December 27, 2010
Rod Bruinooge

Rod Bruinooge

DEBORAH GYAPONG
CANADIAN CATHOLIC NEWS

OTTAWA — Roxanne’s Law may have gone down to defeat, but Conservative MP Rod Bruinooge sees signs a version of his anti-abortion coercion bill might succeed some day.

“I was not too disappointed,” said the Winnipeg MP, chair of the parliamentary pro-life caucus, the day after the 178-97 defeat Dec. 15 of Bill C-510 in the House of Commons.

He had predicted on national radio prior to the vote that 75 MPs would support the bill, so he was gratified to see an additional 22 MPs voting in favour.

Bruinooge said he believes another 40 could be persuaded to support similar legislation to protect women from being coerced to have abortions.

“It’s been an honour for me to bring in this bill and tell Roxanne’s story to the nation, and around the world,” he said.

Roxanne’s Law was named for a constituent, who was beaten with a hockey stick by three men and left to die in a snow bank because she refused an abortion.

Bruinooge said he “learned a lot about Canada” in telling her story, which also attracted international interest. “I’m hopeful we can build on this for the future.”

During the Dec. 13 hour of debate preceding the vote, Conservative MP Kelly Block pointed out that some Canadian women are forced to abort when the fetus is female.

The Catholic Civil Rights League expressed its disappointment that Bill C-510 was defeated. The bill would have made it a criminal offence to coerce a woman to have an abortion through “threats of violence or withdrawal of financial or material support.”