When Justice minister Rob Nicholson cut loose Bill C-484, the Unborn Victims of Crime act he didn't stop there. He added this:
I'm announcing that the government will introduce legislation that will punish criminals who commit violence against pregnant women but do so in a way that leaves no room for the introduction of fetal rights.That's nice, but what suddenly motivated the Conservatives to so blatantly abandon the heavily coded bill in the first place? It was playing into the demands of the base. As much as all of us were aware of what C-484 was all about (an incremental bill to eventually criminalize abortion), the Conservatives' nutball religious followers were also identifying it as that.
It could be that the embarrassing question being put to Harper by Stephane Dion was causing a lot of discomfort. Harper still hasn't answered, but he did vote in favour of C-484 at first and second* reading.
April Reign provides the answer. And yes, it because the last thing the Conservatives need is a leader in charge of a party who has a question hanging over his head like the Sword of Damocles. Get rid of the reason for the question because something of a light just went on in the head of some Conservative strategist.
With all the rumours ofWhich then begs the question, why didn't the idea get dropped completely? Why the reference to a "new" bill?
warelection, it is hard to see this as anything but an abusive government suddenly recognizing that women have the vote and that vote is unlikely to go their way after forcing themselves into Canadian womens’ private parts.
Easy answer. They have to play back to the base... with something. Nicholson is providing reassurance to the fundie wingnut element that this whole thing will get revisited. That means the fight against this lot, on this subject is far from over.
Nicholson's suggestion is still focusing on the presence of a fetus. Judges already have the power to impose stiffer sentences on those who do harm to others who are either pregnant, incapacitated or otherwise likely to endure increased aggravation as a result of a personal condition.
Why single out pregnancy? If Nicholson felt a compelling need to do this he also needs to include elderly women, elderly men, disabled people and anyone else who could be considered weak and unable to remotely defend themselves.
The thin edge of the wedge is still there.
* Corrected - Thanks skdadl.