For anyone in the pro-life movement, the headline “Montreal man who killed unborn child must spend 15 years in prison before parole eligibility” is going to catch our eye. Do pre-born lives matter after all?
The Montreal man, Sofiane Ghazi, stabbed his 36-week pregnant girl friend 19 times – the majority of those times in her stomach. She was rushed to the hospital where she delivered her child through c-section, but that child died shortly after.
And it was that sequence of events that established this child as a victim according to our criminal justice system. If Ghazi’s child had died before birth, this would not have been a murder case, but an assault case with the child being overlooked.
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Overlooked like Molly was. Molly lost her life when her mother Cassie was murder. This case became the inspiration for the Protection of Pregnant Women and Pre-born Children Act which would have made it a separate offence for the death of a pre-born child when a pregnant woman is murdered.
Unfortunately a majority of Members of Parliament did not support the Protection of Pregnant Women and Pre-born Children Act meaning victims like Molly and Asaara continue to be overlooked by our law unless they are born before they die as Ghazi’s child was. This gap in Canadian law leaves women open to intimate partner violence without appropriate consequences for those who would abuse or victimize them and sends the message that women who desire to carry their baby safely to term are unsupported as mothers.
Let’s be thankful for the justice that Ghazi’s child received, while at the same time mourning the lack of justice for Molly and Asaara and working to ensure that Canadian laws change so pre-born children are afforded the same protections as those who are born.