First I want to thank We Need a Law for giving us this forum here today. I think it is vital to have all rational perspectives heard for the sake of fairness and balance. Without it, civility has no chance of advancing. It is especially important to consider those without a voice, and for that we should all be grateful for what they do. Regardless of anyone’s system of belief or political opinion, organizations such as We Need a Law and ARPA deserve our consideration and support…
I should tell you that I am not a public speaker. Please excuse me as I read from my prepared papers. This is very difficult but I’ll do my best.
I still find it very hard to speak of Cassie and Molly in past tenths.
It is difficult to find a way for me to say the same things that I’ve been saying – again and again. But I will – And I hope you will too, until these terrible flaws in our countries legal system can be fixed – so that no other families will ever have to go through this aspect of such a terrible nightmare again.
First, I want to tell you about Cassie. She was my friend and my lover. She’s who I spent the most time with in the last five years of my life. We worked together. We played together. And as couples do, we argued together. And all the while, for a time, we experienced life together.
The thing about Cassie, that I can’t seem to emphasize enough, is how eager she was to be a mother. I don’t think she even realized it until Molly was alive and growing inside of her. Molly wasn’t our plan. But it didn’t matter. She was life. And Cassie knew that – first and foremost. She was the changing landscape of our experience together. She was everything that we had left to learn. She was new eyes to look upon an old world with. She was our love and our future manifested.
But more importantly than any of that – Molly was a unique and individual person with a life and potential all of her own. We couldn’t know yet about the colour of her hair or what her toes would look like – not for another ten weeks at least – but she was there, in her mom’s belly, and in our hearts and our minds, and in this world. Physically thriving and emotionally and spiritually connected – and awaited for- by every single member of her family.
The time for any kind of choice had long passed. And if – in fact Molly was ever a choice – the choice had been made clear by the only person who could possibly have a right to it.
Cassandra Ashley Kaake.
Not only was I witness to that choice, I was witness to why it could be no other way. I heard the baby’s heart beating. I saw her move her mother’s belly. And I saw the joy on Cassie’s face to be experiencing every – one – of – these things.
At seven months pregnant she was a perfect picture of a pregnant woman. Healthy – round – proud – strong, – and eager. She was going to be an excellent mother. She knew it – and so did everybody around her.
But then world went dark. Darker than I knew it ever could. And it stayed that way. And it is that way.
But I am not here to speak about sadness.
I am here to speak about outrage.
There are many terrible absolutes that construct this unimaginable reality. But there are three in particular that I want to point out.
On their own they are just three appalling facts. But together, I think, they reveal a greater truth about our country – and what we as people have come to accept.
1 – There exists no reasonable argument or possibility – that the person responsible for the murder of Cassie did not know she was pregnant.
2 – There exists no reasonable argument or possibility – that the person responsible for this did not intend to kill both Cassie and the baby she carried.
3 – In Canada there exists – no law – against what this person did to our daughter.
To me, these three truths together are enough to illustrate just how far we as a society have strayed from decency and civility – and from justice and reality.
I can’t tell you how shocking and disgusting it is to know that there is someone out there that could have done this. I am sure you all can agree.
But for us, it is something we have to find context for every single day.
We are being followed by the darkest shadow. And somehow we have to find a way to live with it.
To not have our loss represented by the rules of society – not only makes it a difficult place to exist in, it makes it uncivilized and barbaric. This is not a question of ethics or beliefs. This is cold blooded murder and a world that is willing to turn a blind eye.
This was our family.
What is the purpose of justice?
Is it only to issue punishment? Shouldn’t it also be to provide solace and restitution to the victims by recognizing the criminal action against them?
By ignoring any part of the indignity suffered, we are denied the the ability to heal back into a civilized society – one that stands up for and protects against such unimaginable offences.
How did it get like this? How can a man that murders an unborn baby suffer no consequence for it? How can a woman’s choice be ripped away in a maniacal fit of violence – and the self-proclaimed defenders of such things remain silent?
The Abortion Rights Coalition of Canada claims to be a “voice for choice,” but where are they now? Where are the ones that so ardently defend a woman’s right to choose? Should they not be standing up and screaming for Cassie? For a woman whose choice was violently and intentionally ripped away from her?
As the accused hides in the shadow of law that is said was designed to be protect a woman’s rights and choice – they remain silent.
What about Cassie’s right to choose?
What about the choice that she made?
Molly Grace Kaake-Durham.
In 1991 Canada signed a binding agreement with the United Nations. It is called the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child.
One of the first things it clearly states is that a child needs “appropriate legal protection, before and after birth.”
And though Canada signed this binding agreement – there exists no criminal charge for a homicidal maniac taking the life of an unborn baby.
Should this not be the first basic and most basic interpretations of “appropriate legal protection? But there is not one – single law – in Canada to protect a child before birth.
And the truth is – we should all be embarrassed by the fact that our country is seriously lagging behind on the world stage when it comes to the rights of children.
And if our story isn’t proof of it, that then you are not looking at our story.
So how can we change this?
The only way any of this can ever change is with the efforts of our elected officials.
As of right now there are two Members of Parliament that have vowed their support to make it so that Molly can be seen as the victim of the violent crime that she was.
They are both members of the Conservative party. They are Mark Wawara of Abbotsford BC, and Jeff Watson of Essex.
They support Molly Matters.
On the other hand there are also MP’s that are willing to turn a blind eye to this terrible injustice. To them Molly Matters is a hot potato that they are afraid to handle.
Brian Masse of the NDP has said, “Creating such a law would be an unconstitutional infringement on women’s rights and would likely result in harms against pregnant women.”
Aside from being an absolute contradiction and regurgitation of fear mongering rhetoric – the NDP has a rule that you are not allowed to take a pro-life stance.
Though the reality this should have nothing to do with abortion politics, I can only assume Mr Masse fears losing his job or being kicked out of his party than to go out on a limb and stand up for Molly.
I deeply resent that. I deeply resent that someone so close to home can disregard such a profound tragedy with hardly a glance.
I resent that – for fear of challenging the status quo in the face of this blatant and profound tragedy, that anyone could choose to perpetuate the notion that it is better to do nothing – and that to punish such violent crimes against pregnant women and their babies would “infringe on the rights of women.”
Every single day I feel the shivers of fear – the ones that Cassie must have experienced. The fear was not only for her life – but for our daughters.
I think of the courage that it must have taken to protect Molly. And I know that she would have until her last breath…
To think that there are those who would not…
Every day I feel shivers of fear – and then I remind myself of Cassie’s courage.
On October 19th I will go to vote in the same church basement where Cassie and I last voted together.
Please do the same – and when you do remember that Molly matters.