‘After-birth abortion’? Judge lets woman walk after drowning her newborn
KAMLOOPS, B.C., December 2, 2016 (LifeSiteNews) — A woman who drowned her newborn baby so that she could get to an exam at Kamloops' Thompson Rivers University just got two years’ probation from a sympathetic provincial court judge because she claimed the baby was the result of a sexual assault.
“You can hardly even call this a slap on the wrist,” said Jack Fonseca of the Campaign Life Coalition. “The same excuses used to justify abortion are now being applied to justify the murder of children after birth. I think it can be argued that this judge is decriminalizing child murder through the back door, by precedent.”
Crown prosecutor Will Burrows told the court that Courtney Saul, now 19, gave birth to a baby boy, whom she named George Carlos, in the morning of December 15 in the bathroom of her basement apartment in Kamloops. “She held the baby for some time, but she had an exam that day. Because she had the exam, she didn’t know what to do. She finally decided she should drown the baby. She did that in the sink and then she went to her exam.”
But first she put the body in a box, the box in a backpack and the backpack in the trunk of her car, intending to bury it in her hometown of Lillooet. But three weeks later she loaned the car to a friend who was involved in a collision, when George Carlos’s corpse was discovered by police.
Saul confessed to police, admitting she had not known she was pregnant until well on in the pregnancy, and claimed it must have been the result of a sexual assault while she was dead drunk at a party.
Saul was first charged with infanticide, then second-degree murder, but this was later reduced back to infanticide, which applies when the mother has a “disturbed mind.” It can draw up to five years imprisonment.
In sentencing, Judge Len Marchand noted that Saul was remorseful but called what she did “an abhorrent act and it was inflicted on a vulnerable and completely helpless person.”
On the other hand, he said the crime was mitigated by her lack of a criminal record and the way she got pregnant.
Her defence lawyer admitted, it was “a tragedy in all senses of the word,” but claimed she “is not a risk to anybody.” “In terms of punishment, there’s no punishment greater than the guilt and remorse she feels,” the lawyer said.
"We’re quickly progressing towards the brave new world of after-birth abortions," said Campaign Life Coalition's Fonseca. "I suspect it’s very likely that Ms. Saul has been so indoctrinated by our liberal media culture to accept abortion, that she truly didn’t see a moral difference between the 'illegal' post-birth murder and the legal pre-birth killing."
“This sentence is sickening,” he continued. “Societal acceptance of abortion is leading to the acceptance of infanticide, both in individuals like this young B.C. woman, and in the judge who let her free, as well as throughout the rest of society, thanks to the teaching power of the law.”
The infanticide law—or the way it has been interpreted by the courts—has drawn criticism from the Alberta attorney general in the previous Progressive Conservative government. He argued the “disturbed mind” clause provided too broad a loophole to women who kill their newborns and asked the Supreme Court of Canada to define it.
In 2011 the Alberta appeals court gave a woman a three-year-suspended sentence for killing her newborn baby in the basement bathroom of her parents’ home in 2005. In the interim she was twice convicted of murder but both judgements were overthrown. The second time the murder finding was reduced to infanticide, the appeal judge justified the decision by citing the sympathy Canadians felt for young women with an unexpected pregnancy as demonstrated by their approval of abortion.
“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," wrote Judge Joanne Veit. “Naturally, Canadians are grieved by an infant’s death, especially at the hands of the infant’s mother, but Canadians also grieve for the mother."