Pro-life supporters will watch closely the results of a trial of an Ottawa-area woman charged with attempted murder of her pre-born child.

Brenda Drummond, 28, is alleged to have shot her unborn child May 28 with a pellet rifle. The pellet passed through the women’s abdomen and entered the head of the child.

The child, named Jonathon, was born two days later on the bathroom floor of the Drummond’s Carleton Place home.

Jonathon was eventually brought to hospital for treatment of meningitis, but doctors only discovered the wound when the pellet showed up on the brain scan. The child remains in critical condition as this issue of The Interim went to press.

Drummond, the mother of two girls, said she was unaware of the pregnancy. She appeared in a Smiths Falls court June 7 and was ordered to undergo psychological testing. She is scheduled for another court appearance July 22.

The attempted murder charges against the woman could set legal precedent in Canada. Under section 223 of the Canadian Criminal Code, babies are not considered human beings until outside the womb. Pro-life supporters wonder if the charges will spur Parliament to pass legislation protecting the child in the womb.

Jakki Jeffs, executive director of Alliance for Life, said the Drummond situation highlights the inconsistency of Canadian law regarding the unborn.

“This case might help people understand that there is a whole class of human beings who are outside the law,” Jeffs said. “Perhaps it will force us to examine society’s relationship to unborn children.”

Campaign Life Coalition national president Jim Hughes expressed hope the Drummond case will lead to a reversal of the current law which denies protection of the unborn. He said it is bizarre that unborn children are not regarded as human beings under Canadian law.

Officials with the pro-life organization Choose Life Canada, said it is ironic Drummond be charged with attempted murder for allegedly shooting a child in her womb, when hundreds of pre-born children are lost each day through abortion.

While pro-lifers note the shortcomings of the law, feminist organizations and pro-abortion groups have been quick to criticize the charges against Drummond. They fear any moves to grant legal protection to unborn children could lead to murder charges against abortion-performing doctors.

According to the Criminal Code, murder charges can be laid in the even a person “causes injury to a child before or during its birth, as a result of which the child dies after becoming a human being.”