The Abortion Rights Coalition of Canada has responded to Conservative MP Rod Bruinooge’s (Winnipeg South) proposed bill to ban coercive abortion by calling instead for a ban on “coerced childbirth,” and even suggesting that Canada outlaw pro-life activism. “The entire anti-choice movement has been trying to force women into pregnancy and motherhood for decades, by working to outlaw or restrict abortion,” said Joyce Arthur, ARCC’s coordinator, in a April 19 press release.  “Perhaps we need to protect women from this coercion by criminalizing anti-choice activism!”

As part of their call for a ban on ‘coercive childbirth’ and pro-life activism, the ARCC has also called for the prohibition of Canada’s pregnancy care centres, which have been set up to offer a supportive environment to women who become pregnant in difficult circumstances. The ARCC also called for a ban on sidewalk counselors, who peacefully attempt to offer support and prayer to women as they enter or leave abortuaries.

“A law against coerced childbirth would be a great opportunity to put a stop to some of the most egregious violations of women’s integrity perpetrated by the anti-choice movement,” stated Judy Burwell, an ARCC spokesperson.

“This is outrageous,” said Campaign Life Coalition’s national organizer, Mary-Ellen Douglas, in response to ARCC’s press release. “It is clear to me that Joyce Arthur and the Canadian pro-abortion movement have nothing but contempt for democracy.” Douglas continued: “Canadians everywhere, no matter what their views on abortion, should be appalled by the extremism of Canada’s pro-abortion movement, which would not only seek to censor and even criminalize certain Canadians because of their views, but which will also do everything in its power to ensure that pregnant women are not offered the aid and support they need.”

A version of this story appeared April 20 at and is reprinted with permission.