Anti-Choice Private Member Bills and Motions Introduced in Canada Since 1987

November 11, 2010; updated March 4, 2016; August 23, 2018; Oct 7, 2019

At least 46 anti-choice private member bills or motions have been introduced in Canada’s Parliament since 1987 and are listed below. They have all failed to pass. The list does not include government bills of which there has been just one: Bill C-43, introduced in November 1989 by the Mulroney Conservative government to re-criminalize abortion except where the doctor deems an abortion necessary to preserve the woman’s life or health. That bill was defeated in the Senate by a tie vote on January 31, 1991.

Bill #Date IntroducedMP / SenatorDescription
M-37June 2, 1987
(voted on)
Gus Mitges, Progressive Conservative MPMotion to amend Section 7 of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms to include “unborn persons.” Defeated 89-62.
S-161988Stanley Haidasz, Liberal SenatorA bill to amend the Criminal Code to protect the “unborn child.”
C-2681989Don Boudria,
Liberal MP
Bill to amend Canada Health Act to allow federal government to penalize any province that paid for abortions deemed not necessary to preserve the life of the woman.
C-2771989Don Boudria,
Liberal MP
Bill to amend Section 293 of the Criminal Code and repeal Sections 223, 238, and 287 to ban abortion in all cases except to save the woman’s life.
C-2661989Ralph Ferguson, Liberal MPBill to define a foetus as a person and prohibit abortion with a couple of exceptions including when “medically authorized to save the life of the pregnant woman.”
C-2611989John Nunziata, Liberal MPBill to amend Section 287 of Criminal Code to ban abortion in all cases, but permitting medical treatment necessary to prevent the death of the pregnant woman.
C-2751989Tom Wappel, Liberal MPBill to redefine “human being” to include an “embryo” and a “foetus”, so as to define abortion as homicide.
S-71989Stanley Haidasz, Liberal SenatorReintroduction of bill to amend the Criminal Code to protect the “unborn child” (S-16).
C-2141991Tom Wappel, Liberal MPReintroduction of Bill to redefine “human being” to include an “embryo” and a “foetus”, so as to define abortion as homicide. (C-275)
C-2201991Don Boudria,
Liberal MP
Bill to criminalize abortion provision: “Every person who directly or indirectly requires a physician, nurse, staff member or employee of a hospital or other health care facility to perform or participate directly or indirectly in an abortion procedure is guilty of an indictable offence and is liable to imprisonment for a term not exceeding two years.”
C-2211991Don Boudria,
Liberal MP
Reintroduction of Bill to amend Section 293 of the Criminal Code and repeal Sections 223, 238, and 287 to ban abortion in all cases except to save woman’s life. (C-277)
C-2221991Don Boudria,
Liberal MP
Reintroduction of Bill to amend Canada Health Act to allow federal government to penalize any province that paid for abortions deemed not necessary to preserve the life of the woman. (C-268)
C-3021991Ralph Ferguson, Liberal MPReintroduction of Bill to define a foetus as a person, which would prohibit abortion with a couple of exceptions including when “medically authorized to save the life of the pregnant woman.” (C-266)
C-253May 27, 1994Don Boudria,
Liberal MP
Reintroduction of Bill to criminalize abortion provision. (C-220)
C-208Feb. 1996Tom Wappel,
Liberal MP
Reintroduction of Bill to redefine “human being” to include an “embryo” and a “foetus”, so as to define abortion as homicide. (C-275)
M-91March 14, 1996Garry Breitkreuz, Reform MPMotion calling for binding national referendum on government funding for “medically unnecessary” abortions.
C-?March 1997Keith Martin,
Reform MP
Bill to charge pregnant women who abuse alcohol, drugs etc. with criminal endangerment of fetus. Guilty women would be sentenced to treatment centre.
S-7Nov. 19, 1997Stanley Haidasz, Liberal SenatorBill to prevent “coercion in medical procedures that offend a person’s religion or belief that human life is inviolable.”
M-268Nov. 20, 1997Garry Breitkreuz, Reform MPReintroduction of Motion calling for binding national referendum on government funding for “medically unnecessary” abortions. (M-91)
M-?February 1998Stanley Haidasz, Liberal SenatorMotion to set up a Special Joint Committee on the Unborn “to examine and report upon the feasibility of legislation in the area of fetal rights in order to provide some protection to the unborn child.”
S-16May 1998Stanley Haidasz, Liberal SenatorBill to amend Criminal Code to give full protection to “unborn children.”
C-461Dec. 2, 1998Maurice Vellacott, Reform MPBill to prohibit healthcare providers from being forced to participate against their will in procedures such as abortion or euthanasia. (Similar to Haidasz’s conscience clause Bill S-7, 1997).
M-3601999Garry Breitkreuz, Reform MPMotion to enact law to define a human being as a “human fetus or embryo from the moment of conception, whether in the womb of the mother or not and whether conceived naturally or otherwise.”
C-515June 2, 1999Jim Pankiw,
Reform MP
Bill to “provide for a referendum to determine whether Canadians wish medically unnecessary abortions to be insured services under the Canada Health Act and to amend the Referendum Act.” If a majority said No to funding, government would have to financially penalize provinces that continued to pay for abortion.
C-207Oct. 1999Maurice Vellacott, Reform MPRe-introduction of conscience clause Bill C-461 (Dec 1998) and Bill S-7 (Nov 1997).
S-11Nov. 1999Raymond Perrault, Liberal SenatorRe-introduction of Haidasz’s conscience clause Bill (S-7, Nov 19/97).
C-422Dec. 1999Maurice Vellacott, Reform MPRe-introduction of conscience clause Bill C-461 (Dec 1998) and Bill S-7 (Nov 1997).
M-228Feb. 2, 2001Garry Breitkreuz, Reform MPReintroduction of Motion to enact law to define a human being as fetus or embryo from the moment of conception (C-360).
C-246Feb. 2, 2001Maurice Vellacott, Reform MPRe-introduction of conscience clause Bill C-461 (Dec 1998) and Bill S-7 (Nov 1997).
M-392April 18, 2002Garry Breitkreuz, Alliance MPMotion asking Standing Committee on Justice and Human Rights to examine current definition of “human being” in the Criminal Code to see if law needs to be amended to provide protection to fetuses and to designate a fetus/embryo as a human being.
M-523June 17, 2002Garry Breitkreuz, Alliance MPMotion asking Standing Committee on Health to evaluate whether abortions are “medically necessary,” and to compare health risks for women undergoing abortions to women carrying their babies to full term.
C-246Oct. 30, 2002Maurice Vellacott, Reform MPRe-introduction of conscience clause Bill C-461 (Dec 1998) and Bill S-7 (Nov 1997).
C-452May 1, 2002Jim Pankiw,
Reform MP
Reintroduction of bill (C-515) to allow a referendum on tax funding of “medically unnecessary” abortions.
M-83March, 2003Garry Breitkreuz, Alliance MPMotion asking Standing Committee on Justice and Human Rights to examine whether abortions are “medically necessary,” and to compare health risks for women undergoing abortions compared to women carrying their babies to full term. Voted on Oct 1, 2003, defeated 139-66.
M-482Oct. 23, 2003Garry Breitkreuz, Alliance MPMotion asking Parliament for a Woman’s Right to Know Act, to “guarantee women are fully informed of all the risks before deciding to abort their baby,” and to provide penalties for physicians who perform an abortion without woman’s informed consent.
M-560March 10, 2004Garry Breitkreuz, Conservative MPMotion asking Parliament to create new Criminal Code offence for the “murder of an unborn child” when a third party murders a pregnant woman.
M-70Oct. 5, 2004Garry Breitkreuz, Conservative MPReintroduction of bill for “Woman’s Right to Know Act” (M-482).
C-291May 17, 2006Leon Benoit, Conservative MPA bill to amend the Criminal Code to make “injuring or causing the death of a child before or during its birth while committing an offence” a separate offence.
C-338June 21, 2006Paul Steckle,
Liberal MP
Bill to criminalize abortions after 20 weeks gestation. (ARCC response)
C-338October 2007Paul Steckle,
Liberal MP
Reintroduction of bill to criminalize abortions after 20 weeks gestation.
(ARCC response)
C-484Nov. 21, 2007Ken Epp, Conservative MPBill to protect fetuses from third-party attacks: “Unborn Victims of Crime Act.” (similar to M-561 of March 2004 and C-291 of May 2004). Passed 2nd reading on vote of 147-132, but died on order paper in Sept 2008 when election was called. (ARCC response)
C-537April 16, 2008Maurice Vellacott, Conservative MPBill to prevent coercion of medical personnel. Conscience clause protection similar to his previous bills C-246, C-422, C-207, and C-461.
(ARCC response)
C-510April 16, 2010Rod Bruinooge, Conservative MPBill to make it a crime to coerce or attempt to coerce a woman to have an abortion, also called “Roxanne’s law”. (ARCC response). Defeated Dec 15, 2010, by a vote of 178 to 97.
M-312March 13, 2012Stephen Woodworth, Conservative MPMotion to have Parliamentary committee examine if Criminal Code definition of “human beings” should include fetuses, and to look at medical evidence, legal impact and consequences.  (ARCC response)
Motion 312 was defeated Sep 26, 2012, by a vote of 203-91.
M-408Sept. 27, 2012Mark Warawa, Conservative MPMotion to “condemn discrimination against females occurring through sex-selective pregnancy termination.” (Response by ARCC’s ED)
C-225Feb. 23, 2016Cathay Wagantall, Conservative MPBill to protect fetuses from third-party attacks: “Protection of Pregnant Women and Their Preborn Children Act (Cassie and Molly’s Law).” (similar to C-484 of Nov 2007, M-561 of March 2004, and C-291 of May 2004). Contains an “aggravating circumstances” clause. (ARCC response). Bill C-225 was defeated Oct 19, 2016, by a vote of 209-76.

Sources:

The Interim. Pro-life parliamentarians and their bills and motions. May 2011, pp 10-11.

http://www.prochoiceactionnetwork-canada.org/media/release-jun-4-04.shtml

http://www.arcc-cdac.ca/action/nodebate.html (francais: http://www.arcc-cdac.ca/fr/backrounders/nesontplus-debattre.html)

http://www.campaignlifecoalition.com/shared/skins/default/pdf/abortionbriefingbook.pdf

http://www.consciencelaws.org/laws-proposed/Canada/PLCanada03.html

http://www.consciencelaws.org/laws-proposed/Canada/PLCanada02.html

http://www.parl.gc.ca/36/1/parlbus/chambus/senate/deb-e/038db_1998-02-12-e.htm?Language=E&Parl=36&Ses=1