(Debate was rescheduled for Monday, October 17, 2016 at 6:30 p.m. EDT.)
Making it a chargeable offence to kill a preborn child while committing a violent crime against a woman who is pregnant:
On October 5th Cassie and Molly’s Law (Bill C-225) is scheduled to be debated in parliament for a second time. Following this, the bill will see its first vote. It will be voted on by the 338 MP’s which will determine whether it goes to committee stage where it can be discussed and studied clause by clause.
It does not become a law at this point if the majority votes “yes” – it only merits further official discussion.
It is at this stage where committee members can hold hearings to gather information and call on officials and experts to answer questions. They can also propose changes or amendments to the bill.
When their study is finished they send the bill back to the house. MP’s can then further debate it, or suggest other amendments to the bill.
After this, the bill is called for a third reading debate. It is voted on again and if it has a majority of support it goes to the Senate. If the Senate passes the bill, it is given “Royal Assent” and becomes a law.
Basically, what will take place on the 5th of October is our current government will be voting to determine if Bill C-225 is something that is worthy of further discussion.
Should the majority of MP’s vote against Cassie and Molly’s Law (Bill C-225), it disappears and is not given the opportunity to be discussed in any further official capacity.
Although support has grown across the country, and polls have revealed that a majority of Canadians support legislation such as Cassie and Molly’s law, local politicians like MP’s Cheryl Hardcastle, Brian Masse, and Tracey Ramsey have distanced themselves from the cause.
In a February meeting between them and Cassie’s mother and me, they were quick to offer their condolences and acknowledge the injustice. But since then, despite several attempts at communications, they have been silent.
MP Hardcastle has given indication she will not support the law stating it will, “reopen the debate on women’s reproductive rights — a debate that has been definitively resolved in Canada.”
She stated this in spite of the independent legal analysis at her disposal that shows it will have no effect on abortion rights. The fact that I am a member of her riding, and Cassie and Molly would have been too had they not been killed, seems to have no bearing on her participation or support.
It seems that, even in the context of what a woman has chosen, any acknowledgement of the existence of a preborn child/fetus within in our criminal code is strictly opposed by the NDP, and the members of parliament representing Windsor and Essex County are sticking with their party’s dogma.
This sentiment has also been echoed by MP’s Bill Blair, Sheila Malcolmson, and Murray Rankin.
Bill Blair has claimed in parliament there is already a law.
MP Michael Cooper on the other hand supports the bill and adamantly stated that, “Bill C-225 has absolutely nothing to do with abortion. What Bill C-225 has a lot to do with however is justice.”
He goes on to state this must be done, “for women whose rights are violated,” and so, “those who violate the rights of women are held accountable to the fullest extent of the law.”
The online petition garnered over 6000 electronic signatures in the three month period it was active on the government website. Around 2000 of them came in its last two weeks. I attribute this to the few stories that popped up in the media at that time.
The paper petition continues to be active and available online. My rough estimate of the number of signatures physically collected so far is close to ten thousand. Many of those have already been presented in parliament. We continue to collect them and will do so until legislation is enacted that makes it a chargeable offence to kill a preborn child in an act of violence against the mother.
In the meantime, we are asking everyone to urge their members of parliament to vote on October 5th to bring this to committee where such a law can be discussed further.