The child’s mother, Ivana Levkovic, was charged with contravening section 243 of the Criminal Code in that she “disposed of the dead body of a child (her newborn daughter) with intent to conceal the fact that its mother (she) has been delivered of it.” The trial judge acquitted her on the grounds that the offence was too vaguely defined, in that he “could not identify the point when a fetus becomes a dead body for the purposes of the law in question.” The Ontario Court of Appeal overruled the trial judge’s decision and sent the case back for retrial. The Supreme Court of Canada has just upheld this decision.
A central issue is what a “child” means in the law and the uncertainty which surrounds this.
Every time a pro-life advocate uses the word “child” in discussing the legal environment around abortion, he/she is lambasted for not using “fetus” or whatever other term might be perfectly gestationally accurate. But the reality is nowhere does the law use the term “fetus,” so in following the legal conventions, we can’t, either.by