Abortion Coercion - Bill C-510

December 14, 2010

Since 1987, there have been 34 attempts to draft a bill dealing with abortion. None of them have passed. But Conservative MP Rod Bruinooge is going ahead with his anyway ... a controversial bill that would make it illegal to coerce a woman into having an abortion.


Abortion Coercion - Panel

Roxanne Fernando was found in a snow-filled ditch in Northwest Winnipeg, on a cold morning in February of 2007. She was 24-years-old and pregnant. Her body was buried under some rocks. And her boyfriend was later convicted of murdering her.

Roxanne's story struck a chord with Rod Bruinooge. He's the Conservative MP who he chairs the multi-party pro-life caucus in Parliament. He believes Roxanne was killed because she refused to have an abortion.

Last spring, Rod Bruinooge introduced a private member's bill that would make it a crime to coerce a woman into having an abortion. That bill is winding its way through second reading now. And yesterday, it provoked very different reactions from Conservative MP Kelly Block and NDP MP Niki Ashton.

MPs will vote tomorrow on whether to allow Bill C-510 to proceed. And they have been down this road before. Since 1987 -- the year before Canada's abortion law was struck down -- MPs both Conservatives and Liberals have proposed at least 34 pieces of legislation dealing with abortion. None has passed. But Rod Bruinooge remains undaunted. He was in Ottawa.

And Dawn Fowler is the Canadian Director of the National Abortion Federation, which represents abortion clinics. She was in Victoria.

Abortion Coercion - Susan Delacourt

As we mentioned, Prime Minister Stephen Harper has made it clear that he will not be supporting Bill C-510. And he has instructed his cabinet not to support it. This is not the first time the Prime Minister has enforced this discipline upon his ministers on the issue of abortion.

In fact Mr. Harper has repeatedly said his government will not support any legislation that re-opens the abortion debate. It is a stand that has frustrated some of his party's supporters. Charles McVety is President of the Canada Christian College.

For some insight on how Prime Minister Harper is navigating the tricky waters of abortion politics, we were joined by Susan Delacourt. She's the Toronto Star's Senior Writer in Ottawa.

Last Word - Death of Anticipation

We ended the program today with something The Current's Chris Wodskou is working on for tomorrow's program about a phenomenon he likes to think of as the death of anticipation. Chris got the last word today.

Other Segments from today's show:

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