Wednesday, February 27, 2008

C-484: Questions and Answers

With Bill C-484's supposed "protective", "deterrent" and even "justice" factors so soundly thrashed and trashed, the bill's supporters can feel the flop sweat starting to pop and pour as desperation mounts to give this ludicrous bill some kind of gravitas.

To that end, anti-choice blogger "Bold Truth" asks a Question:
"Imagine that you were pregnant and wanted to keep your baby. Your boyfriend disagrees and wants you to abort. According to "pro-choice" principles, it should be your decision, right? After all, you're the one carrying the baby.

Now imagine that your boyfriend secretly feeds you a pill that causes you to have a miscarriage. It starts off as stomach cramps, but when you get to the emergency ward you lose the baby. Your boyfriend killed the baby that you wanted so dearly.

Now suppose that the courts had no regard for the fact that you lost your baby. They don't care about your baby or about your feelings. Your boyfriend is simply charged with aggravated assault and administering a toxic substance. No consideration is given to your child."
Compelling question, and I got your answer right here, mofo: In such a situation, the charge should either be against "abusive boyfriends administering toxic substances to pregnant women for the express purpose of inducing miscarriage", or to simplify things, "grievous assault". Which we already have, and for which Romeo will do at least as much and likely more time than he'd do if convicted of two simple assault charges, or even one assault and one "unborn victim" charge. (Because the dispatch of a fetus would never, could never, be legally equal to the murder of a living-and-breathing person.)

The bold truth is that the law already addresses such losses -- it just doesn't call them "murder", because it's not. By definition, particularly legal definition, something that hasn't been born yet can't be murdered.

But since we're on the abusive boyfriend track, what difference would Bill C-484 make to the pregnant woman at risk of being given a toxic substance by an abusive partner? Nobody seems to have an answer for that question.

Well, I do: none. C-484 would make no difference to that risk. Zero. Zip. Nada. And that's what needs to be done if people genuinely want to support a woman's right to choose pregnancy: reduce the situations that lead to abuse of pregnant women and help such women to remove themselves from those environments. That's something that would actually protect pregnant women and their fetuses. That's something that would actually accomplish what Bill C-484 claims it does... but doesn't.

Posthumous recognition of a fetus is no more than cynically closing the barn door after the horse boogies away.