‘No jail time’ infanticide case provokes Canadian politicians to demand abortion restrictions
OTTAWA, Ontario, October 20, 2011 (LifeSiteNews.com) - In a rare display, two Canadian politicians in both the Senate and the House of Commons have called on Parliament to enact restrictions on abortion after the recent case where an Alberta woman was let off with no jail time for strangling her newborn son.
On September 9th, the Alberta Court of Queen’s Bench justified giving Katrina Effert a suspended sentence by arguing that Canada’s absence of a law on abortion signals Canadians’ sympathy for the mother in the case of infanticide.
Sen. Gerry St. Germain told Canada’s Senate on September 28 that the judge’s rationale “highlights what may result when Parliament chooses not to deal with issues of morality.” He called the rationale “disturbing” and said it sets a “troubling precedent.”
“When we choose not to debate and deal with these issues of morality, we risk losing respect for the sanctity of life and other common values,” the Progressive Conservative senator explained.
“Honourable senators, it is our duty to preserve the integrity of our society and to ensure that the most vulnerable get the protection that they need,” he added.
Continuing, the senator said Parliament has “chosen not to provide the necessary direction that is needed to protect the interests and the values of our society,” and has elected to pass such moral issues “to our justice system to figure out by using laws that are vague and, in the case of abortion, do not exist at all.”
At the same time, Conservative MP Brad Trost has insisted that his pledge to take a more “aggressive” stance against abortion, issued in response to the federal government’s decision to fund the International Planned Parenthood Federation, will also involve efforts to limit abortion domestically.
Asked by CBC’s Evan Solomon on September 28 whether his pledge is restricted to IPPF’s funding, Trost said, “I think it will probably expand, and I think the reason that it will expand has to do with a ruling on infanticide that came down from an Edmonton judge a few weeks ago, where the judge stated that punishment for infanticide should not be that severe because Canada has no rules regarding abortion.”
Trost said he plans to run petitions and perhaps other campaigns to make people aware of the ruling and its implications.
He also argued that the government itself had re-opened the abortion debate by funding IPPF in direct violation of its promise not to fund abortion overseas.
“The Canadian government should take a position that’s at least moderate rather than the extreme left position that we’re taking,” he urged.
“I don’t think the government takes an actively left-wing position, but the government has taken an apathetic position toward it, and I don’t feel that that’s appropriate. I feel it’s a human rights, a civil rights issue that needs to be addressed,” he continued.
Asked if he would oppose abortion even in cases of rape, Trost insisted that he is pro-life “across the board.”
Prime Minister Stephen Harper
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