Matthew Brush, 26, of LaSalle, Ont., has been charged with the murder of Cassandra Kaake, 31, who was found dead in a burnt-out home in Windsor in December. Kaake was seven months pregnant and named her unborn daughter Molly before she was bludgeoned to death. Molly also died.
Brush is being charged with a single murder because Canadian criminal law does not recognize the preborn child as a victim of crime.
Jeff Durham, Kaake’s former partner and Molly’s father, posted an open letter to parliamentarians on his Facebook page, calling for an Unborn Victim’s of Crime law. He said one murder charge is insufficient for the crime committed. In a heartfelt plea, Durham said, “my nightmare has revealed a flaw in our country’s law. I look to my elected officials for guidance and support in correcting this flaw.”
Durham told the Windsor Star, “I will speak for my daughter because that’s what parents do. It’s all I have left. I want the person responsible for this to be held accountable and to suffer for it. Cassie would want it, too.”
The Star talked to two Windsor area MPs, Jeff Watson (Conservative) and Brian Masse (NDP). Watson voted for C-484, an Unborn Victim’s of Crime bill, in 2008, telling the Star, “I supported the previous bill because I feel there is an important gap in the Criminal Code which fails to recognize a second crime when it is reasonably known that someone is pregnant.” Masse said he does not support amending the Criminal Code to recognize unborn victims of crime, saying he prefers to stiffen penalties for crime committed against pregnant women.
Pro-abortion groups and politicians say unborn victims laws will be used to limit abortion. Durham says that is beside the point, stating in his letter, “it is just wrong to not consider a child at that state of development a person. It is wrong that this aspect of the crime perpetrated will go unacknowledged by those which we put in charge to judge such things.”
Kim Bradour started a petition on Change.org called Molly Matters asking Canada’s Parliament to amend the law to recognize unborn victims of crime. Bradour says that Kaake’s “tiny baby girl, whom I’m more than certain would have survived being born at 30 weeks gestation, will receive absolutely no justice and this sickens me.”
Bradour adds, “that our laws in Canada state that while her baby girl is recongized as a child she is not considered to be a human being under the Canadian criminal law because she had not yet exited her mother’s womb.” Bradour notes, “back in 2008 a Member of Parliament Ken Epp introduced bill C-484 which was called The Unborn Victims of Crime Act. Had this law been passed it would have made it a criminal offence to kill a preborn child during the perpetration of an offense on the child’s mother.”
There were 6,568 signatures as of press time.
In 2008, Epp’s private member’s bill, which had passed second reading, died on the Order Paper when the Fall election was called. No version of an unborn victim’s law has been reintroduced in the seven years since.
Mary-Ellen Douglas, spokeperson for Campaign Life Coalition, told LifeSiteNews that Badour’s effort points to a fact that the law ignores. “Mothers know they’ve got a person in their womb. I did with my five children. I knew there was a person fluttering inside me from conception.”
Douglas said she hopes another MP will take up Bill C-484 although she said Harper will probably try to stop it again. “Harper stopped it the first time and there is no reason to believe he won’t do the same again.”
Douglas said the petition can help educate the public about the child in the womb and the injustice of the law not acknowledging the child as a victim of crime when her mother is assaulted or killed and the baby is harmed by the crime.