February 26, 2020
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Ottawa, ON – Today, Cathay Wagantall, Member of Parliament for Yorkton—Melville, introduced her Private Member’s Bill, the Sex Selective Abortion Act in the House of Commons. The legislation will create a new penalty for medical practitioners who knowingly perform an abortion when the sole reason is the genetic sex of the pre-born child. Wagantall is calling on parliamentarians to support this bill to make the very specific point that sex selective abortion is not permissible in a society that advocates for the equality of the sexes.
“In a country which seeks to foster equality between men and women, the practice of using abortion for sex selection needs to be prohibited,” said Wagantall. “Eighty-four percent of Canadians are against sex selective abortion. Legislators have the responsibility to ensure that it is prohibited by law. Sex selective abortion is antithetical to our commitment to equality and needs to be prohibited as an unacceptable practice.”
READ MORE: As abortion debate becomes increasingly polarized, poll shows the views of many Canadians are more complicated (National Post, January 31, 2020)
Wagantall was first elected to the House of Commons in 2015. This is the second time that the MP for Yorkton-Melville has had the opportunity to bring forward a Private Member’s Bill. Her previous bill, “Cassie and Molly’s Law,” addressed violence against pregnant women that caused injury or death to a pre-born child. While that bill did not pass, Wagantall said that it raised the awareness and engagement across the country needed to encourage her to respond to this specific concern of Canadians.
“Introducing a Private Member’s Bill is a privilege,” said Wagantall. “I’m excited to have this opportunity to advance equality in Canada.”
Cathay Wagantall looks forward to working with all of her colleagues in the House of Commons to ensure this bill is passed into law. “Our silence condones and possibly perpetuates the practice of sex selection,” she said. “Canada must act now to condemn this practice and to make it apparent to all that Canada values women and equality. If there is even one female pre-born child who is terminated because of her sex, we need to act.”
To read the Sex Selective Abortion Act, click here.
For more information contact:
Office of Cathay Wagantall, M.P.