VANCOUVER – Judge J.J. McGivern of the Provincial Court of British Columbia has dismissed a claim by pro-life activist Jim Demers that unborn children are entitled to protection under the Charter of Rights and Freedoms.

In a December 19 decision, Judge McGivern said that under existing Canadian law, the Charter words “everyone” and “every individual” do not include the unborn child.

Nonetheless Demers continues to stand on international law in an effort to overturn provincial restrictions on right-to-life witnessing. The Nelson resident has been arrested at least six times for protesting against the province’s Access to Abortion Services Act. At issue in the Demers case is his citing of the Organization of American States (OAS) Covenant on Human Rights, which reads, “every person has the right to have his life respected. This right shall be protected by law and, in general, from the moment of conception.”

Demers and his attorney Paul Formby have repeatedly argued that although Canada has not signed the covenant, as a member of the OAS, the country is bound to live up to its principles.