Featured Image
 Aranga87/Getty Images

(LifeSiteNews) — On April 13, 2005, 19-year-old Katrina Effert secretly gave birth to a baby boy in the basement of her parents’ home in Wetaskiwin, Alberta. She then strangled the newborn child to death with her thong underwear and threw the corpse over the fence into her neighbor’s backyard.

On September 9, 2011, the CBC reported that Effert’s conviction for murder had been “downgraded” to infanticide, and she was sentenced merely to time served for improper disposal of a human corpse.

The judge stated that her decision was due in part to the fact that “while many Canadians undoubtedly view abortion as a less than ideal solution to unprotected sex and unwanted pregnancy, they generally understand, accept, and sympathize with the onerous demands pregnancy and childbirth exact from mothers, especially mothers without support.”

In short, a Canadian judge ruled – explicitly – that Katrina Effert had engaged in a very late-term abortion. Canadian law does not value human life just seconds before birth. Why should a young woman languish in jail for killing a human being seconds after birth?

When categories of killing are legalized, these sorts of arguments are inevitable.

In fact, another judge recently used very similar reasoning to sentence a retired Edmonton accountant to house arrest instead of jail after he killed his severely disabled wife, ruling that “caregiver burnout” reduced the murderer’s moral responsibility. Francois Belzile, age 75, received a two-year conditional sentence on May 20 for injecting his 69-year-old wife Christine with a lethal dose of insulin. Christine was a stroke survivor. Belzile then tried to kill himself.

But as the Edmonton Journal noted, Canada’s killing regime had an impact on the outcome of this case:

The case grappled with difficult issues including euthanasia and the rights of the severely disabled. On at least one occasion after his 2021 arrest, Belzile invoked the case of Robert Latimer, the Saskatchewan farmer convicted of second-degree murder for killing his severely disabled daughter.

Indeed, Belzile’s defence lawyer was explicit in stating that the murder could be described as “the compassionate shortening of the final step” and noting that social attitudes toward “assisted death” were changing. “The world has changed since Latimer,” the lawyer told the court, “at least in Canada.” The judge, it would seem, agreed with him.

As Amanda Achtman, a commentator who works with Canadian Physicians for Life, noted, “We have a moral catastrophe of epic proportions when ‘caregiver burnout’ becomes a legally acceptable excuse to murder the person in your care. Shocking and terrifying.” She’s right. Shocking, terrifying — and completely predictable.

In Canada, we have legislated the premises for murder. We can kill pre-born children up until moments before birth – but not after that, because killing in Canada is about location, location, location. The sick, the suffering, and very soon, the mentally ill can be euthanized upon request – and if some medical associations get their way, the involuntary euthanasia of severely disabled infants and assisted suicide for “mature minors” will be next. The Canadian government is in the killing business, and all the evidence suggests that this business will only expand in the coming months and years.

It stands to reason that Canada’s judges are looking at our killing regime and wondering: Why should the government endorse, facilitate, and fund the decapitation, dismemberment, and disembowelment of a baby in the womb at nearly 40 weeks but jail a young woman for strangling a slightly older child? If the government permits the suffering to receive lethal injections from doctors and uses soothing, deceitful euphemisms like “Medical Aid in Dying” to disguise what is happening, why should a struggling husband be faulted for doing the same thing to his disabled wife?

Featured Image

Jonathon Van Maren is a public speaker, writer, and pro-life activist. His commentary has been translated into more than eight languages and published widely online as well as print newspapers such as the Jewish Independent, the National Post, the Hamilton Spectator and others. He has received an award for combating anti-Semitism in print from the Jewish organization B’nai Brith. His commentary has been featured on CTV Primetime, Global News, EWTN, and the CBC as well as dozens of radio stations and news outlets in Canada and the United States.

He speaks on a wide variety of cultural topics across North America at universities, high schools, churches, and other functions. Some of these topics include abortion, pornography, the Sexual Revolution, and euthanasia. Jonathon holds a Bachelor of Arts Degree in history from Simon Fraser University, and is the communications director for the Canadian Centre for Bio-Ethical Reform.

Jonathon’s first book, The Culture War, was released in 2016.