OTTAWA – Canada’s Supreme Court ruled October 18 that it will decide on the case of the government forcing a glue-sniffing addicted woman into treatment to protect her unborn child. A review is expected in the spring.

The decision comes in the case of a Winnipeg area woman who was ordered by a child welfare agency to seek treatment for her glue-sniffing addiction. The woman’s two older children had been born with brain damage after she continued to inhale glue vapours while pregnant.

A lower court said the Canadian Criminal Code does not recognize the unborn as a person, thereby allowing the woman to refuse treatment. The government-run child welfare agency, which had to care for women’s two children, appealed the lower court decision.

In defending the woman’s right to refuse treatment, the Manitoba Court of Appeals ruled, “The mother’s right to sniff solvents may not seem of much importance, but we do not see how a court can select which conduct harmful to an unborn child should be restrained and which should not.”

The decision of the Supreme Court to hear the case has implications for pro-life supporters. The decision could impact on the abortion question if the court clarifies the legal status on the abortion question if the court clarifies the legal status of the unborn, and the care an expectant mother should provide for her preborn child.