When the great philosopher G.K. Chesterton said, “Let all the babies be born. Then let us drown those we do not like,” he wasn’t advocating infanticide but was just making a point. Unfortunately, though, we’re getting closer to a time when people would take his words literally. An example of this is a judge’s decision in Canada that a woman who strangled her newborn baby shouldn’t be incarcerated because Canadians’ failure to criminalize abortion indicates that they “sympathize” with the mother.
Lifesite News reports on the story, writing, “Katrina Effert of Wetaskiwin, Alberta gave birth secretly in her parents’ downstairs bathroom on April 13, 2005, and then later strangled the newborn and threw his body over a fence. She was 19 at the time.”
Effert was subsequently convicted of second-degree murder. But this was overturned by the Alberta Court of Appeal, which reduced the charge to infanticide, punishable by no more than five years imprisonment. Yet when Effert appeared for sentencing before Justice Joanne Veit of the Alberta Court of Queen’s Bench in September, even this punishment was deemed excessive. Instead, the judge gave Effert a three-year suspended sentence, which means that she won’t serve even one day in prison. Writes Lifesite News:
According to Justice Veit, Canada’s lack of an abortion law indicates 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 childbirth exact from mothers, especially mothers without support.”
“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,” she added.
This isn’t the first time a Canadian woman has received a slap on the wrist under the nation’s law on “infanticide.” And why is this a lesser charge than murder? Because Canada’s criminal code defines infanticide as when a woman kills her newborn due to her mind being “disturbed” as a result of pregnancy.
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Selwyn Duke (photo)