You may have heard in the news a pregnant woman was murdered at her house last December. Her name was Cassie Kaake and she had nine weeks left to go before her baby was born. Before this unthinkable crime took place she was ecstatic to become a mother. She was crocheting blankets and planning her baby shower. In nine weeks she was going to have a daughter and was going to name her Molly. I know this because Cassie was my girlfriend and Molly, my daughter.
On the morning I was told they were dead – and had been murdered – my life fell apart. I could tell you more of the nightmare I’ve experience in the two months that followed, but I am still finding it difficult to put so much of it into context. One terrible aspect of this is my reason for reaching out to your group.
It has come to my realization that the person accused of the murder of Cassie and Molly will only be charge for Cassie’s death. In the eyes of our country’s law, Molly was not born yet so technically was not a person and therefore, the person responsible for taking her life will never be held accountable for his crime. It seems simple enough – justice is not being served and someone will be getting away with murder. Thus, a petition was started as public awareness has grown. I signed the petition and have written a letter to our MP and the Justice Minister of Canada.
This petition calls for the reconsideration of Bill C-484, which is an act to amend the criminal code in Canada. The summary of that amendment is this: “This enactment amends the Criminal Code by making it an offence to injure, cause the death of or attempt to cause the death of a child before or during its birth while committing or attempting to commit an offence against the mother.”
The bill passed its first vote in 2008, only to be struck down later due to opposition arguing that it was meant to “reopen the abortion debate.”
Fast-forward to the acts committed in December – the man accused of Cassie’s homicide cannot be charged with the death of our daughter. My concern here is that people seem to be tying the issue of accountability for Molly’s death into issues about abortion and a woman’s right to choose. The bill clearly states its intention to make it an offence to cause death while committing an offence against the mother.
It seems ridiculous to me that this is being turned into anything that has to do with abortion and woman’s right to choose the fate of her own reproductive system. This is about a third party committing a brutal and violent crime that took the option of choice from a woman and her baby. It is about a crime committed against a pregnant woman who was eager to bring her baby into the world that will go unpunished.
It seems to me the sentiment that has been handed down to us from our parliament is, “If you want to have protection for your fetus, that’s fine, but we’re going to take your right to choose away.”
Why is it one or the other? How can anyone that concerns themselves with woman’s rights buy into this implied ultimatum? Shouldn’t they be deeply offended and up in arms that they are to accept this as adequate justice and protection? Shouldn’t they be demanding full legal protection for the entire woman at her most vulnerable time, not just for her as if she was a man who has no reason for such biological consideration, but for a woman who chooses to carry, nurture and continue life?
In Canada, the government that represents us is 25% female. I have read through the parliament history of this bill and opposition is not necessarily gender specific. Maybe it is such a rare occurrence that this hole in our justice system is easily swept under the rug. Does that mean a woman and her child should not have such protection of the law?
To me, this is not about a woman’s right to choose, it is about a third party choosing to commit a homicidal act on a woman at her most vulnerable time. To let it become a discussion of when life begins is dismissive of justice and truth. Doesn’t anyone see that while we argue about it, someone is getting away with murder?
I am writing with the hopes that your group can become aware of this issue and help me to spread awareness. I have tried to consider my personal bias in regards to my provocations here, but I am truly bewildered that such injustice is being rationalized and accepted in the name of woman’s rights. I hope that you can discuss and possibly offer any insight into the questions that I have. I hope that you can see Cassie and Molly’s injustice as I do – an injustice to all women in Canada.