From my earliest days of involvement in the pro-life educational movement I have waxed on and on about why we do not fight to have the term “child” in our Criminal Code include the pre-born Canadian. Section 223 (1) and (2) represent antiquated, outdated thinking which is contradicted to the utmost by scientific evidence of when our human lives have their origin and tender biological beginning. Way too many politicians have told me that “ now’ which currently stands for almost 35 years, is not the right time! As many, if not more of my pro-life colleagues of all stripes, political, educational, pregnancy support or pastoral pro-lifers have told me the same thing – let’s just address this bit by bit by regulation of abortion and that is the way it has gone. Our babies are still being killed by abortion to the number of over 5,5oo,ooo, since 1969 as far as the official numbers go. We know that there have been tens of thousands more, but the tragedy of this figure remains stark and appalling enough.

I direct you to recent happenings in the UK because I have a sense that we will be facing a similar attack here in Canada before long. As in the UK, Canada has licensed abortion by chemical, in a pill regimen known as Mifegymiso here, which now accounts for approximately 40% of all abortions. At first, the regulations for delivery of Mifegymiso appeared to be diligent and protective of the women’’s safety, the baby we wanted dead so no regulations except in timing. Within no time every precaution was lifted mostly, within discussions of “how safe the pill method was” and ‘women can be trusted” and of course the proverbial “my body my choice” red herring. As in the UK, a woman does not need to “see” a physician to access this chemical method of abortion and during the COVID lockdowns were “seen” via technology – how any health professional could have or can now know that a woman is within the permitted time frame of 9 weeks escapes me.

Why I believe the case in the UK is important is that Ms Foster was sentenced to 28 months in the relation to the chemical abortion death of her child after the legal limit of 10 weeks. The sentence was subsequently reduced to a 14month suspended sentence. Baby Lily was judged to be approximately 32-34 weeks gestation when she was killed. No sooner was the sentence announced than the UK abortion lobby began angry protests this culminated with a suggested amendment to the UK Criminal Justice Bill. Two amendments were discussed in November 2023 and were debated at committee stage on January 25th 2024, and then withdrawn. One amendment has now been introduced which suggests the “Removal of women from the criminal code law on abortion.” What this would do is make the UK law not apply to women’s actions pertaining to their own pregnancy right up to birth for any reason, and it would also negate the definition of “Child” in that circumstance. It would set up a two-tier approach regarding induced abortion. A woman could kill her baby via abortion herself up until birth, but those women undergoing abortions in facilities would have a 24 week gestational limit for “legal” abortions! I think you can see where this is going!

Also, the fact that the term “child” is applied in one circumstance but not another will be another focal point for the abortion lobby. While we have no law on induced abortion in Canada, the fact that we still have an antiquated legal approach to the definition of child, leaves us open to a similar strategy being applied here. The abortion lobby in England has misrepresented the statistics of women prosecuted in relation to induced abortion, but it is the rallying cry which will move the masses because they will not take the time to find out the truth.

So, the strategy has been, advocate at home medical abortions as simple and easy, protest the prosecution of a mother when she kills her child 22-24 weeks past the legal 10 week limit, as persecution. Promote supposed equality of women, by suggesting that illegal abortions should not be under the Criminal Law and deny the existence of the preborn child, by negating not only the national criminal code definition, but also the many International documents that specifically refer to the “child” in the womb.

In Canada we could face this similar strategy, partly because we as a pro-life movement have not fought the ridiculous definition in section 223.our Criminal Code, and partly because our Members of Parliament with the exception of one, have not had the courage to raise the issue over and over again in Parliament. The fact that we do not have the numbers to pass a law should not now or ever be the reason we stop demanding justice for our tiniest members of the human race. It is time to take this on in Canada all evidence supports our stance – it just needs us as a movement to believe!

Criminal Code of Canada – definition of a “child” I cannot think of enough words to describe this definition – “Antiquated, ignorant, unscientific, outdated, behind the times, outmoded, archaic, obsolete, antideluvian etc.”

When child becomes human being

  • 223 (1) A child becomes a human being within the meaning of this Act when it has completely proceeded, in a living state, from the body of its mother, whether or not
    • (a) it has breathed;
    • (b) it has an independent circulation; or
    • (c) the navel string is severed.
  • Marginal note:Killing child

(2) A person commits homicide when he causes injury to a child before or during its birth as a result of which the child dies after becoming a human being.

The UK story is below.

The tragic story of Carla Foster is a case in point.

 Ms. Foster acquired abortion pills by falsely telling a BPAS telephone operative that she was seven weeks pregnant. BPAS then sent her the pills without correctly confirming the gestation of the pregnancy, or ensuring her welfare, leading to the death of the unborn child, baby Lily, who was found to be between 32-34 weeks’ gestation. The pills by post policy resulted in an illegal and dangerous late-term abortion, exposed a traumatised woman to prosecution and left a fully viable baby dead.

None of this would have happened if Carla Foster had been seen and examined in person. It is noteworthy that organisations who advocated for the pills by post policy, which precipitated this tragedy, are now using it to call for decriminalisation. During the trial, several organisations, including the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists, and the Royal College of Midwives, were found to have lobbied the judge not to impose a custodial sentence. The judge slammed the letter as “inappropriate”, saying “it would be better if it had not been written at all”. He said it also “has the capacity to be seen as special pleading by those who favour wider access to abortions and is, in my judgment, just as inappropriate, as it would be for a judge to receive a letter from one of the groups campaigning for more restrictive laws”.

In addition, abortion provider BPAS, who had failed to properly treat Ms Foster, launched a campaign website, with a mechanism to contact MPs calling for decriminalisation, within minutes of her sentencing. The crux of the issue lies not in the existing abortion law, then, but rather in a recent policy alteration in 2020, DIY  home abortion, which enabled these illicit later-term abortions.

Imagine if this Supreme Court was Canada’s?