Arianna Goberdhan, nine months pregnant, was murdered on Friday, April 7th, 2017. Durham police found her badly beaten body in her home in Ontario. Her baby did not survive.
“Tragically, two horrific deaths will result in only a single charge relating to Ms. Goberdhan,” said Mike Schouten, director of WeNeedaLAW.ca. “Canadian criminal law, again, will refuse to recognize her baby.”
The police have since arrested Ms. Goberdhan’s husband, Nicholas Tyler Baig. According to the media he was to appear in court on a charge of second degree murder.
All indications are that the baby died before he or she was born. If the baby was delivered alive and then died, even if only seconds later, section 223(2) of the Criminal Code requires the police to also charge Mr. Baig with murder for the child’s death.
“It’s unconscionable that we live in a country that does not protect a woman’s choice. While the Liberal government purports to care about gender-based violence, it appears to be mere lip service,” said Schouten.
“Ms. Goberdhan and her baby’s death come less than six months after the entire Liberal and NDP caucuses voted against Cassie and Molly’s Law, a private member’s bill that would have amended the Criminal Code allowing police to lay additional charges against someone who killed a woman they knew was pregnant,” said Schouten.
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Bill C-225, or Cassie and Molly’s Law, was defeated 209-76 on October 19, 2016. The bill put forward by Cathay Wagantall would not have affected abortion but would have seen additional offences added to the Criminal Code to protect a woman’s choice to carry her child to term safely.
“When will Canadian lawmakers stop viewing pre-born children as a political liability and ensure that the choices women make are protected in law? And, just as important, when will they do something to actually protect women?” asked Schouten.
“The Liberals have the means to address this injustice immediately. We call on them to re-introduce Bill C-225 as a government bill at the earliest opportunity so that a woman’s choice to carry her child to term is protected in Canadian law,” concluded Schouten.