OTTAWA, April 15, 2010 – The Catholic Civil Rights League today expressed support for a private member’s bill (PMB) introduced Wednesday by MP Rod Bruinooge (Winnipeg-South) that would make it a criminal offence for anyone to coerce a woman to terminate her pregnancy.

‘Roxanne’s Law’ (Bill C-510) is named in memory of a pregnant Winnipeg woman who was murdered by her partner after she refused to have an abortion.  Working as the chair of the multi-party parliamentary pro-life caucus, Mr. Bruinooge, a staunch supporter of the pro-life position, said he has heard of several cases of intimidation of young pregnant women to have an abortion, and hopes making it a crime will curb those instances.

“The League is in favour of legislation that would recognize the sanctity of all human life, from conception to natural death. We supported the unborn victims of violence PMB in the last parliament, and support this measure that aims to prevent women from being forced to have abortions against their will,” said Joanne McGarry, League executive director.

According to the Winnipeg Free Press, Mr. Bruinooge told reporters the bill seeks to prevent intimidation of pregnant women. “”It’s not just as simple as feeling pressured to get an abortion; there is a lot of discussion of sex-selection abortion these days, as well,” Bruinooge said, referring to the scenario where a woman is pressured to abort once the sex of the fetus is determined. “It’s part of the overall topic of intimidation that goes towards a pregnant woman.”

“Abortion will continue to be legal in Canada,” he said. “Anyone providing information in a non-threatening way is entirely legitimate. Someone shouldn’t feel threatened towards a decision, though.”

Private members’ bills rarely become law. Because of the “lottery” system in place for PMBs, this one will get its second hour of debate if Mr. Bruinooge’s name is drawn. 

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;

MP’s bill takes aim at ‘coerced abortion’, National Post, April 16, 2010.