The law seems to define “human” as whether someone is wanted or not
The widespread existence of both fetal homicide laws along with current abortion law creates in the United States a form of legal schizophrenia that is both tragic and bizarre. It boggles the mind that a culture as advanced and intelligent as ours could live with such a blatant double standard. If an unborn child is a human person before she is born, laws opposing abortion are just. However, if the unborn child is not a human person, fetal homicide laws are not. It is absolutely absurd.
A strange legal partnership exists in the United States. The only thing that matters is the will of the mother. If the mother wants the child, it is a person. Those who harm it will be persecuted to the fullest extent of the law. If the mother does not want the child, it isn’t a person. It can be torn limb from limb with full legal impunity with no questions asked. The child is exactly the same in both scenarios; it is only the affections of the mother which are changed.
In April of 2004, a law was passed that made it a crime to harm an embryo or fetus at any stage of pregnancy. Embryos and fetuses are referred to as “child” and those who intentionally harm them are guilty of killing a human being. Now, if the embryo or fetus is killed during an abortion for which there has been consent by the pregnant woman, the person authorized to act on her behalf is exempt from any prohibition against the killing of the child in the womb!
As the law stands today, if a pregnant woman on her way to an abortion clinic, where the child will be legally killed, is assaulted in the street causing the death of her unborn child, those who assaulted her would be guilty of manslaughter under the Unborn Victims Act. It is noteworthy that when Scott Peterson was convicted and sentenced to death for killing his wife and killing his unborn son, the law made it abundantly clear that fathers do not have the right to kill their unborn children. However by law, every mother in America has the legal right to kill her unborn child up until the very moment of birth. This is legal insanity.
It is so tragic how we have drawn the line in the murder of children, born and unborn. What Ms. Stalling did was tragic. It was murder. But how can we pass and support laws that make it legal for Ms. Stalling to have done the same thing two weeks and a few hours before the birth of her baby? I rest my case.
Donald Wittmer contributes to Catholic Journal, and is a husband, father, grandfather, and business executive. This article originally appeared in Catholic Journal and is reprinted here with permission.
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