Supreme Court set to go where members of Parliament fear to tread: The minefield of d

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Supreme Court set to go where members of Parliament fear to tread: The minefield of deciding when life begins | Canada | News | National Post

OTTAWA — Just weeks after Parliament debated a motion on when human life begins, the Supreme Court of Canada will hear an appeal that again considers the question of when a fetus is legally considered a human being.

The court has agreed to hear the case of Ivana Levkovic, who was originally charged with, but acquitted of, concealing the dead body of her child.

A pathologist could not determine whether the baby died before the labour or afterward.

Ms. Levkovic was charged under Section 243 of the Criminal Code, which outlaws the concealing the body of a dead child regardless of whether the “child died before, during or after birth.”

But the word “child” is not defined in the Criminal Code, and the original trial judge could not come up with a clear definition for the term when a death occurs before birth, Mr. Meehan said. That judge decided that the words “child died … before birth” were “unconstitutionally vague.” In his ruling, he struck the word “before” from section 243 and acquitted Ms. Levkovic.

“The way he dealt with it raises the issue – is it a criminal offence within section 243 to terminate the life of a child before that child is born?” Meehan said.

An appeal court disagreed with the ruling and ordered a new trial. Ms. Levkovic then sought leave to appeal to the Supreme Court, which will hear the case.

That could be politically explosive as Canada has no current abortion law; the last one was struck down by the Supreme Court in 1988. Justice Bertha Wilson, who wrote the decision, left the issue of conditions or restrictions on abortion “to the informed judgment of the legislature.”

In addition to the Levkovic case, the court has agreed to hear other appeals centring around issues of life and death, including the case of a woman who abandoned her baby after giving birth in a store bathroom and the case of a critically ill man whose doctors want to withdraw life support. It has also agreed to hear the case of a botched circumcision, one of a judge who plagiarized a decision, and a number of class-action lawsuits.

“The Supreme Court deals with everything from A to Z — from abortion to zoning — and this year is proof of that increasing trend,” Mr. Meehan said.
Last edited by Goober; Oct 3rd, 2012 at 06:56 PM..
This will be an interesting one to watch for sure.
Quote: Originally Posted by SLM View Post

This will be an interesting one to watch for sure.

I agree.
Quote: Originally Posted by CDNBear View Post

I agree.

Ambrose voted for the Private Members Bill based upon sex selection as one point - Every pro abortion group slammed her - why because she is a woman and should defend a law - oops we do not have an Abortion Law in Canada.

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