by Steven Ertelt
February 6, 2008
Ottawa, Canada (LifeNews.com) — The family of a pregnant Canadian teenager who was murdered along with her unborn child is calling on MPs in the Canadian Parliament to approve a bill that would allow prosecutors to hold criminals accountable for both deaths. Manjit Panghali is one of several pregnant women in Canada who have been killed in recent years.
In Panghali’s case, her husband Mukhtiar Singh Panghali burned her body and killed both mother and child. Yet, authorities can only charge him with Manjit’s death and he will get away with killing her unborn baby.
In the United States, 36 states have laws allowing for charges related to the death or injury to both mother and child and federal law covers both victims as well.
Canada has no such law and Panghali’s sister, Jamine Bhambra, told The Province newspaper that justice is denied as a result.
"It should be two murder charges," Bhambra said. "It’s a heart beating — it’s a life.
"Canada prides itself on human rights and civil liberties. What about the human rights of a fetus?" she asked.
Conservative MP Ken Epp introduced a private member’s bill, C-484, last November that is expected to receive a vote.
"This bill is about giving a woman the freedom of choice to bring her child to term in safety," Epp told The Province.
"In anticipating the birth of her baby, she has become emotionally attached to it, and has experienced the greatest violation of her right and freedom possible — the criminal assault and death or injury to her child that she loves and wants to protect," he explained.