Wednesday, 21 September 2011

Oh, the compassion



You may have missed this story, but the fetus fetishists (see usual suspects) are aalllll over it.

In fact, a mutual hand-wringing session with Brian Lilley and Andrea Mrozek (she of ProWoman ProLife *gag*) on Fox News North, is prefaced with a clip from Bill 'Tiller is a baby-killer' O'Reilly. Some broad tells O'Reilly that the measly five-year penalty for infanticide means that 'in Canada, it is open-season on babies'. (Note, however, the penalty in the in the US is two years.)

Speaking over a banner that reads: 'Baby Killer set free: Lack of outrage is mind-boggling', Mzozek cites the judge's reasoning and adds that infanticide is 'anachronistic', that we no longer believe that women who have just given birth have mental disturbances. (We'll get back to this stupidity.) She also drags out Peter Singer, the radical animal liberationist and utilitarian philosopher who is oft-quoted for his justification for killing newborns.

Let's have a look at what the judge said (CBC link above):
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 childbirth 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."


So here's the story as told by Susan Martinuk:
Six years ago, a 19-year-old Wetaskiwin teenager named Katrina Effert secretly gave birth in her parents’ downstairs bathroom, then strangled her newborn son with her thong underwear and tossed his body over the fence into a neighbour’s yard.

You know — just an average evening for a hormonal, out-of-sorts teenager.

Yet what seems like a straightforward case of “girl murders baby” has since turned into anything but, and Effert has been wandering in and out of Alberta courtrooms for the past six years. She was twice found guilty of second-degree murder by jury trials (in 2006 and 2009), but each judgment was subsequently overturned by a provincial appeals court. In May of this year, the Alberta Court of Appeal overturned her 2009 murder conviction, ruling that the jury’s verdict was “unreasonable.” It then replaced the murder conviction with the lesser charge of infanticide.

Since 2005, Effert has served the equivalent of almost eight months in legal custody, encompassing time spent in a remand centre, prison and psychiatric hospital. While judges and juries obviously have very different opinions on Effert’s actions and what is an appropriate punishment for baby killing, a conviction for the improper disposal of a body did stick and she was sentenced to serve 90 days for that transgression.

Last Friday, Effert faced Justice Joanne Veit of the Alberta Court of Queen’s Bench in Edmonton for sentencing. Veit called it a “classic infanticide case” and sentenced her to a three-year suspended sentence with probation.

Martinuk cherry-picks polls on public opinion on abortion, including the SHRIEEEEK- worthy fact that a majority of Canadians don't know that there is no legal time limit on abortion.

From there, Martinuk goes here:
In fact, if Effert had gone to a willing doctor just before giving birth, she could have avoided her legal problems altogether. She could have had a late-term abortion under Canada’s non-existent abortion laws.

Which, as regular readers of DJ! know, is complete bullshit.

This young woman has been dragged through the court system for six fucking years, served eight months, and now has a conviction for infanticide.
What is infanticide?
This is an offence of lessened capacity that is limited to a female person who, not fully recovered from the disturbing effects on her of a birth of her child or subsequent lactation, by a wilful act or omission, causes the death of her newly-born child. The maximum penalty is five years imprisonment.

Here is a history of infanticide, including explanations, such as economic, sex-selection, customs and taboos, psychological and psychiatric reasons.

The psychiatric reasons are postpartum psychosis and severe postpartum depression.

Let's review: a 19-year-old woman living with parents gives birth in secret. Why in secret? Parents don't know, will throw her out? Strangles newborn, throws body over fence (she thinks she's getting away with this?), then lies. Tells investigators she's a virgin, then switches stories and says she gave newborn to its father.

Sounds like a cold-blooded baby-killer to you?

Sounds like a very distraught young woman to me.

Who finally had some compassion shown to her after six fucking years. The judge is female and while I haven't read the entire judgement, she did open the door to all this nonsense with the reference to abortion. She could have stopped with 'classic case of infanticide', as far as I'm concerned.

Well, water under the bridge now. The fetus fetishists are gleefully spinning this sad story as a symptom of our 'culture of death'.

For the record, here is the Canadian Medical Association's policy on abortion (PDF):
Induced abortion, as interpreted by the CMA, is the active termination of a pregnancy before fetal viability. In this context viability is the ability of the fetus to survive independently of the maternal environment. According to current medical knowledge viability is dependent on fetal weight, degree of development and length of gestation; extrauterine viability may be possible if the fetus weighs over 500 g or is past 20 weeks’ gestation, or both (Gestation begins at conception).

Listen up, Ms Martinuk and other fetus fetishists: A doctor 'willing' to perform an abortion right before birth would face serious sanctions and probably lose his or her licence. For that reason, late-term abortions do NOT occur in Canada unless for the direst of reasons.

Of course, it is too much to hope that the 'pro-lifers' would leave this young woman alone now. No way. They're all 'pro-woman' until there's a hapless woman involved they can demonize to further their cause.

3 comments:

Niles said...

I'm stunned, shocked and *stunned* the Calgary Herald gives space to rampant pro-forced pregnancy yawping. Blaming liberal abortion laws on why the disturbed woman killed her newborn infant.

Eeeeeeyah.

I'm old enough to remember when the Herald was considered an actual newspaper...before it was gutted and turned into the owner's mouthpiece.

Beijing York said...

What a tragic story. Let's face it, this poor woman would have benefited from having an abortion as soon as she realized she was pregnant.

This is exactly why non-judgmental and easily accessible access to such medical procedures is so critical. I can only imagine what state she was in when she gave birth to something she had so thoroughly denied as being her reality.

prowomanprochoice.org said...

Well, well, I think this case and Mrozek's "thoughtful" commentary on it just show how much she and her sheep are "pro-woman."

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