Patrick Craine

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Illegal to conceal body of post-viability baby: Ontario court

Patrick Craine

December 21, 2010 (LifeSiteNews.com) – The Ontario Court of Appeal ruled this month that it is illegal for a woman to conceal the body of her deceased child, if he or she is born after the point of “viability.”

The decision came in the case of Ivana Levkovic, a former prostitute who has admitted to hiding her daughter’s body in April 2006.  The body of the child, who was at or near full-term, was discovered by cleaning staff in a bag on the balcony of a vacated apartment.

After the discovery gained media attention, Levkovic approached police and admitted the child was hers.  She said she had fallen, and the baby was born in the apartment, and that she then put the baby in the bag.

She was charged under a Criminal Code provision that prohibits concealing the body of a child who has died, whether the death occurred before, during, or after birth.

But she was let off in 2008 when Judge Casey Hill of the Ontario Superior Court ruled that it was unconstitutionally vague to apply the law to children who died before birth.  He noted that the law preceded the legalization of abortion.

On December 7th, the Court of Appeal disagreed and ordered a new trial for Levkovic.

According to the court, the law against concealment of the child’s body applies when that child could survive outside the womb under appropriate care.  “A foetus becomes a child when it (the foetus) has reached a stage in its development when, but for some external event or other circumstances, it would likely have been born alive,” wrote Justice David Watt in the 3-0 decision.

Gwen Landolt, national vice-president of REAL Women Canada, praised the court for recognizing the respect owed to Levkovic’s child, but said the ruling highlights the poor logic behind Canada’s acceptance of abortion-on-demand.  “If she had had an abortion, she would have no legal liability,” Landolt pointed out.  “But because the child was born, she’s legally liable.  It just makes no sense.”

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