The Slippery Slope to Protecting Life
In Canada, you cannot be charged for the murder of a baby still in his or her mother’s womb.
In other words, you could stab a pregnant woman in the abdomen, killing the child and if the mother didn’t die, the worse you could be charged with would be assault.
In the last year, at least two Canadian women have been murdered, along with their unborn children.
But in the deaths of Liana White and Olivia Talbot, their killers were not held to account for the deaths of their babies.
The Supreme Court of Canada has ruled that babies, unborn, are not persons.
I appreciate that there are some in our nation who fear if we convict murderers for killing unborn babies, abortions are next on the chopping block.
Their argument goes like this: if it is murder to kill an unborn child, then are doctors who perform abortions murderers? Are mothers who seek abortions open to charges of murder – like those who set up a contract killing?
Our understanding of the growth and development of unborn children has changed radically over time.
Given that babies are surviving premature births as early as 23 weeks (approximately six months), it is ridiculous to assert that a “fetus” is not a person one day and the next day her or she is.
Of course, in Canada, there are no restrictions on abortions at any time during pregnancy. The Abortion Rights Coalition of Canada maintains that only 0.5% of abortions occur after 20 weeks gestation. 105,154 abortions were performed in Canada in 2002, according to Statistics Canada. This means over 500 babies were aborted very close to viability. (Please note there was a typo in this section in the published version.)
Given these numbers, you can understand the hesitation in passing legislation that would begin to draw lines in the sand – something the pro-choice movement has fought against for years.
The issue came to a head this week because more information was released about a Private Members Bill brought forward in May by Leon Benoit, a Conservative MP. The Justice Minister, Vic Toews, was told at that time by his department advisors that allowing Benoit’s legislation to move forward “could have the effect of criminalizing abortion.”
Prime Minister Stephen Harper has made it very clear that changes to abortion access are not on the table for his government – and so Bill C-291 died a quick and quiet death.
The Conservatives have bowed to public sentiment on abortion, something that the rabid pro-choice crowd said they would never do. Voters who want status quo in Canada obviously have nothing to fear.
But it leaves many of us sad that, in this round of the battle for “women’s right to choose”, killers of wanted and beloved unborn children are let off the hook for their crimes.
(As seen today in 24 Hours Daily)