A brief National Post article this month shows again the strange legal gap in Canada that happens when we do not recognise the humanity of life in the womb. A Montreal man has been charged with the attempted murder of his partner, who was 8 months pregnant when he allegedly assaulted her. Her baby was delivered by emergency Caesarean section, but died shortly after.
It seems glaringly obvious that a baby died, and justice should be served. Yet a judge had to decide that the accused would stand trial for the death of the child, as the prosecution and defence “differ[ed] on whether the fetus was legally considered a living being.” Whether that child counts as a victim will be decided by a jury; let’s hope and pray they make the right decision.
As Canadians, we are passionate about victims’ rights, and the need to support and uphold the vulnerable. Our government, on the other hand, seems determined to eschew responsibility when it comes to who the law protects.
There are numerous cases in recent Canadian history where surviving family and friends are shocked to learn that the pre-born child they so looked forward to holding counts for nothing in our laws and in our courts if it is killed by a criminal. That there could be any question in this case when the baby was actually delivered is shocking. A mother carried this child for 8 months, and had that child taken away by an act of violence. The fact that there is any gray area here shows just how much we need laws protecting pre-born children from the earliest possible stages of development.