Is there a correlation between the high Canadian abortion rate and the similar high murder rate for one-year-olds?

A Statistics Canada report released August 2nd revealed that Canadians under the age of one stand the greatest risk of being homicide victims.

This startling revelation, based on 1994 Canadian homicide statistics, reveals a substantial increase in infant deaths over the past decade, especially in infants under one year of age.

A total of 27 babies under one year of age were reported slain in Canada last year. As the graph shows, the risk of homicide declines drastically after the first birthday. A study referred to by Rosemary Gartner, a sociologist at the University of Toronto School of Criminology, shows that Canada is not alone.

The study, which took place over a 20 years period, showed that the risks to the infants was higher than the overall homicide rate in a number of developed countries.

One startling aspect to his study is that countries like Canada which have otherwise relatively low rates of homicide show high rates of infant homicide. These rates could even be higher than studies indicate because infant homicides are often recorded as accidental and are often hard to determine.

Dr. Willis Butler, an emergency department physician, revealed in “American Family Physician” that he believes “a small but critical number of deaths attributed to Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) by parents and unwary medical personnel are actually infanticides.” He defines Infanticide as a deliberate act as well as an accidental one. Butler cautions that, “Care should be taken to avoid suspecting or insulting an already grieving parent – but deliberate homicide should not escape investigation.”

Canada’s Criminal Code allows for an increased risk in homicide during the first year of life by recognising “Infanticide” as a special category. This category carries a maximum penalty of only five years. In the case of infants killed by their mothers, the Criminal Code takes into consideration factors such as post-natal depression, age of the mother and effects of lactation on the mother’s mind. Of nine mothers charged with killing an infant last year, seven were charged with Infanticide, one with second-degree murder and one with manslaughter. Fathers who killed their children received harsher penalties.