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Unborn Victims of Violence & the Debate on Abortion

Posted by Rick · March 26th, 2004 · No Comments

Anti-abortionists are walking a dangerous path these days. But in a world which is increasingly unable to make distinctions, it’s no large surprise. After all, this is a world which can’t tell the difference between al Queda and Iraq, doesn’t understand that it’s possible to be against religion in government without being against religion or hating G-d and conversely believes there is variety in the marketplace because you can buy the same six models of personal computer — all installed only with Microsoft XP Home version (don’t try to buy XP Pro or Linux in any normal retail outlet) — at about three-to-seven different stores depending upon your locale.

So, as I said, it’s no accident that Diane Feinstein (D – California) and others oppose current anti-crime bills such as the “Lacy & Connor” Bill, a.k.a. the Unborn Victims of Violence Act, currently wending through Congress on the grounds that it constitutes an erosion of a woman’s choice to have an abortion.

Please, Ms. Feinstein! When was the last time you heard of a woman willing to abort her fetus by having someone kill her? The Lacy & Connor Bill no more constitutes an erosion of abortion rights than the justifiable homicide by a police officer of a dangerous felon constitutes an erosion of the laws against capital murder. If I go out and kill my next-door neighbor so that I can take his credit cards (and if I’m caught), I’m going to jail. If a policeman shows up as I’m about to kill my neighbor and kills me because I turn my weapon on him (or because I simply refuse to stop the attempt to kill my neighbor), he is not going to jail. The police officer’s killing of me will be ruled a justifiable homicide; he will not be charged with murder. Similarly, suppose just as I’m about to kill my neighbor, he somehow manages to kill me instead. In this case, my neighbor will not go to jail; he will not be charged with murder, because he killed me in self-defense.

I really hope this concept is understood — it certainly is understandable — by anti-abortionists, as well as everyone else. It’s not a long step from there, then, to an understanding that if a woman goes into an abortion clinic, hospital, or whereever else legal abortions may be done and by her choice her fetus is aborted, this is not the same as when a woman comes home to find that her husband has devised a plan to kill and dismember her, thereby also killing her fetus.

So far as I know, most abortions are done as a consequence of a choice made by the woman whose body contains and sustains a fetus. Most women survive abortions. (Those who don’t are — so far as I know — virtually always the victims of accidental or negligent killings for which the abortionist will be held responsible.) But very few women choose to be killed and dismembered in order to terminate their pregnancies. And — so far as I know — none of these women survive the “abortion.” In other words, there are distinct differences between abortion and the unauthorized termination of a pregnancy, particularly (but not exclusively) when that pregnancy is terminated via the death of the pregnant woman.

Perhaps it is inevitable in a world where reading is nearly a lost art and critical thinking is not only virtually unknown, but results in a rolling of eyes, derision, or a shouting down when it occurs that even our Senators would become incapable of making these kinds of distinctions. But when Senator Feinstein and other anti-abortionists argue that the passage of the Lacy & Connor bill is a “back door to influencing the abortion debate because the law would define a fetus as a separate life” and when idiots like Senator Orrin Hatch agree with that assessment, they are wrong. Not only that, but Feinstein and her cognitively-impaired anti-abortionist supporters play right into the hands of those like Hatch who are similarly unable to recognize the distinction.

So again: I am a separate life from that represented by the body of my neighbor. If I kill him without any legal justification, I am guilty of murder and will suffer consequences for doing so. If my neighbor — this separate life — kills me in self-defense, he will not be guilty of murder and will not suffer any legal consequences for my death. Since I am not a police officer, every police officer is a separate life. When one of them shows up and shoots me as I am about to murder my neighbor, he will not be guilty of murder and will not suffer any legal consequences for my death.

And again: Abortions are legal. If a woman chooses to have an abortion, neither she nor the appropriately-licensed abortionist to whom she has given consent to perform the abortion will be guilty of murdering the fetus which is, in fact, a separate life. If a woman does not choose to have an abortion and someone kills her fetus anyway (whether or not they also kill her), they will be guilty of murdering the fetus, which is, in fact, a separate life. The passage of an Unborn Victims of Violence Act will not change this. And it provides no more of an erosion of abortion rights than the recognition of self-defense or justifiable homicide provides for murder. Under current law, murder is illegal and there are serious legal consequences to the murderer; justifiable homicide and self-defense are not illegal and there are no serious legal consequences to the murderer.

To assert that this is not true is a crime against reason.

Categories: Law and Legal Issues


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