OTTAWA, December 15, 2010 – The Catholic Civil Rights League today expressed disappointment that Bill C-510 failed to garner sufficient votes at second reading to proceed. The private member’s bill would have made it a criminal offence to coerce a woman into having an abortion against her will through threats of violence or withdrawal of financial or material support. It would have had no consequence for abortion providers or put any legal limit on abortion.

“The League recognizes the sanctity of all human life from conception to natural death, and we believe that Bill C-510 could have reduced the likelihood of forced abortion, which is one aspect of the many issues of respect for life and respect for women that are raised by abortion,” said Executive Director Joanne McGarry. “It is unfortunate that any mention of abortion law is usually stopped by the strong opinions the topic ignites on both sides, and by politicians’ reluctance to address the issue.”

Called Roxanne’s Law in memory of a pregnant Winnipeg woman who was murdered by three men after she refused to have an abortion, Bill C-510 was introduced in April by MP Rod Bruinooge (Winnipeg-South). Mr. Bruinooge has said the proposal would have helped address coercion by partners and family members, as well as situations where women are forced to abort once the gender of the unborn child is known.

The League thanks its many members who expressed their support for Bill C-510 to their MPs and through letters to the editor.

Bill aims to outlaw coerced abortion, National Post, Dec. 15.
Roxanne’s Law website, including wording of Bill C-510 and list of organizations that expressed their support.

About CCRL
Catholic Civil Rights League ( assists in creating conditions within which Catholic teachings can be better understood, cooperates with other organizations in defending civil rights in Canada, and opposes defamation and discrimination against Catholics on the basis of their beliefs. CCRL was founded in 1985 as an independent lay organization and has chapters across Canada. The Catholic Civil Rights League is a Canadian non-profit organization entirely supported by the generosity of its members.

For further information: Joanne McGarry, Executive Director, 416-466-8244;