Mr. Speaker, right off the get go, let me just sort of refute the main thrust of my colleague's argument.
Her argument or suggestion is that somehow the bill introduced by the member for Edmonton—Sherwood Park, Bill C-484, is in some way a backdoor attempt to reopen the abortion debate. Nothing could be further from the truth.
In fact, the bill specifically excludes women who wish to seek an abortion from the provisions of the bill. This bill only deals with women who choose to go full term, who want a child. It does not speak to those women who do not wish to carry their child to full term.
The member asked why the bill is not before the status of women committee or the heritage committee.
Mr. Speaker, as you know, as I know, and I hope my hon. colleague knows, that it is the right of a member who introduces a private member's bill, to determine in the motion to which committee the bill should be referred. In this case, since the bill is about amending the Criminal Code, it is natural that it goes to the justice committee. In fact, not only private members' bills but government initiated bills and legislation that deals with amendments to the Criminal Code are normally referred to the justice committee.
Second, in Marleau and Montpetit on page 634, the procedure and practice manual that we all follow in this place, it states once again that members have the right, in the motion contained in the bill itself, to determine to which committee the bill gets referred. That is further supported by Standing Order 108.
I would suggest to the member opposite that it is an appropriate place to send the bill; that is, the justice committee. I hope the member, if for no other reason, would understand, from a procedural standpoint and from our own practices that we follow in this place, that the member for Edmonton—Sherwood Park, who introduced the bill, has followed the correct procedure. The justice committee is the correct place to discuss the bill.