Sample letter to your MP against Bill C-233
Please send this letter before May 27, 2021. (First hour of debate occurred April 14, second hour of debate is scheduled for May 27 with a vote on June 2.) Just copy and paste the text into an email, adding your MP’s name in the salutation, and your contact details at the bottom. Find your MP here.
Subject: Please vote No on Bill C-233 – an abortion ban would violate Charter rights
I’m writing to ask you to speak against and vote No on private member bill C-233 to ban sex selection abortion. This bill had its first hour of debate on April 14 and will be coming back for debate and a vote in late May/early June. The bill would criminalize sex selective abortion if that’s the only reason for an abortion, and sentence providers to up to five years in jail.
Concern over sex selection abortion in Canada has been overstated. The vast majority of people in ethnic communities do not practice sex selection. The bill’s passage could have racist consequences due to potential racial profiling by doctors. Since people do not need to state a reason for abortion in Canada, Bill C-233 could result in intimidation and silencing of patients and create distrust in the doctor/patient relationship. Re-criminalizing abortion in any way would be a violation of the Charter rights of ciswomen and transgender people, not just their bodily security, but also life, liberty, conscience, and equality. Bill C-233 itself would be an act of gender discrimination because any law restricting abortion affects only women and some transgender people.
The main goal of Bill C-233 is to open the door to passing more restrictions on abortion. Anti-choice MPs would use this law as a springboard to introduce more bans, with the eventual goal of recriminalizing abortion completely. The bill has very limited support – only from religious groups and anti-choice groups. Therefore, the stated goal of fighting gender discrimination is just a pretense.
Laws against sex selection abortion in India and other countries have failed because many women avoid the healthcare system as a result and risk their health and lives by resorting to unsafe abortion. Further, studies show that policies to increase gender equity can permanently lower son preference and sex-selection, while improving girls’ life-chances. (see References here: https://www.arcc-cdac.ca/wp-content/uploads/2020/09/ARCC-opposes-Bill-C233-banning-sex-selection-abortion.pdf)
Instead of a ban on sex selection abortion, we need full equality for vulnerable groups who would be affected by this bill. Please vote No on Bill C-233. Thank you.
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