By Mike Schouten, Campaign Director, Weneedalaw.ca
In a tragic event in Quebec City on August 10, Marie-Pier Gagné, 27, was struck by a car as she crossed a crosswalk by the hospital. Sadly, she died as the result of severe injuries. But, before she died, medical staff were able to safely deliver her pre-born baby girl.
This newborn baby girl and her father have now received a massive outpouring of love and support, with over $30,000 raised in just one day to help support them in the difficult road they have ahead.
There is a painful beauty in the incredible generosity and outpouring of love seen for this tiny baby, who was saved by the quick and decisive actions of medical staff.
There is also a troubling disconnect in the paradox of a medical system that (rightly) fights to save two lives, and a criminal justice system that recognizes only one. Had Gagné and her unborn child died as the result of violent crime, that little girl would not have counted, according to the law as it now stands in Canada.
A life that so obviously counts, that so obviously matters to the thousand-plus people moved to immediately donate to her future, THAT life would not have mattered if she had died somewhere, somehow, else.
This is the story of babies like Molly, whose mother Cassie was murdered at 7 months pregnant with no medical staff around to save her viable baby girl.
It is a testament to our medical system that those on scene responded without hesitation, knowing that the pre-born baby deserved care as much as her mother. It is to our legislature’s and justice system’s shame that no safeguards exist to protect pre-born children from crime, and no consequences exist for taking the life of a pre-born child through crime.
This oversight is even more inexcusable when we know from national polling that close to 70% of Canadians support harsher sentences for criminals who take the life of a pregnant woman. The response to this baby’s birth in Quebec City supports this, as people rally instantly around the beauty of life even in such a dark circumstance.
MP Cathay Wagantall has introduced a bill in the legislature that aims to address this void in our justice system. Bill C-225 recognizes that, no matter where or how a pre-born child loses her mother, she still deserves the right to life her mother wanted her to have. The life that is lost deserves recognition and justice.
The baby girl delivered from tragedy in Quebec City is rightfully treasured and supported, and we wish nothing but the best for her and her father as they face this life without Marie-Pier Gagné. Above all, we are thankful she was given life, not considered unworthy because she still resided in her mother’s womb at the time of the accident.
May her life remind us all of the beauty and value of life no matter one’s size, ability, or location.
Editor’s note. This appeared at weneedalaw.ca.