Thursday, May 15, 2008

Bill C-543: A good first step, but not adequate

Liberal MP Brent St. Denis has tabled Bill C-543 in response to the controversy surrounding Bill C-484.

Bill C-543 would make it obligatory for judges to take into account a victim's pregnancy when determining a sentence.

I think this is worthy of support, regardless of what happens to C-484.

However, I do not feel it addresses my concerns.

I believe that a woman has a right to her fetus. If the fetus is killed or injured, that should be a crime. It is not about the moral status of the fetus. It is about denouncing an unlawful act: that of causing injury or death to a fetus.

I am 30 weeks pregnant. If some thug decides to attack me, I survive and my baby dies, I'd be way more upset at the loss of my unborn child than any scars I might suffer. The baby I have within me is positively irreplaceable. My kids and my husband are anxiously awaiting her arrival. As far as we're concerned, this is not a "body part". She has a real and distinct existence from myself. If I lose her, I don't get her back. In our age, you can repair most injuries. But you cannot replace an individual.

Injury or death to her should not be an "aggravating factor". It is a criminal act in and of itself, and should be recognized as such.

This is the point of Bill C-484 as far as I'm concerned.

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