Joined: 12 February 2008
Andre Schutten, legal counsel for ARPA Canada, noticed the numbers and blogged about them recently.
The blog Run with Life has reported that, from 2000 to 2009, 491 babies have been born alive following a failed abortion procedure, and subsequently left to die. And those are only the ones that are recordedby Statistics Canada.
The blog explains that "there were 491 abortions, of 20 weeks gestation and greater, that resulted in live births. This means that the aborted child died after it was born. These abortions are coded as P96.4 or 'Termination of pregnancy, affecting fetus and newborn'."
The question that should immediately present itself is, why has there not been 491 homicide investigations or prosecutions in connection with these deaths? Section 223(2) of the Criminal Code (the accompanying subsection to the now infamous subsection that Mr. Woodworth's motion 312 was examining) reads "A person commits homicide when he causes injury to a child before or during its birth as a result of which the child dies after becoming a human being." That is to say, anyone who interferes with a pregnancy such that the child dies after it is born alive due to that interference, is guilty of homicide.
So again, why have there been no criminal prosecutions? Why no outcry? And why are the provinces funding this explicitly criminal activity?
Some might argue that these procedures need to be protected in order to protect women's health. Those who defend such actions or procedures are undoubtedly grasping at the defense for the crime listed in 238(1). Subsection 238(2) provides this defence: "This section does not apply to a person who, by means that, in good faith, he considers necessary to preserve the life of the mother of a child, causes the death of that child."
However, this defense does not apply to section 223(2); it only applies to section 238(1). That section states "Every one who causes the death, in the act of birth, of any child that has not become a human being, in such a manner that, if the child were a human being, he would be guilty of murder, is guilty of an indictable offence and liable to imprisonment for life." (Which is, incidentally, another section that is not prosecuted or investigated enough.)
The lack of prosecution demonstrates two things: first, that political correctness surrounding the abortion issue trumps common sense, common decency and the rule of law; and second, that those who advocate for this type of behaviour are truly pro-abortion and not pro-choice. Let me explain: the only defense that could possibly justify such a procedure would be to save the life of the mother. But note well that in order to save the life of the mother a physician would only need to end the pregnancy ' and that can happen, at this late stage of pregnancy, with either a live, albeit premature, baby or a dead baby. If the terminated pregnancy results in a human being dying after birth, it is because that death was the end goal; saving the life of the baby's mother was only a pretext.
Our provinces need to stop funding this criminal behaviour. Our police need to start investigating this criminal behaviour. Our society needs to stop tolerating this behaviour. And our politicians need to keep discussing this behaviour.
The Born Alive Infants Protection Act in the United States, signed into law by pro-life President George W. Bush, protects such babies in the U.S. and it came into existence after pro-life nurse Jill Stanek noticed babies born alive and left to die at his Chicago-area hospital.
This issue is still controversial given that pro-abortion President Barack Obama repeatedly failed to support the bill approved in the Illinois legislature to provide appropriate medical care and protection for such babies.
Mary Spaulding Balch, J.D., director of the National Right to Life Office of State Legislation,says the issue is still a concerned both in the U.S. and worldwide.
Balch said a Feb. 23, 2012, article entitled "After Birth Abortion: Why Should the Baby Live?" promoting after-birth abortions and published in the international Journal of Medical Ethics shows where medical ethic is headed.
"The fact that they put an article in this kind of a journal means the issue is on the rise," Balch said. "It used to be whispered. Now it's out there in black in white."
In the Journal article, the authors argue that "killing a newborn should be permissible in all the cases where abortion is [permissible], including cases where the newborn is not disabled."
Is the fetus equivalent to a human being and should terminating it be termed equivalent to murder?
When do you feel life begins? When does person-hood begin? Conception, 2nd trimester, birth etc?
Should the potential right of a potential person be counted over that of the woman?
What are the circumstances when abortion can be deemed permissible?
Do you support abortion after the first trimester?
Should people be tried by the court in such cases?
What kind of legal punishment would you prescribe for people involved (based on the above article)?
Joined: 24 September 2007
Joined: 21 February 2008
Nice topic and good questions raised BTV !
Q1. Is the fetus equivalent to a human being and should terminating it be termed equivalent to murder?
A foetus is a potential human being whose chances of survival increase with its gestational age. There's no agreement in medicine, philosophy or theology as to what stage of foetal development should be associated with the right to life.
Q. 2. When do you feel life begins? When does person-hood begin? Conception, 2nd trimester, birth etc?
Its very difficult to say where and when one life begins and the other ends !
I would say that a life takes on a form the moment the prospective parent starts wishing for it :) However, A more practical approach would be to consider a life as an individual once the offspring has emerged and separated from its mother's body and its vital organs have started functioning independently.
Q. 3. Should the potential right of a potential person be counted over that of the woman?
No.. A person who is living should be given priority over someone who could potentially live (as far as pro-life goes)
Q. 5. What are the circumstances when abortion can be deemed permissible?
When the continuation of pregnancy may be a threat to the mother's health ( not necessarily life) it should be permissible for a qualified doctor to conduct an abortion under the legal provisions if the mother expresses such a wish.
Q.6. Do you support abortion after the first trimester?
It makes more sense to take precautions and prevent unwanted pregnancies. However, abortion may have to be resorted to on health grounds of the mother or the child.
Abortion (medical as well as surgical) should not be taken lightly. It has many attendant risks which increase with the duration of pregnancy.
1st trimester pregnancy ( less than 12 weeks) terminations are comparatively safer, easier to perform, less psychologically taxing.
2nd trimester pregnancy ) (13-28weeks) terminations are more risky, complicated, need considerably more expertise on the part of the doctor , psychologically more taxing as the foetus now takes on an increasingly human form . Most mothers would be able to feel foetal movements around 16-20 weeks and taking a decision to abort after that could be psychologically very traumatic for the mother.
However should circumstances warrant a termination even after first trimester under no circumstances should one's "pro-life stance" make one sacrifice a living mother's life for a potential life that may or may not survive once separated from her body.. One needs to think more deeply as to what exactly is pro life. The incident of the Indian dentist in Ireland who lost her life due to septicaemia as she was denied termination of her 17 week pregnancy inspite of a miscarriage all because of the Irish pro life stance is still quite fresh and seeking justice from the Irish Govt and Human Rights commission.
The MTP Act 1971 of India requires the approval of at least two registered medical practitioners in order to conduct any abortion beyond 12 weeks of gestation. The Act permits abortion only upto 20 weeks of gestation . Considering the risks involved at later gestational age restriction placed seems quite reasonable. Certain health conditions of the mother may need an early termination of pregnancy beyond 20 weeks . In such a case depending on the gestation period and viability of the foetus all facilities of a well equipped neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) that is available and accessible must be provided to the live born foetus to increase the chances of survival.
It is debatable whether detection of congenital defect in the foetus at this late stage should be permissible grounds for terminating pregnancy especially where interventional intra-uterine correction facilities are readily available.
Q. 7. Should people be tried by the court in such cases?
If it is proved that undue pressure was applied on the mother either by the father, relatives or the doctor ( unless for reasons of her health) then they should be tried by the court.
It is common for the abortions conducted at 20 weeks and beyond to result in a live birth but in most cases that does not guarantee survival beyond a few hours. The survival chances are greater as the age of the foetus advances. For a rough idea you could refer to this:
Completed weeks of gestation At birth --- Chance Of Survival
21 weeks and less ---------- 0%
22 weeks ------------------ 0-10%*
23 weeks ------------------ 10-35%
24 weeks ------------------ 40-70%
25 weeks ------------------ 50-80%
26 weeks ------------------ 80-90%
27 weeks ------------------ >90%
30 weeks ------------------ >95%
34 weeks ------------------ >98%
* Most babies at 22 weeks are not resuscitated because survival without major disability is so rare.
* The chances of survival diminish further without adequate nursery or NICU facilities at affordable rates.
The medical practitioners would be required to follow the legal provisions of the country.
Health care providers- ( could be tried for misinformation, breach of legal provisions , ethics) They get tried for non disclosure of information It is debatable as to how much disclosure of information would be considered reasonable to avoid a litigation.
Q.8. What kind of legal punishment would you prescribe for people involved (based on the above article)?
Lot of issues involved here. Personal freedom, duties and responsibilities , accountability , feasibility , availability of medical facilities, facilities for caring for unwanted newborns, their accessibility, affordability , awareness level of general population, and possible misuse of any laws framed all need to be considered.
Joined: 12 February 2008
Joined: 21 February 2008
^^ Seeing the response generated by the sex related topics on DM I too had expected a better reception to this topic but then this is more about the possible consequences . Now that the spam topics have been cleared hopefully it would get a better reception
The laws regarding abortion varies in different parts of the world but most countries have legalized abortion upto 20 weeks.
Let us look at a scenario where a legal abortion is not an option-
It is not going to deter unwanted pregnancies so they would have only two options-
- Approach people with doubtful credentials posing a serious risk to the health and life of the
- Continue with the pregnancy
The first option is way too risky. Person may end with a blotched up abortion , infection, perforation of uterus, bleeding or death.
Second option could be too traumatic for a person who may be emotionally too ill prepared to go through the changes that pregnancy and later motherhood would entail. There could be social and financial problems too that make this proposition very impractical.
Unless there are adequate facilities for the care of the newborn baby it amounts to forcing the baby to a life of neglect. In case the girl cannot or does not want to take the responsibility of bringing up the child who takes over that responsibility and to what extent?
Point to be noted is that the prematurely delivered ( less than 23 weeks) baby is incapable of surviving outside the uterus with the technology available right now. Once the decision to expel it before it attains the age of viability is taken it spells death knell for the foetus whether its heart beat stopped before, during or a lttle while after it was completely expelled.
Assuming it gets legally termed as murder , who should face conviction for it?
- The mother who requested for it
- The people who influenced her decision for it
- The qualified doctor who undertook it to save her the tauma and risks that could have otherwise ensued
- Any other
@ Summer - Perhaps you would like to answer this one as you advocated caning and hanging of the criminals
Joined: 03 December 2005
Joined: 21 February 2008
Joined: 03 December 2005
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