Canada killing sparks abortion fight

Dec. 20, 2010 at 12:28 PM
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OTTAWA, Dec. 20 (UPI) -- Canada's abortion debate is being revived by the case of a woman who killed her boyfriend when he tried to force her to have one.

Melinda Morin, 29, of Calgary, Alberta, was convicted this month of manslaughter for stabbing her boyfriend, Barry Neil Godwin, 48, to death in November 2009. Her lawyer unsuccessfully argued self-defense after Godwin kicked Morin in the stomach because she refused to have an abortion.

Morin testified she had tried to leave Godwin, saying she would raise the baby herself, but he didn't want the drug-addicted prostitute to have a "crack baby."

Anti-abortion groups are urging Parliament to reconsider a bill it rejected last week that would have outlawed coercing a woman into abortion, Postmedia News reported.

The case is "further evidence that in fact in Canada abortion coercion does exist," said Faye Sonier of the Evangelical Fellowship of Canada.

The bill was drafted after the murder of 24-year-old Roxanne Fernando of Winnipeg, who was beaten to death by three men for refusing to have an abortion.

Abortion rights groups said the bill could lead to criminalizing abortion. Canada is the only Western country with no abortion legislation.

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