Posted by Jeff Durham | Posts

I have seen groups that say they exist for the sole purpose of admonishing and protecting against “violence committed on women” take one look at this very specific form of gender based violence and turn away.

I have seen the very people who proclaim to be the protectors of “choice” not only disregard Cassie’s, but do anything to stand in the way of any protection for it. I have watched as they treated Cassie and women like her as sacrificial lambs – as if their choice did not deserve protecting – as if, in their cases, it’s ok that the choice did not belong to them.

I have watched as these people do nothing to address the underlying false perception that women have to barter their rights for their own protection and for protection of what they choose. In fact – I’ve watched many of them encourage and nurture this lie.

The NDP says because violence is usually domestic our law should treat it with less severity. To them Cassie was an “exception” and her choice was one that should be discriminated against. Our very own MPs of Windsor/Essex were amongst this group. They did nothing to stand up for Cassie and Molly and our families.

The Liberals simply refuse to acknowledge that there is problem here. To them a pregnant woman is no different than one who isn’t. The Liberals are especially great at talking about choice – but when it came to protecting what choice truly is – one option or the other – they balked at the opportunity to do something substantive to actually safeguard it.

Parliamentarians treated the bill as if this was a partisan issue. They treated it as if convenience was their primary objective. They dismissed the poignant reality that it is not a chargeable offense to terminate a woman’s pregnancy against her will. They played politics. They avoided the issue. They stayed comfortable while we suffered.

Politics may be the tool with which we determine how we deal with the truth, but the existence of that truth is not determined by politics. Truth exists independently of politics – and they betrayed it at every turn.

What remains true of Canada is that a dog has more legal protection than the child a woman chooses to bring into this world – and those who harm or kill the baby she chose will continue to enjoy the immunity that our Criminal Code gives them when they’ve murdered a woman who is pregnant.

I am sick to my stomach having watched our elected Canadian government voting to ignore the crime that has occurred to my friend, my daughter, me, and our families. A killer will not be held accountable for this reality of his crime – this crime against my family.

But, only one third of our sitting government were allowed to vote freely. There was little question of that. The rest followed the orders of the leader – the very leaders that, if they opened their own mail, held Molly’s clothes in their own hands – the leaders that had access to the truth of Bill C-225 but chose to ignore it.

Women are being murdered – women who are weeks away from giving birth – women who are especially vulnerable because they chose to have a baby – women who are four times more likely to have a violent crime committed against them – and the collective government of Canada remains steadfast in their refusal to even allow a conversation about it.

How can this be about what political party you belong to?

There is another court date on tomorrow that we’ll have to sit through knowing that Cassie’s rights as a woman are being ignored in the charges against her accused killer – our daughter’s life is being ignored – and only one third of the people who we elected to create laws in Canada see this as a problem they are willing stand up for.

I wish the other two thirds had to sit through this process with us. I bet it wouldn’t be so easy then to look the other way.

I am inclined to say that there has never been a clearer example that something more must be done… but what about Olivia Talbot? What about Asyun Sesen, Elham Dashti, and Roxanne Fernando? What about all of the other Canadian women who were murdered when they were pregnant?

It’s not just the families of these murdered pregnant women who see a problem – it’s the majority of pro-choice Canadians.  But just like the petitions, they were willing to overlook their voices too.

I will at some point do my best to objectively dissect what exactly was revealed by the outcome of this vote. I have no doubt that the facts of this Parliament’s conclusion will be very telling when compared to election promises and the integrity of platforms, but right now all I feel is the indignity bestowed upon Cassie, Molly, and our families – by the killer, by the system, and by the very organizations that claim they exist to protect women and their rights.

For now – we will focus on the court proceedings, and try to subside on the crumbs of justice our discriminatory system has to offer to the victims of the most unspeakable crimes.

Second Debate:

Parliamentary Vote:

Who voted and how:


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