In today’s National Post, Jonathan Kay writes about China’s failed one-child policy and the slippery slope of abortion. The stories he relays are heart wrenching. Not only are women coerced into having abortions, but many are forced to have them as well. Mr. Kay writes, “Once abortion becomes widely available, commonly practiced, and state-sanctioned, citizens and government officials become jaded to the human reality of birth and procreation. Instead, the fetus is seen as an inanimate prop of social policy, to be terminated according to whim and expedience.”
These words of Mr. Kay are a hard hitting indictment of the current situation, not only in China, but also in Canada. If we aren’t already there, Canada is rapidly heading down the road that leads to an erosion of legal protection for born humans. And, it’s because of our lack of legal protection for pre-born humans. In fact, there are already examples that show this to be the case. In 2005, Katrina Effert of Wetaskiwin, Alberta gave birth secretly in her parents’ downstairs bathroom. Ms. Effert later strangled the newborn and threw his body over a fence. You may be aware of this tragedy. Ms. Effert was found guilty of second degree murder by two juries only to have them both overturned on appeal. She was then charged with the lesser charge of infanticide and given a three year suspended sentence. In her ruling, Justice Veit cited Canada’s lack of an abortion law as a reason for lessening the charge. Justice Veit wrote, “while many Canadians undoubtedly view abortion as a less than ideal solution to unprotected sex and unwanted pregnancy, they generally understand, accept and sympathize with the onerous demands pregnancy and childbirth exact from mothers, especially mothers without support.” Clearly, Justice Veit felt that the potential for the heavy burden of motherhood required greater consideration than the right to life of the newborn child. This case, while uncommon, shows that Canada’s lack of federal legislation restricting abortion is now proving to be the basis for an erosion of protection for born humans.
The time has come for the government to provide legal protection for pre-born humans. If, due to our lack of protection, the killing of a newborn is justified, why not a one month old, or a year old?
Canada needs a law protecting children in the womb, so that children outside the womb are kept safe as well.