In a debate with abortion-rights activist Carolyn Egan on the TV show "Legal Briefs", Epp finally admitted that the point of the bill was not, as the Conservatives claimed, to protect pregnant women from domestic violence.
Throughout the debate, Epp repeatedly claimed that this bill has nothing to do with granting legal status to a fetus, is not anti-abortion, could not be used to prosecute pregnant women... on and on.
Carolyn and others (it's a call-in show) were insisting that if the goal truly is - as proponents of the bill claim - to bring harsher penalties for attacks on pregnant women, why not put forth a bill that would make pregnancy an aggravating circumstance which would automatically trigger a harsher sentence? Why put the emphasis on the fetus?
Honickman asked Epp if he would support such a bill. Epp claimed he would - in addition to this bill. And why would his bill still be necessary? When Honickman posed this question directly to Epp, for the first and only time on the show, Epp had no immediate answer. There was a long pause.
Finally, he replied, "Because we want to recognize the humanity of that unborn child. Whether that child was killed three months before birth or three months after birth, it was still a child, there was still a loss of life. The other side might wish to deny the humanity of that unborn child, but we want the law to recognize it."
This is not a direct quote. I wasn't taking notes, because I was waiting to get on the air, and wanted to stay focused. But I assure you, it's a very close paraphrase.
They want to recognize the "humanity" of the "unborn child".
Now the Conservatives have nailed this dangerous plank into their party's platform.
Delegates to the Conservative party's first policy convention in more than three years have kept the party largely in line with the direction taken since Prime Minister Stephen Harper took office in 2006, while veering right on a couple of controversial issues.
Voting on policy amendments Saturday saw the party, which had nearly 2,000 delegates at the convention, embroiled in some heavy debates.
Among them was a proposal to extend additional charges against a person who kills or injures a fetus while committing a crime against a pregnant mother.
The sponsoring delegate from Saskatchewan said the motion "recognized the unborn child as a victim of crime in the event of deliberate injury or death to the mother and child."
"You are essentially saying that the unborn child is a person," responded the first delegate to speak against the motion. "Therefore you are re-opening the way to that slippery path that will take away a woman's right to choose. This is the thin edge of the wedge." [Emphasis added.]
Despite a raucous exchange of boos and cheers from delegates with differing view, the resolution was passed.
This is very bad.
Please, Liberal Party, get your shit together.