Beliefnet News

A Canadian judge, noting that a majority of Canadians support  unrestricted abortion, has freed a woman who strangled her newborn son.

Katrina Effert of Wetaskiwin, Alberta gave birth secretly in her parents’ downstairs bathroom, then killed the boy and threw his body over a fence.  She was 19 at the time. She told the court that she was worried that her parents would become alarmed by the baby’s cries. They were unaware of her pregnancy. When the baby’s death was investigated, she initially told police she was a virgin.

Friday, she received a three-year suspended sentence from Justice Joanne Veit of the Alberta Court of Queen’s Bench.  As a result, she was able to walk out of court, though she will have to abide by certain conditions. The judge earlier had heard testimony that while jailed, Effert had suffered abuse from fellow inmates who had a low regard for “baby killers.”

Veit ruled that because Canada has no abortion laws reflects 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.”

Abortion in Canada is not addressed by the law — resulting in unrestricted, on-demand abortions up until the baby is born. The Criminal Law Amendment Act, 1968-69 specifically decriminalized abortion, as long as a committee of doctors signed off that it was necessary for the physical or mental well-being of the mother. Even that requirement was thrown out by Canada’s Supreme Court in 1988.

Polls show that a majority of Canadians believe abortion should remain legal, according to the Montreal Gazette newspaper.

Appalled by the decision, Jim Hughes, national president of Canada’s Campaign Life Coalition told LifeSiteNews:

“We live in a country where there is no protection for children in the womb right up until birth and now this judge has extended the protection for the perpetrator rather than the victim, even though the child is born and as such should be protected by the court.”  

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