The Harper government moved yesterday to extinguish an emerging debate over fetal rights by distancing itself from a Conservative private members' bill that would make it a separate crime to injure or kill a fetus while committing violence against a pregnant woman.
Justice Minister Rob Nicholson, whose government might go to the polls this fall, said he will introduce his own competing bill that would make pregnancy an aggravating factor for judges to take into account when sentencing those who assault expectant mothers.
But he stressed that he intends to make it clear that the new law is worded in a way that "leaves no room for the introduction of fetal rights."
There's this show that I like called Ghost Hunters and sometimes I'll look up the places that they're investigating to learn a little bit about the history. Once they were investigating a house believed to be haunted by victims of the Manson family. I didn't know very much about Charles Manson at that point, so I googled him and found out about Sharon Tate being murdered when she was eight months pregnant. This was a few months ago, early in my pregnancy, and it really freaked me out. I think that what happened to her is awful.
Having said that, I don't think that it should be a separate crime to kill the fetus because then they could make it a crime for a woman to have an abortion. But I think that by attacking a pregnant woman and killing the fetus, the attacker is taking away the woman's right to choose whether or not she wants to have a baby. "Choice" means that the woman as the right to not have a baby OR to have a baby. I think that the conservatives are looking at this from the wrong perspective. Even making a bill that's more "tame" and making it extra-bad to kill someone who is pregnant without saying why it's extra-bad is alluding to giving rights to the fetus. If a pregnant woman is attacked, she is the one who is the victim.
x-posted to my own journal