Bill C-311: Violence Against Pregnant Women

Status: Defeated at second reading in the House of Commons

Description: Makes pregnancy an aggravating circumstance for the purpose of sentencing. The Criminal Code currently treats violence against pregnant women and non-pregnant women as the same, ignoring the life and health of the pre-born child. This bill would make it a greater offence to injure a pregnant woman.

Analysis: Although this bill does not specifically mention pre-born children or give any legal rights to pre-born children, this bill is still a win for the pro-life movement. It shifts the Overton window a hair by recognizing that harming a pregnant woman is a greater offence than harming a non-pregnant woman. While different groups might justify why this is true (e.g. feminists might argue that this protects not only the mother but her choice to carry a child), pro-life Canadians can use this law as a stepping stone to argue for the personhood of pre-born children.

Action Items: Visit for more information on all of these action items:

  • Advertise on city buses or billboards
  • Knit or crochet a pair of baby booties and send to your MP with a note
  • Distribute There Were Two flyers around your neighbourhood
  • Write a letter to the editor
  • Send postcards to your MP
  • Gather petition signatures
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