In testimonial-style videos released today, Canadian women are stating their support for Bill C-510, Roxanne’s Law, which would make it a criminal offence to coerce or attempt to coerce a woman into having an unwanted abortion.
The Evangelical Fellowship of Canada (EFC) has launched the two week video campaign in support of Bill C-510 partly in response to female Members of Parliament having suggested in the House of Commons that the bill lacked support from Canadian women. Bill C-510 is on Parliament’s agenda for second reading vote on December 15.
While some may argue the contrary, many Canadian women do support Roxanne’s Law, and one of the main purposes of this campaign is to draw attention to the voices of women who want to see the bill passed.
MP Nicole Demers (Laval, BQ) is one female MP who expressed in the House that the women of Quebec and Canada “are not fools” and that through this bill, “men are trying to decide what is good for us.”
I sincerely hope that Ms. Demers didn’t believe that her position reflected that of all Canadian women. She didn’t speak for all Canadian women that morning, and she certainly did not speak for me.
The Canadian public is well aware that abortion coercion takes place in this country. In 2007, Canadians learned details about the death of Roxanne Fernando, for whom Bill C-510 is named, who was murdered by her boyfriend, the father of her unborn child, after refusing to have an abortion. Ms. Fernando was lured outside for a supposed Valentine’s Day date, then beaten and left to die in a snow bank. Last week, Melinda Morin testified that she fatally stabbed her boyfriend in self-defence after he attacked her because she refused to terminate her pregnancy.
This is a straightforward and pro-woman bill. It will assist in better protecting women from being coerced into having unwanted abortions. Women are in a vulnerable position when they are pregnant, particularly if the child’s father does not want the child to be born, and this bill will provide additional protections for the mother’s choice and her child’s life. For those concerned, this bill will not and cannot legally criminalize or limit access to abortion in any way.
The EFC is inviting all Canadians, women or men, to record their own videos and to circulate them prior to Bill C-510’s mid-December vote in the House of Commons. To assist, the EFC has prepared a webpage with information and videos explaining the bill and its impact as well as sample petitions and letters. More information about the campaign can be found at www.theEFC.ca/roxanne.