Fourth Trimester Abortions (Updated)

One question that pro-lifers often pose to pro-choicers is how can they reconcile permitting abortion while still prohibiting the murder of newborns?  To put it differently, what is the substantive difference between a newborn child and a child in the latter stages of pregnancy?  For that matter, what is the difference between an unborn child at any stage of development and a born child?  Evidently this logic hit a Canadian judge pretty hard and she recognized the contradiction in distinguishing the born from the unborn.

The Wetaskiwin, Alta., woman convicted of infanticide for killing her newborn son, was given a three-year suspended sentence Friday by an Edmonton Court of Queen’s Bench judge.

Katrina Effert was 19 on April 13, 2005, when she secretly gave birth in her parents’ home, strangled the baby boy with her underwear and threw the body over a fence into a neighbour’s yard.

She silently wept as Justice Joanne Veit outlined the reasons for the suspended sentence. Effert will have to abide by conditions for the next three years but she won’t spend time behind bars for strangling her newborn son.

In her judgment, the judge rejected arguments from the Crown that the single father and the grandparent also face “the same stresses of the mind” as a mother who kills her own baby.

The fact that Canada has no abortion laws reflects that “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 childrbirth exact from mothers, especially mothers without support,” she writes.

The judge noted that infanticide laws and sentencing guidelines were not altered when the government made many changes to the Criminal Code in 2005, which she says shows that Canadians view the law as a “fair compromise of all the interests involved.”

“Naturally, Canadians are grieved by an infant’s death, especially at the hands of the infant’s mother, but Canadians also grieve for the mother.”

Oh, you were thinking the judge would make the logical leap and defend life?  How quaint.

As usual, Mark Steyn hits the nail on the head.

So a superior court judge in a relatively civilized jurisdiction is happy to extend the principles underlying legalized abortion in order to mitigate the killing of a legal person — that’s to say, someone who has managed to make it to the post-fetus stage. How long do those mitigating factors apply? I mean, “onerous demands”-wise, the first month of a newborn’s life is no picnic for the mother. How about six months in? The terrible twos?

Update: Oh, and just so we’re clear, we are not that far behind in America.

 Almost 3, Bryan Santana longs to play with toys and run alongside other children. But because he was born without arms and with only one leg, normal toddler games elude him.

On Friday, a jury awarded his West Palm Beach parents $4.5 million to help them buy prostheses, wheelchairs and other medical services experts say he will need to live any semblance of a normal life.

After nearly nine hours of deliberation over two days, a jury of four men and two women agreed that a Palm Beach Gardens obstetrician and the clinic where she works were negligent for not detecting the boy’s horrific disabilities before he was born.

Had Dr. Marie Morel and an ultrasound technician properly administered a sonogram, they would have discovered the abnormalities, the jury found. Had Ana Mejia and Rodolfo Santana known, they said they would have terminated the pregnancy.

Considering that we elected a man president who once declared that he didn’t want his children “punished” with a baby, this is not really all that shocking.  After all, unless it’s perfect and convenient to us, a child is just not worthy of life.

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