better ways to prevent violence against women, including intimate partner violence. Let’s enforce existing laws, and provide more funding for shelters and other programs to help women at risk. Empowering women and furthering their equality will also help ensure that women are not economically dependent on men, which can put them in a vulnerable position. To protect wanted fetuses, I think the best strategy is to directly protect pregnant women by upholding their constitutional rights, taking measures to enhance their health and safety, and providing them with the necessary supports and resources for good pregnancy outcomes.

For more information on why Bill C-225 is not a good idea and should be opposed, I recommend that you read the position statement of the Abortion Rights Coalition of Canada, “ARCC Cannot Support Bill C-225”. May I ask you to please speak out against the bill when it comes up for debate?  And also to vote against it? Thank you very much for your time and consideration. Sincerely,

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