Decorative Scales of Justice in the Courtroom

Birth Control Deception is Sexual Assault

Canada’s top court has upheld the sexual assault conviction of Craig Hutchinson, a Nova Scotia man who pierced condoms in an attempt to impregnate his girlfriend. Hutchinson faces up to 18 months in prison, and will have to register as a sex offender.

Court documents show that Hutchinson, 43, had begun piercing condoms in 2006 after his girlfriend had expressed doubts about their relationship. She later became pregnant and he confessed his deceit through text messages.

The seven judges agreed that the appeal should be dismissed, although they arrived at this conclusion differently. Four of the judges said that although the complainant voluntarily agreed to have sex with Hutchison, that consent was “violated” by fraud because the woman had been “deceived” about the condition of the condoms. The remaining three said that the consent never existed, because the complainant only agreed to have sex with an intact condom. What they all agree on is that there was no consent. And that means it’s sexual assault.

From the judgment:

“In other words, without voluntary agreement as to the “how” — the manner in which the sexual activity in question occurred — there is no consent within the meaning of s. 273.1(1).”

The question you have to ask yourself is “Why, oh why, would he DO that?” Well, he thought it would save his failing relationship. How on earth he thought a deception that deep would repair a broken relationship is beyond me, but that’s what he thought. To surreptitiously attempt to take away someone’s choice not to become a parent is unforgivable, and to think that this might repair a relationship is completely irrational. Heartbroken people sometimes get irrational, but that does not forgive it.

Something like this may well be a rarity, but at least we know that when such a deception is discovered, the law of the land will protect the injured party. There is, of course, one thing that concerns me. As my father used to tell me as he taught me to play golf, “for a rule to be fair, it has to be applied equally”. Will this decision be applied equally?

I know, we’ve heard it for decades, “Why would a woman do that?” Well, it might be rare, but it still counts, right?

For example, one might think it could repair a failing relationship, or turn a dead-end relationship into a marriage proposal. It’s pretty foolish, and deceptive, but it made sense to Mr. Hutchinson, right? And let’s face it, girls have a lot more options when it comes to birth control. Women, quite frankly, have more opportunity to be deceptive about pregnancy… it is, of course, the rare person who would do such a thing, but rarity doesn’t make it okay, does it?

It still counts.

Maybe it’s for money? I can hear the Women’s Studies graduates laughing already, I know, how much money do single moms typically get… I know, I’ve heard it before. But you know what – not everyone had their degree financed by mom and dad; some people actually have lower standards than you. Not common, I know, but rarity doesn’t matter, remember.

It still counts.

Or maybe she’s married or in a stable relationship, she wants kids and he doesn’t? Chances are, he’s not going to have her charged, but she knows what territory she’s entering. Or how about the even more common 3rd child? Journalist Leah hardy writes a fair bit on this phenomenon:

“As I say, this is pretty taboo stuff. But one woman who is happy to voice her belief that men really shouldn’t have too much say in the matter is mother-of-four Jerry Hall. In her role as agony aunt, she unrepentantly told a woman who longed for a third child in the face of her husband’s opposition: ‘Honey, remember, the more you make love, the more chance there is of a happy accident… Chances are he will get used to it. If not, having a baby later in life is an especially good idea: you will get alimony pretty much until your pension kicks in.”

It still amounts to the same thing, a violation as to how the sexual encounter is to take place. It is removing someone’s choice to become a parent through deception. It’s fraud, and it removes consent. You can say it doesn’t happen all that often all you want, it doesn’t matter how often it happens.

It still counts.

“While the Crown did not establish beyond a reasonable doubt that the complainant’s pregnancy was the result of the damaged condoms, Mr. Hutchinson exposed her to an increased risk of becoming pregnant by using a faulty condom.” Chief Justice Beverley McLachlin and Justice Thomas Cromwell wrote in the majority decision. “This suited sufficient deprivation for fraud.”

It strikes me as pretty straightforward. But only time will tell if this ruling will be applied equally.

About Brent Baldwin

Brent Baldwin is a proud member of Men's Human Rights Ontario.

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  • Bewildered

    Optimist!

    • politicalcynic

      Pretty much my thinking. After all, is ANY sexual assault law applied equally these days?

      • Lee Church

        Short answer, no

        Long answer, nooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo

      • DukeLax

        How can any guy get an unprejudiced jury, when the fact of the matter is American law enforcement have been using protocol perversions and semantics games for over 20 years now in order to manufacture erroneous and inflammatory statistics.

  • picknaul

    True story- no exaggeration:

    Many years ago, in college, I was in a relationship where the woman actually took fertility drugs behind my back, instead of birth control.

    She got pregnant.

    She was looking for an “Mrs”.

    I offered to give her the Mrs she was looking for and her Dad said no.

    (She had a very, very well to do father)

    I apologized to her father and got a huge surprise when he actually apologized to me for what she had done. She apparently had “problems”. He told me it takes 2.

    She had the kid.

    The child went to open adoption over my objections and I had no choice or money to fight. (Open adoption isn’t necessarily so “open”- it is up to the new parents)

    At the time I was told I was lucky. I didn’t see it that way. It as a very bitter event.

    There is now an adult out there who is 1/2 me and I will never know who they are.

    It is a really nutty world and the inmates are in charge of the asylum.

    • Jesse James

      I feel your pain. I have been forced on the road you wanted, I did not. My ex, whom I stupidly trusted, got me drunk, and neglected to tell me she was not on birth control.

      Later on the, in the court room, I was the only male out of fourteen people in that place. The bailiff was a woman.

      I was so screwed. Almost nine years later, 70k lost in fighting court battles (I “won” last year, but she is never forced to adhere to it, and she doesn’t), I will have to spend more. Up until last year, I was paying over 10k a year in support. She was blowing it on trips, victoria secrets (get it?), furniture, a town house, and 40k in unsecured credit debt.

      She is violent, hostile, and was able to be charming for a while, until she gets what she wants.

      I know what happened to you sucked. But honestly, for my son, I am not sure that what happened to yours may not be better than what is going through with my son. I am not saying it is right, but my son is starting to make me wonder if he is not going to become a statistic. He is completely under her control, and I have to fight to just be a part of his life.

      Sometimes, I think I should just walk away, and let her handle him the rest of the way. Never call, or pick him up. Let her have to deal with him 24/7, year round. The problem with that is, I know what she will do, she will pass him off to everyone she can. People like this are not normal.

      They can be completely charming, as they are completely detached from the consequences they commence by their actions. Eventually, you start to see the red flags, but they are hiding from you. Instinctually, they know that if you see them for what they are, you are going to leave.

      You fulfill a need, and while you fulfill that need, they seem right. For awhile. Then, they need more from you. They become really good at manipulating people for what they want. They need psychological help, but the ideology of the day, feminism for example, prohibits anyone from calling them out for what they are. So they grow up unchecked, and undisciplined in normal interaction. Then, in a moment of weakness, you get taken advantage of.

      It is not said to disassociate myself from my own choices, but I did make choices based on faulty information fed to me. The consequences are just as bad though.

  • Megistus

    And when begin to use this to circumvent paternity this law will find itself repelled.

    • Jesse James

      That is my thought. However, the more likely scenario is that it will never be allowed to get that far.

      This judgement coincides quite nicely with the current rulers of Canadian law. They will not allow it’s doppelganger from the male point of view to ever see the light of day. It will be stamping license plates in prison long before it ever pleads it’s case in a local court. Let alone the highest of Canada.

  • Lee Church

    I wonder if the people saying: “I dont trust men to take the pill”

    Will ever realize that it isn’t necessarily about them? That maybe HE wants to take it because he doesn’t want to be a father? If a woman doesn’t want kids, she should take her pill too. If the couple want to be EXTRA safe, slap a condom on as well.

  • http://caprizchka.wordpress.com Caprizchka

    I realize that nobody cares but the exact situation in this article happened to me. Moreover, I imagine that lawyers and newspapers are more interested in the headline-grabbing case than the same-old-thing. My case, however, did not make the headlines and I did not become the fellow’s second “baby-mama on welfare” because I made “the choice” because I could. (Thank you Bill Baird, the “father” of the birth control and abortion-rights movement. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bill_Baird_%28activist%29 Meanwhile, the daughter resulting from the tricked-pregnancy of one of my male friends (and I have many male friends tricked into becoming fathers and no female friends tricked into becoming mothers) became a drug addict, has two kids, and is now inquiring among the father’s family members for money to support her habit (while refusing to give up her kids). It is too bad that we don’t have healthy orphanages in which to put the children of deceit where they can be raised without influence of deceitful parents to perpetuate generations of deceit. It is too bad that the foster system also has its share of corruption and that not every unwanted baby is adoptable. Justice, in this case, would be the forced sterilization of all those engaging in forced parenthood by deceit. Fat chance.

    • Jesse James

      Sadly, human nature has no real cure. For that is the real common denominator in over 95% or more of our common, and uncommon, problems.

      We are our own worst enemy.

      Yet still, I feel we have to fight on. For in giving up on everyone, we give up on ourselves. Sometimes, people need an ass whooping to see themselves in the proper light, and change accordingly. For those who won’t, well, life does have a comeback. It just takes forever in the hopes that they will change.

      I think the Singaporean caning institution may be a better place to start. When corporal punishment can be used to inflict temporary, but immediate response, for unfettered stupidity; I think most people will adjust accordingly.

      Those who don’t, well, they are going to have a continual sore back side.

      • http://caprizchka.wordpress.com Caprizchka

        By the way, Happy Right to Privacy Day! Yesterday was the 40th anniversary of Right to Privacy in the U.S.A., a right forged by a man, a hero, unsung by all the feminist organizations, Bill Baird: http://prochoiceleague.org/

  • DukeLax

    Birth control deception is only a crime if a man does it, As a women can “spermjack” youre sperm from a used condom to impregnate herself, and she not only will never be charged for anything….courts will actually make the man pay 18 years of child support. EVEN KNOWING FULL WELL she… “Spermjacked” from a used condom.

  • cryrex

    This could be the killer-App for sexual assault. If a woman to lie about using birth control when she’s not is sexual assault. It is not even necessary for her to get pregnant from what I read into this.

  • LouisLapierre

    Sorry Guys,

    But the final word is the following, to be consider sexual abuse, money or emotional distress are not reason enough for the consent to be fraudulent.

    A fraudulent obtained consent are only justifiable if there where a real health factor, related to a pregnancy.

    And therefore since the consent was fraudulently obtained, it was considered not a consent, therefore, sexual assault.

    I live in Montréal, i followed it closely, and i was chocked. At first i taught that it was a great news, i say to myself, yep… now lady who forced pregnancy on unsuspecting guys are screwed.

    Nope… it could also open the door to even more attack on male sexuality.

    • DukeLax

      Forcing a man to work himself to an early grave, to pay her 80$ a week out of his 300$ a week paycheck, for 18 years or u goto jail…should in fact Qualify as a “health distress factor”.

  • LouisLapierre

    In canada… now because of that ruling, male pill could become very dangerous, i can see it “He told me he was on the pill, he lied… RAPE !!!! “

  • John Narayan

    “my body my choice” the feminists like to say, they left out “his body my choice”

    • DukeLax

      Its 18 years of his labor resources, 18 years of a good chunk of his paycheck, it should be “his choice”.

  • John Narayan

    Can males start to quote this case as precedence?

  • John Anderson

    “that consent was “violated” by fraud because the woman had been
    “deceived” about the condition of the condoms. The remaining three said
    that the consent never existed, because the complainant only agreed to
    have sex with an intact condom. ”

    Really? Really? So every guy who says I love you to get in a woman’s pants is raping her? Can guys charge rape if a woman has breast implants? What about if a guy’s hair piece fell off or a woman’s make up started to run? What if you found out your partner had a vasectomy or was infertile after you married them? Does it work the other way too? What if you found out the person you’re seeing used to be a different gender? What if you found out your partner wasn’t a doctor or just borrowed that sports car?

  • Righteous Indignation

    Birth Control Deception is Sexual Assault, but only when committed by a man.

    Two elements found to be required to “vitiate”/ nullify consent are: (a) a threat of harm and (d) a
    deception or fraud.

    The court, in paragraph 70 of the judgement, took a broad view of the definition of harm to include the circumstances of this case as follows, “The concept of “harm” does not encompass only bodily harm in the traditional sense of that term … Depriving a woman of the choice whether to become pregnant or increasing the risk of pregnancy is equally serious as a “significant risk of serious bodily harm”.

    In paragraph 72, the court noted that a narrow definition of fraud should be taken which effectively excludes men as victims, “… not every deception that induces consent should be criminalized. … For example, financial deprivations or mere sadness or stress from being lied to will not be sufficient.”

    In Canada, if a man takes away her choice he goes to jail, whether she becomes pregnant or not. While still in Canada, if a woman takes away his choice she suffers no criminal consequences and if she does have a baby he must pay her child support.

    • plasmacutter

      cute. This is why we have the second amendment in the US

  • dudester4

    I see no difference between this and “postpartum” child abuse; i.e., keeping children from their dad as either punishment or leverage in divorce proceedings, hoping to later use them as tools to extricate future income streams from the non-custodial (male) parent. This is bad enough; that courts regularly assist females (85% primary custody) is criminal- apparently except when moms benefit.

  • MediaMentions

    To best follow the birth control appeals, I made a live stream of the best articles on the topic. http://www.pressreader.com/profile/Media_Mentions/bookmarks/birth_control. Also let’s make sure that if we are to entertain this debate, we are familiar with the RFRA (1993) law

  • http://ludovicurbain.blogspot.be/ Ludovic Urbain

    Actually it might.
    This verdict is an incredibly good thing, because it paves the way to having a woman convicted for it.