Supreme Court ruling maintains Canada’s murky, contradictory definitions of when life begins

Originally posted on National Post | News:

Can a child die before it is born?

In Canada it can, and until Friday, this possibility seemed like a strange oxymoron, a legal quirk that emerges from arcane fringes of the Criminal Code, in apparent tension with Canada’s awkwardly permissive pose on abortion.

But on Friday morning, the Supreme Court of Canada decided children can and do die before they are born. Indeed, this might well have happened in the case of Ivana Levkovic, a former stripper who was acquitted of concealing the body of her baby daughter, and will now face retrial.

The unanimous decision to dismiss her appeal upholds a lower court view that a fetus becomes a child when it is theoretically viable, and brushes aside the worries of a trial judge that the notion of an unborn “child” is unconstitutionally vague, given that elsewhere in the Criminal Code, in the section on homicide, the genesis…

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