Ottawa: Rally Against Unborn Victims of Crime Bill
At first glance of the bill most people would be favourable towards the bill. However, a better understanding of Canadian Law and looking more closely of the content of the bill may change that. Canadian Law already has provisions in the Criminal Code for pregnancy or spousal abuse to be aggravating factors leading to harsher sentences. The bill would however, give fetuses legal rights.
Many pro-choice advocates worry that to give the fetus legal rights would lead to the erosion of the legality of abortion. Abortion has only been legal in Canada for 20 years, it was made legal thanks to the work of Henry Morgentaler. Despite it being legal it is not very accessible with on 15% of Hospitals and a minority of clinics that do. All of these Hospitals and clinics are in urban centers and, one province P.E.I. has no where that abortion is available.
The speakers at the rally brought up that no one is happy about having abortions and, that it is unfortunate that women have to go through them. However, they said being pro-choice means that women actually have choices. These choices stemmed from a need for proper sex education, proper health care, proper child care and, a need for real pay equity. They condemned the current government as having not done any of these things nor, protected the rights of women to be free of violence.
The crowd included the Pro-Choice Coalition of Ottawa, Abortion Rights Coalition of Canada, University of Ottawa Women's Center, Public Service Alliance of Canada, Ottawa-Center NDP MP Paul Dewar, Ottawa West-Nepean NDP candidate Marlene Rivier, multiple violence against women campaigns, The Raging Grannies and, more. The event was closed off by a rendition of Bread and Roses and a moment of silence while everyone stood in a circle around the Womens Monument. It was supposed to take the street afterwards, but the rally was denied a police permit "due to the nature of the protest."
Note images are my property. First was drawn on the path in Minto Park. Second is of one of the many speakers at the back of the crowd is Paul Dewar and Marlene Rivier of the NDP. Third was part of the circle of the closing, rocks shown are the side of the women's monument