Joyce Arthur of the ARCC (Abortion Rights Coalition of Canada) has started a petition in an attempt to stop a law that would allow for legal recognition of a woman’s choice in the charges against those accused of harming or killing them while they are pregnant.
The petition opposes the one started by the family and friends of pregnant murder victim, Cassandra Kaake, which calls on law makers to recognize that forcing upon a pregnant woman the death or injury of her pre-born child is a violation of a woman’s right to protect and give life to that child.
The ARCC concludes that for the “greater good” we must discriminate against the choice of women like Cassandra Kaake, who have been harmed or killed while pregnant, and that those accused of such crimes should not receive any additional charges in respect to causation of death of their pre-born children.
In a statement opposing ‘Cassie and Molly’s Law’ or Bill C-225, the ARCC states, “we can’t let the passage of laws or administration of justice be driven by the grief and anger of victims or their families.”
They go on to surmise that, “The role of the criminal justice system is to keep public order and protect human rights for the benefit of all,” though they seem to have excluded Cassie along with every other murdered pregnant women from this benefit, not to mention their families and the statistical majority of Canadians that see this as injustice that needs to be addressed.
The ARCC continues to oppose every law that stands to protect and acknowledge crimes against pregnant women. In this regard, it stands contrary to the World Health Organization’s definition of reproductive rights which states, “include the right of all to make decisions concerning reproduction free of discrimination, coercion and violence.”
Maybe, most interestingly are the words that are not in the ARCC petition. The words CHOICE, JUSTICE, and FAMILY are not mentioned a single time.
Below is that petition along with highlighted responses to each point:
PETITION TO THE HOUSE OF COMMONS IN PARLIAMENT ASSEMBLED WE, THE UNDERSIGNED RESIDENTS OF CANADA, draw the attention of the House to the following:
THAT Bill C-225, An Act to amend the Criminal Code (injuring or causing the death of a preborn child while committing an offence), also known as “Cassie and Molly’s Law” and introduced in the House of Commons on February 23, 2016, would create a new Criminal Code offence: injuring or causing the death of a “preborn child” while committing a criminal offence against a pregnant woman;
– “while committing a criminal offence against a pregnant woman” – the only time this law can be utilized.
THAT the proposed “Cassie and Molly’s Law” conflicts with the Criminal Code, because it grants a type of legal personhood to fetuses, which are non-persons under the law;
-it does not grant “a type of legal personhood to the fetus” any more than a law against animal abuse grants personhood to a dog.
THAT giving any legal recognition to fetuses would necessarily compromise women’s established rights, and violate Supreme Court legal precedent that says a woman and her fetus are “physically one”;
– In reality, there are actually two lives that are taken when a pregnant woman is killed – to acknowledge this reality does not require that the definition of “human” to be changed – it only requires that we acknowledge the existence of a fetus when a woman is harmed or killed. Whether a woman has chosen to carry the life to term, or is yet to decide – the current laws are absent in respect to that choice belonging to her. Your argument requires that a woman’s choice should be separated from her. We argue that it is her choice should only ever belong to her.
Your line in the sand is in the wrong place. To draw it there is contrary any “choice” belonging to the woman.
THAT pregnant women being assaulted or killed is largely a domestic violence issue and “fetal homicide” laws elsewhere have done nothing to reduce domestic violence against pregnant women or their fetuses;
– In fact, Bill C-225 is NOT a fetal homicide law. Also, it is the result of cultural toxicity against women that because violence can be quantified as domestic it should therefore treated with less severity. This logic is harmful to women AND unjust.
THAT the proposed bill has no exemptions for pregnant women or those helping them in good faith, while in the U.S., hundreds of arrests of pregnant women have occurred under state fetal homicide laws, including some that make exemptions for the pregnant woman;
– Abortion in Canada is NOT a crime! To write in an exemption would be to imply that it was. And in that case, you would argue that it is criminalizing abortion. Come on Joyce! And again, this is NOT a fetal homicide law!
THAT the proposed “Cassie and Molly’s Law” is supported mostly by the anti-abortion movement, which would use it as leverage to re-criminalize abortion or pass restrictions;
– Are you kidding me? If the whole anti-abortion movement supported this it would have a lot more vocal support. Instead, we are trying to thread a needle here. On one hand, there is the “anti-abortion” movement that sees it does not suit their cause, and on the other hand, there are the “abortionists” – like you – that give priority to “abortion” rather than “choice”.
But the statistical overwhelming majority of Canadians support a law that would make it a crime to kill an unborn baby against the will of its mother. It is common sense and necessary regardless of any one and all ideologies pertaining to “pro-life” or “pro-choice”. Addressing this is about balance, it does not belong in either arena of extremist perspective.
For you to say, “Cassie and Molly’s Law is supported mostly by the anti-abortion movement” is a flat out lie. Tsk tsk, Joyce Arthur.
THAT the best way to protect fetuses is to provide pregnant women the supports and resources they need for a good pregnancy outcome, including protection from intimate partner violence.
– Agreed. But when violence does occur to a pregnant woman, we cannot overlook the reality of crimes perpetrated upon women them and their families. How can adequately dealing with such violence include overlooking the reality it represents to these women and their families? Not to mention the blatant disregard to the violation of their choice? There is not a law against killing an unborn baby against the will of a pregnant woman. By what stretch can that fact be conducive to “a good pregnancy outcome”?
THEREFORE your petitioners call upon the House of Commons to oppose the passage of Bill C-225 (“Cassie and Molly’s Law”).
To Joyce Arthur and her ARCC – It is not difficult to see that “choice” is not the priority of your organization. To continue to argue in its guise is a disservice to all Canadian women, not just the ones listed below.