Ken Epp, MP – For Immediate Release – June 10, 2008
(Ottawa) – At a press conference in Ottawa today, Conservative MP Ken Epp released the results of a poll he commissioned regarding his Private Members Bill, C-484, the Unborn Victims of Crime Act. C-484 would make it a separate crime if an attacker knowingly harms or kills a fetus being carried by a pregnant woman.
The online survey, conducted by Angus Reid Strategies June 4-5 in Quebec only, shows that fully 50% of Quebecers support the Bill, while 35% are opposed and 15% undecided. Among women, support is at 53%. (Full poll results are available on Mr. Epp’s web site at www.kenepp.com).
“Given the massive misinformation campaign launched against this Bill, especially in Quebec for the past several weeks, I found the poll results quite revealing,” said Mr. Epp. “Even though many groups, claiming to represent large constituencies, have spoken out viciously against the Bill and made claims that are simply not true, Quebecers still show a fair level of support for the Bill. That said, I believe opponents of the Bill have created fear that C-484 will reduce women’s rights. (In fact, C-484 increases women’s rights.) They have convinced many people that this Bill will somehow impact access to abortion, which is simply not the case.”
Epp continued, “There are many Canadians who support this Bill because they see it for what it really is: an attempt to recognize the very real loss suffered by a woman who loses her child against her will at the hands of a violent attacker. That said, because so much false information has been repeated over and over, those who support this cry for justice will have to work harder to get the message out about what the Bill is really trying to do: give legal recourse to lay charges against a third-party in the very specific, very narrow circumstance when a pregnant woman is the victim of a criminal attack and her attacker intentionally or recklessly harms or causes the death of her baby. Women who have made a choice to carry their baby to term will at least know that the law is there not only to protect them, but the child they desperately want.”
The Angus Reid Strategies online survey follows on the heels of two earlier, national polls which showed broad support for unborn victims of crime legislation. In October of 2007, an Environics poll found that 72% of Canadians (75% of women), across regional and party lines, supported such a law. An Angus Reid Strategies online survey conducted in March reported similar findings, with 70% of Canadians (74% of women) expressing support for the Bill.
“One thing that is disturbing, is that some of the people who proclaim they support choice for women, seemingly do so only if it is their choices that are supported. Isn’t it ironic that the Bloc, the NDP and the Liberals are not allowing a free vote on this Bill at Third Reading, thus depriving their MPs and their constituents a democratic choice. Yet they all cling to the claim that they support the notion of choice,” said Epp.
Epp was joined at the press conference by Besay and Salman Sesen from Montreal, the parents of Aysun Sesen (who was over 7-months pregnant with her daughter, Gul, when she was stabbed to death last October in Toronto), as well as Aysun’s brother-in-law, Aydin Cocelli from Toronto. Mr. Sesen read a statement on behalf of Aysun’s sister, Tulay Sesen. Also making statements at the press conference were; Heidi Illingworth, the executive director of the Canadian Resource Centre for Victims of Crime; and Ulrika Drevniok, a candidate in the Master of Science program at the School of Nursing at McGill University. Kathleen Gray, president and co-founder of the Centre for Reproductive Loss in Montreal, although unable to attend the press conference, provided a written statement.
The online survey was conducted among a randomly selected, representative sample of 800 adult Quebecers, and has a margin of error of +/- 3.5% 19 times out of 20.
For More Information, contact
Ken Epp, (613) 995-3611 or (780) 467-4944;