Red Deer PPC candidates propose bill to end late-term abortions
Two Red Deer People’s Party of Canada candidates proposed a bill that would end late-term abortions.
The Private Member's Bill—drafted by Red Deer-Mountain View candidate Paul Mitchell and Red Deer-Lacombe candidate Laura-Lynn Thompson—states abortions would be illegal after 24 weeks of pregnancy. It also proposes up to five years in jail for those caught trying to end their pregnancy after 24 weeks. Anyone who causes danger of death or serious harm to the pregnant woman or the preborn child could spend anywhere from five years to life in prison.
“We’re not afraid of this issue," Mitchell said. We understand that by bringing it up like this people will judge our candidacy accordingly."
“This way a woman still has six months to decide whether she would like to carry this baby or not, and I think that’s enough time,” Thompson said.
The bill does includes exceptions in cases of sexual abuse of a minor, rape, if the babies life is not viable or when the woman’s health or life is in serious jeopardy.
The candidates are looking to introduce it in the House of Commons if they are elected in the upcoming federal election. They are also hoping to attract support from candidates in other parties.
Both Red Deer Conservative Members of Parliament, Earl Dreeshen and Blaine Calkins, were invited to the announcement but neither attended.
“We’re very hopeful that the way we have written the bill … that we can get a lot of people on board—even some people that view themselves as pro-choice,” said Mitchell.
“We want success, and we want bipartisan success. We want members of all parties,” said Thompson.
In a statement to CTV News, Kathy Dawson, a board member of the Alberta Pro-Choice Coalition, said, "Canadians rely on publicly-funded healthcare that includes abortion. We cherish our Charter Rights to privacy, equality and security of person that in turn protects abortion rights.”
“Our private and highly personal health decisions are made with our families and trusted doctors; politicians must not violate this sacred space with agendas," she added.
Abortion Rights Coalition of Canada data shows three per cent of all abortions happened after 21 weeks in 2017, and it estimates 91 per cent of all abortions are done by the 12-week period.
"The reality is for us, if you have a viable baby that can live outside the mother, then its rights have to be defended,” said Mitchell.
“There are many, many abortions actually and many women who will seek to have a late-term abortion across the line, and for me personally, one is too many,” Thompson said.
There are no laws currently preventing abortion at any time during pregnancy in Canada.