Just a few layers of skin and muscle seperate people who are considered victims, and those who are not
By Deborah Gyapong
Photo Caption: Arianna Goberdhan was nine months pregnant when she was murdered. Activists call for recognition of her unborn child as a victim. (Photo from Sherry Goberdhan via Facebook)
The murder of a pregnant mother and her unborn child has revived calls for a law recognizing unborn victims of crime.
Arianna Goberdhan of Durham, Ont., was beaten to death in her home April 7. The baby she had been pregnant with for nine months also died.
“Tragically, two horrific deaths will result in only a single charge relating to Ms. Goberdhan,” said Mike Schouten, director of WeNeedaLAW.ca. “Canadian criminal law, again, will refuse to recognize her baby.”
Goberdhan’s husband Nicholas Tyler Baig faces second-degree murder charges in Goderdhan’s death.
Schouten said if the baby had been born alive, and then died due to injuries, the man would face additional charges for the death. The law, however, does not provide for a charge if the baby dies in utero as a result of a violent crime against the mother.
While the Liberal government purports to care about gender-based violence, it appears to be mere lip service, said Schouten, noting the deaths come less than six months after the Liberal and NDP caucuses voted against Cassie and Molly’s Law. The private member’s bill would have amended the Criminal Code to allow additional charges in the case of injury or death to an born baby during an offence against the mother.
Conservative MP Cathay Wagantall’s private member’s Bill C-225 was defeated Oct. 19, 2016, by a 209-76 vote. The bill was named in honour of Cassie Kaake and her unborn daughter Molly who were murdered in Windsor, Ont., Dec. 10, 2014. Molly’s father Jeff Durham maintains a website seeking justice for his daughter at http://www.mollymatters.org.
One Conservative leadership candidate, former MP Pierre Lemieux, has vowed to make an unborn victim’s crime act government legislation if he wins the race and becomes prime minister.