Saturday, November 24, 2007

Richard Warman Had Nothing To Do With It

Specifically, Richard Warman had nothing to do with the human rights complaint launched against the Christian Heritage Party and its leader, Ron Gray.

This time its an Edmonton fellow named Rob Wells. He has filed three complaints against Gray and his party, two of them relating to the re posting of an article written by Jon Dougherty and entitled "Report: Pedophilia more common among 'gays' - Research purports to reveal 'dark side' of homosexual culture".

Gray's defense? "I would contend....that Christians are the best friends homosexuals have because we want to see them delivered from an addiction that will shorten their lives." Oh you lucky homos!

Sorry for the brevity. I'm still trying to stuff my manuscript full of words. Turns out I've already got one publisher interested, but I need to make the text as long as possible by Dec 1. In other news, the Tories are throwing another sop to their SoCon base by considering the resurrection of the Unborn Victims Act. An internal memo suggests that

...the bill will not be similarly blocked [by the Harper Government] and Conservative members will be permitted a free vote on the issue in the House of Commons.

Abortion is specifically exempted from consideration, but I would still like to hear from the legal community as to whether the new bill constitutes the thin edge of the wedge of bestowing "person hood" on the fetus before I would consider getting behind it.

24 comments:

SUZANNE said...

I would like to say that I do believe a woman should be compensated for the loss of her unborn child, apart from the injury done to her.

Consider the fact that when in our legal system, when you are deprived of something of value-- your property, your good name, etc, you are compensated for this loss.

But if you lose a fetus, your loss is not acknowledged, and you are not properly compensated.

If I lose my unborn child, I am not only deprived of my fetus-- which is bad in itself. I am also deprived of the opportunity to know and love that child. That should certainly be reckoned more than "an aggravated assault". My children and husband are also deprived of that opportunity.

Just some food for thought.

SUZANNE said...

"Compensated" is perhaps not the best word...in any event, I mean to say justice is not rendered for that loss.

bigcitylib said...

Suzanne,

I'm not sure I would disagree. However, generally this kind of law has been seen as a back door means of moving towards an abortion ban. If it can be shown to be that kind of trick, then I'm not for it.

"Compensation" is not necessarily a bad word in my book, incidentally. It actually keeps things on a suitably materialistic plane.

Raging Ranter said...

Would bestowing "personhood" on a fetus after a certain point of pregnancy be so bad? In Britain, fetuses come under protection of the law after 24 weeks (some obstetricians are fighting to have it lowered to 20 weeks). Many European countries have similar laws. 20 weeks is still plenty of time to terminate a pregnancy, and it is still allowed after that point if the woman's life is in danger. The total over-reaction to any sort of fetal rights is the laziest "slippery slope" argument I've seen in awhile.

Reality Bites said...

The problem the so-called pro-life movement faces in achieving any of their goals is their utter lack of credibility. They certainly have done themselves no favours whatsoever in tying themselves so inextricably to homophobia and confirming the suspicion that their campaign is based purely on imposing their religious beliefs on unwilling victims by force of law, as they sought to do with the definition of marriage.

For this bill to have a chance of success it would have to be introduced by someone ardently pro-choice and secular. Bigoted scum like Vellacott and Epp have no chance of rallying support from decent people. They've proven over and over again what hate-filled religious fanatics they are.

SUZANNE said...

So people who support legalized abortion will only do the right thing when bills are presented from their side. They don't care about justice to women and their families.

Nice.

I don't actually believe that. I don't think Canadians actually care that much who presents the bill, because it's a very reasonable bill. It's not about religion. I just made the case for it using no religious references whatsoever in terms that anyone can accept.

Manuel said...

This is a very reasonable bill, if worded right. but I can see ceartin groups attempting to demonize it saying it will outright ban abortions. Anyone who tries to hijack this will get a boot to the face, that I promise.

Ti-Guy said...

So people who support legalized abortion will only do the right thing when bills are presented from their side. They don't care about justice to women and their families.

No we don't. We just like sticking it to retarded SoCons.

Look, you people have shit the bed with your primitive behaviour (remember your pal Flanders speculating that Stronach got breast cancer because she likely had an abortion?) Don't start whining now that no one takes you seriously.

You're all deranged and hateful.

Ti-Guy said...

Anyone who tries to hijack this will get a boot to the face, that I promise.

Another delightful friend of SUZANNE, I imagine.

SUZANNE said...

Ti-guy, it will help your case if when you denounce hatred, you don't act full of hate yourself.

bigcitylib said...

Tiguy,

Assuming the bill is framed without reference to abortion, what is wrong with it? Can it still be used a the "thin edge of the wedge"?

Reality Bites said...

No, Suzanne, what I'm suggesting is that no one could possibly trust the motives of the so-called pro-lifers because you're all a bunch of bigoted scum.

No one forced them to embrace hatred of homosexuals as their REAL cause, but they did. And you will deal with the consequences.

It's not a matter of refusing to do the right thing. It's knowing that if it comes from the likes of you, Benoit, Vellacott or Epp it couldn't possibly be the morally right thing, because you're all immoral thugs.

Reality Bites said...

And Suzanne - you have no conception of "reasonable."

You hang out on FreakDominion - a site that every day gets closer and closer to out-and-out Nazism while proclaiming itself a family site. You've cast your lot in with utter scum, from Whatcott, to Lemire, to the Fourniers, to the Family Coalition Party. You left reasonable behind you a long, long time ago and decided as long as they hated abortion and homosexuals, ANYONE was a good person. Problem is, Suzanne, hatred of homosexuals is almost always accompanied by other kinds of hatred. You may have deluded yourself into believing it's a matter of religion, but it isn't. Religion is merely a convenient excuse which you and your ilk use to justify your bigotry.

Mike said...

RR,

92% of all abortions in Canada occur before 12 weeks. Almost none happen after 20 weeks and those that do are because of a threat to the life of the mother or to abort a malformed fetus that would die shortly after birth. Even Henry Morgantaler will not perform abortions after 20 weeks, except under the conditions described.

In all these situations, the mother makes the decision based on input from her doctor.

In short there is no "problem" that requires this kind of legislative solution.

And there has not be a rash of Scott Petersen copy cats, roving and attacking pregnant women, killing their unborn fetus but leaving the mother alive.

Any attack that causes a late-term miscarriage is a grievous and vicious attack on a pregnant woman, on the mother. Under our criminal law, this can be an aggravating factor in charging - moving the charge from assault to aggravated assault, aggravated assault causing grievous bodily harm or even attempted murder (of the mother) - or in sentencing. That will certainly serve as justice for the loss.

In other words, there is no need for this law at all, except as a back door to banning abortion. This not a lazy "slippery slope" overreaction, it is the facts of both the law and abortion in Canada in 2007. The overreaction is trying to pass legislation where there is no problem. And since there is no problem, there can be only one reason fro introducing this - as the first step in an incremental attack on a woman's right to control her own body.

If this were a Private Member's bill to require male organ donors to give up their kidneys or corneas if they signed their organ donor card and matched someone on the list, RR would certainly have a different reaction. And yes, before we hear the howls of denial, it is the exact same principle - the complete and total right to decide what happens to ones body and to own your own body absolutely.

And if Suzanne wants to be "compensated", then she should be working for ways to have this introduced into the realm of private law, so a woman can sue, rather than criminal law. She is describing perfectly the Tort of theft.

Anonymous said...

Until it is born, a fetus is part of its mother. An attack on the mother, as indeed an attack on any person, that does damage to any part of her is criminally responsible. That is the way the law is now. I don't see any reason to change it.

SUZANNE said...

Depriving me of my fetus is a crime. My fetus is NOT a part of my body-- he lives INSIDE my body.

When a criminal deprives a woman and her family of her fetus, just like any other serious deprivation-- whether it's an object or a reputation, society considers the perpetrator a criminal for that act.

It should be the same for depriving the family of the fetus.

An "aggravating factor" does not address the issue of the loss of the fetus. An injury to my body is not the same nature as losing someone who I would have loved and cared for. That is a completely different scenario.

Anonymous said...

Sorry Suzanne, I'm not convinced that this isn't covered sufficiently by the current law. The fact that you can't justify it without insisting that the fetus is an independent being only reinforces my concern that you have an unstated agenda.

SUZANNE said...

What law will make a culprit accountable for depriving a woman and her family of her fetus?

The fetus is a distinct entity. That's a reality. When I look at an ultrasound, I'm not looking at myself. It's something other than myself. When a crime causes a miscarriage, that's what I lose, not to mention the future relationship with that child.

Anonymous said...

It's not possible to 'deprive' you of a fetus without assaulting you. That is something that present law can handle and in my opinion that's sufficient.

SUZANNE said...

It's not possible to 'deprive' you of a fetus without assaulting you. That is something that present law can handle and in my opinion that's sufficient.

But the assault doesn't speak to the loss of the fetus.

A loss of a fetus is not an assault. Besides, the woman is not the only one to lose the fetus: the family does as well. If a woman and her fetus are killed, the family not only loses the woman but the fetus as well.

Mike said...

But the assault doesn't speak to the loss of the fetus.

Well, yes it does. In order to harm a fetus, I must assault or harm a mother. The loss of the fetus makes the simple assault into assault causing grievous bodily harm, as if I cut off a hand or poked out an eye. The harm is done to the mother, both to her physical body and to her choice to carry a fetus to term. And it is already covered under the current criminal law.

A loss of a fetus is not an assault. Besides, the woman is not the only one to lose the fetus: the family does as well. If a woman and her fetus are killed, the family not only loses the woman but the fetus as well.

It is an assault - on the mother. It is based on the fact that a mother controls her body and that the loss of the fetus was an non-consensual physical attack on her body. If both the mother and the fetus die, they whomever did it will get life in prison under the law today - they can't get more. If the mother does not die, the perp can get charged with a more serious offense or get a longer sentence because of the harm to a pregnant woman.

That is the law and all of this nonsense about "depriving the family" is irrelevant in criminal law. Criminal law is about the harm done to an individual, not how it affects groups of other people.

The burden of proof on on you and other supporters to show this law is needed, and so far none of the arguments put forth work. Everything is covered by the criminal law we have now.

But as anon stated, it clearly shows your real intent with this law and where you want it to go.

Let me play devils advocate for a minute. Lets say that you get what you want and because of this law, a fetus gets legal recognition as a person "at any stage of development" (ie, from the moment of conception). Since a woman owns her body and it is ultimately her property, an unwanted fetus that has 'personhood' the becomes an unwanted person on the woman's property and an abortion becomes eviction of a trespasser.

Sounds ridiculous, but it logically follows from your position. The only way to rectify it is to either state that a woman does not own her body (in that case, who does, her husband, her father or the state) or that the fetus is property that is being confiscated.

I really don't think even you want to have a society where you can't own body and that people can become property again.

Rather than wasting your time on divisive tactics like trying to outlaw abortion through increments (and you know as well as I that is the real intent of this law - to be one of those increments), why not put your energies into ensuring that abortion is not the choice chosen. That might require investing that money now spent lobbying conservative politicians into building facilities to assist pregnant women financially and medically. That certainly would mean supporting the widespread use of contraception, to ensure that conception never takes occurs in the first place.

This proposed law is unneeded and ridiculous on its face. And dangerous legally. It can lead to places were living adults are treated in ways that make abortion look benign.

SUZANNE said...

Criminal law is about the harm done to an individual, not how it affects groups of other people.

Not true. There are hate crimes law. If I saw "kill this group" then I'm not doing any one thing to an individual. There are also animal cruelty laws. The victims are animals.

The loss of the fetus makes the simple assault into assault causing grievous bodily harm, as if I cut off a hand or poked out an eye. The harm is done to the mother, both to her physical body and to her choice to carry a fetus to term.

But the crime is not only "causing bodily harm" it's also "causing the loss of a fetus".

You simply refuse to acknowledge that the loss of a fetus is an injustice in and of itself.

The burden of proof on on you and other supporters to show this law is needed, and so far none of the arguments put forth work.

It is needed to address an injustice: that injustice of losing a fetus and family member. Causing the death of a fetus is a separate and more serious crime than assault. Someone can punch in the stomach and cause a miscarriage. I will get over the bruises, I will not get over the loss of a fetus so easily. The culprit, in a sense, stole something from me. That deprivation is not properly accounted for in the law.

But as anon stated, it clearly shows your real intent with this law and where you want it to go.

Even if I were not pro-life, I would want this law, as most Canadians do. Because whatever moral status they attribute to a fetus, they understand that it's separate from the injury. The fetus is not "the woman's body". That's a fiction in law. A woman and a fetus are two separate things. Chopping off a woman's arm is not the same thing as stabbinga woman's abdomen to kill the fetus. Both are injured, but in each case the loss is different. That is what you fail to take into account.

Let me play devils advocate for a minute. Lets say that you get what you want and because of this law, a fetus gets legal recognition as a person "at any stage of development" (ie, from the moment of conception).

The law does not stipulate anything about personhood. Section 223 of the Criminal Code would apply. The issue here is the loss of a fetus, not the moral status of the fetus.

I really don't think even you want to have a society where you can't own body and that people can become property again.

You started with the premise that women own themselves. I don't think people own themselves, period. People are not property, not even to themselves. Your analogy is false because it starts with a premise I don't agree to begin with.

why not put your energies into ensuring that abortion is not the choice chosen.

I am a believe in fetal rights. But beyond the issue of fetal rights, there is the issue that a loss of a fetus-- whatever status you attribute to him-- is an injustice in and of itself. Every other kind of deprivation in society is illegal in our society. It should be the same with the fetus.

This proposed law is unneeded and ridiculous on its face.

It is not to the families of the pregnant women who were slain. And they're not even pro-life.

Anonymous said...

Yep, killing innocent unborn children is what built Canada. What fantastic Liberal family values. Oh well, thankfully only Liberals and NDP believe in aborting their future.

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