Lutherans weigh in on private member’s pro-life bill

Roxanne Fernando

Roxanne Fernando

Lutherans for Life–Canada (LFL-C) is asking Lutheran congregation members to support a proposed private member’s bill that would make it illegal for individuals to coerce women into having abortions.

Bill C-510, known as Roxanne’s Law, follows the brutal, February 2007 beating death of Roxanne Fernando, a 24-year-old Filipino immigrant.

It was introduced into the House of Commons this past spring by Rod Bruinooge, Conservative MP for Winnipeg South, and debated during second reading at the beginning of November.

“This bill is important because as Lutherans we adhere and hold fast to scriptural principles,” said Cliff Pyle, president of (LFLC). “And this bill does deal with a life issue.”

Bill C-510 would amend Canada’s Criminal Code so that anyone who coerces a woman into having an abortion could receive up to five years in prison. Anyone attempting to coerce a woman into having an abortion could receive up to two years in prison.

A bill must pass four readings and receive royal assent before it becomes law.

“Because of the confidential nature of pro-life work, we have had personal experiences where young girls/women have been coerced into having an abortion, and personal stories certainly verify this is a common occurrence,” reports Pyle.

The bill is named after Roxanne Fernando who was murdered just weeks after she learned she was carrying the child of Winnipeg resident Nathanael Mark Plourde. According to media reports, Crown counsel Brent Davidson argued Plourde pressured Fernando into having an abortion. She agreed, initially, but changed her mind. Davidson argued her refusal to obtain an abortion drove the killing plot.

Plourde was sentenced to life without the possibility of parole for 25 years. Co-accused Jose Manuel Toruno was sentenced to life without the possibility of parole for 15 years.

“We in Lutheran Church–Canada have a strong pro-life position, believing that God loves ‘all life,’ and that this is strongly supported by Scripture,” said Pyle.

He said members of Lutheran Church–Canada congregations should contact their MPs and make their support known for Bill C-510.

“Many MPs believe this is an issue that should not even be on the floor of the House of Commons, and we need to tell them it is important, and that woman need this protection [of] the law.”

Lutherans for Life-Canada is a service organization affiliated with Lutheran Church–Canada. Its goal is to keep Lutherans informed about life issues. For more information see

Posted By: Matthew Block
Posted On: November 22, 2010
Posted In: National News,

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