Unborn Baby Dies in Car Crash, But Canada’s Law Claims No One Died

International   |   Sarah Zagorski   |   Aug 5, 2014   |   7:15PM   |   Ottawa, Canada

On July 25th, a car reversed into a Costco store in Ontario, Canada and struck a pregnant mother, Dana McKinnon-Bozek, and her other children, Addision Hall and Miah Bozek. Because of the crash, McKinnon-Bozek immediately underwent an emergency caesarean section a month before her due date.

However, her infant died a week later from her injuries. The tragic accident injured six other people including the newborns older sister, Addison Hall who died at the hospital. Their mother, Dana McKinnon-Bozek and her younger daughter, Miah Bozek survived the crash and are in fair condition.

canada26The driver, a woman in her 60’s, suffered injuries as well, but has been released from the hospital. Currently, an investigation is underway to uncover the reason for the crash. So far, intoxication has been ruled out, but the authorities are looking into other factors such as a mechanical or driver error.

While this case of fetal death should be considered vehicular manslaughter, unborn babies die in Canada from homicides without justice ever being served. For example, in 2007 a 25-year-old pregnant woman, Charlene Knapp, was attacked by her boyfriend, Alan Bryan, and stabbed with a sword. Later her baby was delivered as a stillborn. Bryan was charged with attempted murder and aggravated assault, but was not charged in any way for the death of Knapp’s child.

In Canadian law, under section 223 of the Criminal Code of Canada, a unborn baby is a “human being … when it has completely proceeded, in a living state, from the body of its mother whether or not it has completely breathed, it has an independent circulation or the navel string is severed.” This differs from the law in the United States that protects the unborn in cases of fetal homicide.

In April of 2004, George W. Bush signed into lawThe Unborn Victims of Violence Act, which makes it a crime to harm an embryo or fetus at any stage of pregnancy during an assault on a pregnant woman. While 31 states already had similar laws in place, the 2004 bill states “Whoever engages in conduct that violates any of the provisions of law… and thereby causes the death of, or bodily injury to, a child, who is in utero at the time the conduct takes place, is guilty of a separate offense under this section.”

This law passed after the highly publicized murder case of Laci Peterson, who was seven and a half months pregnant when she went missing and was killed by her husband. Her unborn son Conner was also killed in the attack. Now in the United States the legislation is referred to as Laci and Conner’s Law. The legislation also clarifies that it is still considered a separate offense even if the perpetrator had no knowledge of the woman’s pregnancy.

It is critical that Canada passes a law like The Unborn Victims of Violence Act to protect unborn babies who die in homicides. In the death of a pregnant woman there are always two victims that deserve justice, the mother and her unborn child.

LifeNews Note: File photo of a premature baby at 8 months.