Posted by Jeff Durham | Posts

What seems to be the failure of either side of those arguing for or against abortion is consideration for the 37-42 weeks between when a baby is conceived and when it is born. Those arguing – from either side – seem to frame their opinion as if it were a light switch that can only be either on or off.

This extreme stance, from either side of the argument, requires omitting the perspective of either the mother or her child, and ultimately results in pitting one against the other.

There are nine and a half months – where one person becomes two – and every moment is biologically and emotionally different from the next.

The human experience in this time, for either the woman or the child, is not a light switch. It is not black and white. To treat it as such – the way our criminal law does – is unrealistic. The result is to veer away from a potential societal standard that more accurately and simultaneously considers both the reality of the woman and her child.

How can our standards be so flawed that it remains legal for a violent criminal to murder an unborn baby – even when the baby’s life is perfectly viable, and even when it was the clear choice of the mother to carry the child to term?

How can it be that these voices, even in this situation, continue to make it woman vs. baby – mother vs. child?

This should not be the case in an unborn victim of crime law. This is not the case for Cassie and Molly. Yet the ardent voices of both sides insist unreasonably that such a thing is inseparable from either end of the ‘all or nothing’ stance.

The result of this muddying of fact is distraction from the blatant and undeniable injustice at the heart of the issue: a baby was murdered along with her mother whose choice it was to love and nurture her. It was absolutely the intention for the killer to kill both, and it is absolute that the killer will only ever be charged for the murder of one.

This is not a discussion of when life begins. Nor is it the case that woman’s rights will be set back to before there were legal abortions.

To claim either is to betray reality and to promote inaction in the face of this terrible injustice. This is an offence to both a woman’s choice and her unborn child’s life.

How can anyone that concerns themselves with either be willing to forego justice only because the opposing argument stands to benefit just as much as their own?  This is myopic and selfish to a profound degree.

To drag it into the usual arena where it is endlessly argued that the ‘light switch’ can only be ‘on’ or ‘off’ will result in the continuation of these three uniquely Canadian facts:

-What we refer to as a ‘woman’s choice’ is not truly hers.

-An unborn baby’s life is not legally protected from blatant acts of criminal violence and this leaves both the mother and the child vulnerable.

-An individuals who commits such violent crimes against a woman will go unpunished regardless of the full impact/reality of their chosen criminal actions.

Whatever side you stand on in your opinion about abortion politics, please find the wisdom to see that an unborn victims of crime law is imperative to protecting both a woman’s choice and the life of her child.

We have the ability with language to do better for both. It is time to put your conventional argument on hold and consider choice and life as one when it is violently torn away by the bloodied hands of a criminal who should have no right to either.


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5 thoughts on ““Pro-Choice” or “Pro-Life” – Your Opinion Does Not Matter Here

  1. Jeff Durham says:

    Jakki Jeffs,

    The primary objective of the effort we call Molly Matters is to have the Canadian judicial system acknowledge when an unborn child is murdered in an act of homicide perpetuated against the mother.

    You say, “I cannot support any effort which denies the justice we crave for Molly to other little ones.”

    I think that the premise of your stance is akin to letting the ones around you starve, even though you have food to offer, just so your opinion can have greater weight in your fight for world hunger.

    Unlike yourself, we are not denying nourishment to anyone, but our objective of feeding the ones nearest is by far a more realistic goal.

    I am quite certain that your opinion on “our ability to think clearly” is based on your opinion alone.

    The fact of the matter is though, yours is not the only opinion that plays into this.

    And it is my opinion that your logic is flawed.

    Regardless of your opinions or logic, there is a difference between what is abortion and what is homicide. Just because your reasoning and will direct you to ignore it – it does not mean it can’t be seen by others.

    I am sorry that you cannot support our cause. It is truly a pity that you can’t give an inch for Molly Matters because you are holding out for the whole mile of your own ideal.

    Good luck with your cause.

  2. Jeff Durham says:

    I would urge you to consider this – one way that would allow abortions to remain legal, yet legally protect a woman and her child is to implement a law that does not give an unborn child legal personhood.

    This has already been done in the criminal code regarding animal abuse and dead bodies. An example of such a law is the proposed Bill C-484. It does not give an unborn baby legal personhood, yet addresses harm to an unborn baby in an act of violence against the mother.

    It was very carefully drafted to not hinder the rights of a woman to choose her own reproductive fate, yet acknowledges the crime against her choice and her baby’s life when it is violently torn away by the bloodied hands of a criminal who should have no right to either.

    We are not trying to address the deeper issues that you are pointing out. What we are doing is trying to thread the needle so that this aspect of such a horrible crime against women, their babies, and the families affected does not continue to be ignored in the charges against those capable of committing such crimes.

    It is exactly the vortex of the debate you raise that needs to be avoided so that a substantive action can be taken to consider these circumstances when it is not an abortion by definition, but in fact a homicide.

    Is it a perfect solution? Maybe not. Is it better than continuing to let such criminals get away with this aspect of their crime? Yes.

    There is one more thing I often fail to mention though it plays a very large role for those directly affected by such a tragedy. Restorative justice – there exists none without a law that considers the life of the family member we will never get to meet.

    Should that matter?

    I hope that people like you will begin to offer realistic solutions to this problem instead of merely pointing out its flaws.

    Thank you for your condolences.

  3. jakki jeffs says:

    Dear Jeff, I have not previously commented on this site but I feel compelled to do so after this new post. Firstly, my sincere condolences for your loss of Cassie and Molly in this horrendous and tragic way.

    I would urge you to consider the following.

    Prior to 1969 in Canada every child in the womb whether wanted or not was protected from any attack by Section 195 (2), Chapter 51 of the Statutes of Canada which stated. “A person commits homicide when he causes injuries to a child before or during its birth as a result of which the child dies”

    This would have protected Molly, and her murderer would have faced charges regarding her death if it were still in place now.

    However,in 1969 five words were added which meant that our Criminal Code abandoned all protection of babies before birth. These words were added to accommodate the new abortion law and they were “after becoming a human being”.

    The section which is now CC 223(2) reads “A person commits homicide when he causes injuries to a child before or during its birth as a result of which the child dies after becoming a human being”

    A child has now to be born and then die before the perpetrator would be accused of homicide. Therefore it was the quest for induced abortion or “women’s choice” that actually caused our law to abandon it’s protection of every child’s life before birth. Sadly this excluded your beloved Molly along with all other wanted or unwanted children.

    While you may say that pro-life or pro-choice opinions do not matter here – it was the very demand for abortion and acquiescence of government which robbed Molly and every other child in the womb, since 1969, of any legal protection.

    The law does not discriminate between a beloved child and an unwanted child. While I truly do understand what you are trying to argue – you are in fact wrong. Our law would never differentiate between wantedness and unwantedness and therefore it is all protection or none.

    Those who strive for abortion choice will never allow some children to be protected because the argument is so easily made for all children. The child does not change – it is the attitude of the parents to their child which changes. This would be too dangerous for abortion advocates.

    1. Kristine Davies says:

      That is a great argument, however are you suggesting that we are not as smart as the United States to adopt a bill that protects the fetus and still the rights of woman. see below.

      The Unborn Victims of Violence Act of 2004 (Public Law 108-212) is a United States law which recognizes a child in utero as a legal victim, if they are injured or killed during the commission of any of over 60 listed federal crimes of violence. The law defines “child in utero” as “a member of the species Homo sapiens, at any stage of development, who is carried in the womb”.[1]

      The law is codified in two sections of the United States Code: Title 18, Chapter 1 (Crimes), §1841 (18 USC 1841) and Title 10, Chapter 22 (Uniform Code of Military Justice) §919a (Article 119a).

      The law applies only to certain offenses over which the United States government has jurisdiction, including certain crimes committed on federal properties, against certain federal officials and employees, and by members of the military. In addition, it covers certain crimes that are defined by statute as federal offenses wherever they occur, no matter who commits them, such as certain crimes of terrorism.

      Because of principles of federalism embodied in the United States Constitution, federal criminal law does not apply to crimes prosecuted by the individual states. However, 38 states also recognize the fetus or “unborn child” as a crime victim, at least for purposes of homicide or feticide.[2]

      The legislation was both hailed and vilified by various legal observers who interpreted the measure as a step toward granting legal personhood to human fetuses, even though the bill explicitly contained a provision excepting abortion, stating that the bill would not “be construed to permit the prosecution” “of any person for conduct relating to an abortion for which the consent of the pregnant woman, or a person authorized by law to act on her behalf”, “of any person for any medical treatment of the pregnant woman or her unborn child” or “of any woman with respect to her unborn child.”

      However, the reticence of a federal law to authorize federal prosecution of a particular act committed under federal jurisdiction does not prevent states from passing their own laws against the act committed under their jurisdiction. Meanwhile the definition of all unborn babies as “members of the species homo sapiens” in section (d) says essentially what proposed “personhood” laws say.[3] Sponsors of such proposals say such legal language will trigger the “collapse” clause in Roe v. Wade, by establishing what Roe said must be established for legal abortion to end. [4] Several state supreme courts have ruled that sections (a) through (c) are not threatened by Roe, [5] but no court has addressed whether Roe can survive the triggering of its “collapse” clause by section (d).

      The bill contained the alternate title of Laci and Conner’s Law after the California mother (Laci Peterson) and fetus (Conner Peterson) whose deaths were widely publicized during the later stages of the congressional debate on the bill in 2003 and 2004 (see Scott Peterson and Laci Peterson). Scott Peterson was convicted of double homicide under California’s fetal homicide law.

      1. jakki jeffs says:

        Dear Kristine,

        Your comment that I was “suggesting we are not as smart as the United States” is incorrect. I believe that Canada is not as “schizophrenic” as the United States with regard to these kind of laws. Unlike the United Sates, Canadian women do not have a “right” to induced abortion, although it is tolerated, and children prior to birth have no legal protection.

        I understand that this site is totally focused on little Molly and therefore do not wish to detract from Jeff’s intent.

        However, it appears that me that we are losing our ability to think clearly. How rational is it to provide legal protection for any human being based on what others feel about them?

        I am very familiar with Bill C484 and with the situation in the US. While I would work a lifetime to help get justice for Molly, I cannot support any effort which denies the justice we crave for Molly to other little ones. Protection for all children before birth is the answer. Strike the words “after becoming a human being” in section 223(2)of the Criminal Code and we have justice for all the children before birth.

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