Thank you for your interest in bill C-311, the Violence Against Pregnant Women Act. It would amend the Criminal Code to ensure that the act of knowingly assaulting a pregnant woman and causing physical or emotional harm to a pregnant woman are considered aggravating circumstances during the sentencing process.
The risk of violence against women increases when they are pregnant. However, as it currently stands, consequences for their attackers do not increase at all.
There are more than 80 cases in recent Canadian history of women who have been killed while pregnant. Each of these women were killed by men who knew they were pregnant. The killers intentionally sought to do harm to the mother or, in many cases, end the pregnancy. As it stands at this moment, our justice system fails to take these actions into account.
Canada is failing its pregnant women and the children they have chosen to carry to term. Sentences issued by our courts should match the crimes committed. Our country needs this law to ensure that criminals who attack or kill a pregnant woman can be sentenced appropriately by our courts.
This page will be regularly updated with resources and materials pertaining to C-311.
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