Wagantall introduces Violence Against Pregnant Women Act

For immediate release


OTTAWA, ON — Cathay Wagantall, Member of Parliament for Yorkton-Melville, today introduced her private members’ bill, the Violence Against Pregnant Women Act, in the House of Commons.

“It is an honour to introduce a bill that will go a long way in addressing violence against some of the most vulnerable people in our society: pregnant women and the children they are carrying to term,” said Wagantall. “Women are at a greater risk of intimate partner violence when pregnant, but the consequences their attackers currently face do not reflect the crimes committed.”

When passed, bill C-311 will add two new aggravating factors to the Criminal Code of Canada. The crimes of knowingly assaulting a pregnant woman and causing physical or emotional harm to a pregnant woman will be considered by judges for their severity during the sentencing process.

The Violence Against Pregnant Women Act follows more than eighty cases in recent Canadian history of women who have been killed, while pregnant, by men who knew they were pregnant. According to Wagantall, the killers intentionally sought to do harm to the mother or, in many cases, end the pregnancy.

“Canada is failing its pregnant women and their pre-born children,” continued Wagantall. “Sentences issued by our courts should match the crime. Our country needs this law to ensure that criminals who attack or kill a pregnant woman can be sentenced appropriately by our courts.”

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