Canadian Mother Convicted of Killing Newborn Ordered to Routinely Take Pregnancy Tests

A Montreal woman who pled guilty to killing her newborn baby has been ordered to take two pregnancy tests a year for the next three years as part of her sentencing. 

A Quebec court judge served a 20-month sentence for infanticide Thursday to the 43-year-old mother, who remained unidentified in order to protect her other children, The Guardian reported.

According to reports, the woman previously had been charged with second-degree murder, but the charges were changed to infanticide after examination.

According to Canada's Criminal Code, a female commits infanticide "when by a wilful act or omission she causes the death of her newly-born child, if at the time of the act or omission she is not fully recovered from the effects of giving birth."

The woman, not knowing she was pregnant, gave birth to a fourth child in 2016. The Guardian cited a local Canadian Broadcasting Corporation article which said the woman's partner found her in their bathroom, where she had given birth. The newborn girl was reportedly wounded and had been put in a plastic bag.

The baby spent three days in a local hospital, where she died. The cause of death was listed as asphyxiation, according to local reports.

Pregnancy test A pregnancy test. Selbe Lynn/Flickr

In addition to a requisite pregnancy test every six months, the mother will have to hand over her results to a supervising officer. Her sentencing also includes house arrest.

The pregnancy tests were ordered so that a similar crime would not occur again.

In handing down a ruling, Quebec Court Judge Linda Despots said the mother was diagnosed with “non-psychotic denial of pregnancy” and dissociative amnesia.

"Despite the amnesia, she feels a strong sense of guilt. She expresses great suffering and describes the situation as a tragedy," said Despots.

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