Our thanks to C for pointing us to this story. We know paternity fraud – whether attempted or realised – is commonplace. In the UK it’s also a criminal offence, but no woman has ever been convicted of it. We were interested to read a story from Canada, dating back to January 2013. It concerns that rarest of crimes, attempted maternity fraud. A Canadian man frustrated a contraceptive method – he put holes in the end of his condoms – his partner duly became pregnant, and he was jailed:
Now this is the most startling element in the story:
The province’s Court of Appeal ruled on the verdict yesterday 4-1, supported by Chief Justice Michael MacDonald’s explanation that ‘the alleged victim must be fully aware of the exact nature of the proposed sexual activity.’
But one judge who disagreed warned that this decision would have dangerous repercussions on women who secretly stop taking the pill to get pregnant.
‘The majority’s reasons… have the potential for increased, and potentially unwarranted, criminalization,’ wrote Justice David Farrar. ‘Expanding criminal liability in this way would represent a dramatic step backwards.’
In his email C made the following comments about the dissenting judge. A good point, well made, we think:
In Justice David Farrar’s opinion, it’s fine to punish men as long as the consequences mean that you are not forced to punish women for the same offence. This is the most blatant example of double standards I have ever seen.