By Jonathon Van Maren
On April 13, 2005, 19-year-old Katrina Effert secretly gave birth to a baby boy in the basement of her parents’ home in Wetaskiwin, Alberta. She then strangled the newborn child to death with her thong underwear and threw the corpse over the fence into her neighbor’s backyard.
On September 9, 2011, the CBC reported that Effert’s conviction for murder had been “downgraded” to infanticide, and she was sentenced merely to time served for improper disposal of a human corpse.
The judge stated that her decision was due in part to the fact that “while many Canadians undoubtedly view abortion as a less than ideal solution to unprotected sex and unwanted pregnancy, they generally understand, accept, and sympathize with the onerous demands pregnancy and childbirth exact from mothers, especially mothers without support.”
In short, a Canadian judge ruled – explicitly – that Katrina Effert had engaged in a very late-term abortion. Canadian law does not value human life just seconds before birth. Why should a young woman languish in jail for killing a human being seconds after birth?
When categories of killing are legalized, these sorts of arguments are inevitable.