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March 1, 2010

Utah's Abortion Bill

Lawmakers in Utah recently approved a bill that would criminalize pregnant women who arrange to have an illegal abortion, and the bill now awaits the governor's signature or veto. The bill was introduced after pregnant teenager allegedly paid a man to kick her stomach when she was seven months pregnant. Here's more from The New York Times.

But critics say legislation inspired by an unusual, perhaps even freakish criminal case, could open up a vast frontier around the question of intent and responsibility and give local prosecutors huge new powers to inquire about a woman’s intentions toward her unborn child.

For example, if a pregnant woman gets into a vehicle, goes on a wild ride way over the speed limit without wearing a seatbelt and crashes and the fetus is killed, is she a reckless driver? Or is she a reckless mother-to-be who criminally ignored the safety of her fetus?

Under the bill, a woman guilty of criminal homicide of her fetus could be punished by up to life in prison.

... At least 38 states have laws against fetal homicide, generally intended to create additional penalties when a pregnant woman is assaulted or killed. And two states, Delaware and New York, also have laws specifically making self-abortion a crime. Both laws were passed before the United States Supreme Court decision in Roe v. Wade.

Other items from the news:

-- The Supreme Court declined to hear a lower court decision that Ten Commandments display on public property in Oklahoma must go, according to the Associated Press.

-- Nicholas Kristof writes about World Vision's Richard Stearn's new book in his latest column for The New York Times. Here's his conclusion.

If secular liberals can give up some of their snootiness, and if evangelicals can retire some of their sanctimony, then we all might succeed together in making greater progress against common enemies of humanity, like illiteracy, human trafficking and maternal mortality.

Kristof also wrote about evangelicals in 2008, 2005, 2004, 2003, again in 2003, yet again in 2003, and in 2002.

-- The New York Times devotes an editorial to the house on C Street affiliated with the Fellowship, arguing that it should not receive tax exemptions as a religious organization.

-- Former President George W. Bush told a crowd at the Fort Worth Christian School that his faith sustained him during during his years as president.

"I don't see how I could be president without prayer," he said, according to the Associated Press. "The prayers of the people ... sustained me, comforted me and strengthened me in a way I could have never predicted before becoming president, and for that I am extremely grateful."

Comments

Give us a break, already. Either the developing child is a human person with all the rights of an already born baby, or he/she is not. The sliding scale approach to public abortion policy is utterly absurd. If the "fetus" is just an impersonal mass of animate tissue—a merely "potential person"—then no penalties are warranted for its harm. If, on the other hand, he/she is a person—albeit in his/her earliest developmental stages—then the same penalties logically apply to those who harm him/her as to those who harm any already-born child. Why do so few people understand or heed this?!

Re Utah's abortion bill, the reason we don't "understand or heed" the idea that "the same penalties locially apply to those who harm [a fetus] as to those who harm any already-born child" is that, among many other reasons, (a) that would overturn many centuries of Western legal tradition, (b) it would give big government control over pregnant women's bodies from the nanosecond of conception all the way through delivery (see the Her.meneutics post on "Pregnant Olympic Athletes about disputes over what "harms" a fetus), (c) a woman or girl would be required (under threat of prosecution for first degree murder) to carry a pregnancy to term even if it would most likely kill her, and (d) many forms of birth control would become grounds for a first degree murder charge (if the Righ'ts view of how some contraceptives works is adopted). Should women of child-bearing age be required to submit proof of non-pregnancy before having a glass of wine with dinner in a restaurant? There is nothing "logical" about this at all.

"...that would overturn many centuries of Western legal tradition..." (logical fallacy alert: appeal to antiquity/tradition) And blatant hypocrisy! Eg. There are centuries of legal/theological opinion regarding homosexual perversion. Yet, proglibs are not adverse to overturning those laws/traditions - even to the extent of using spurious biblical research to support their morally bankrupt agenda. Proglibs selectively tear down the altars that don't agree with their "enlightened ideals and virtues." I guess the Golden Rule that proglibs banty about so pleadingly doesn't apply to babies either. Only "real" people get that consideration. I wonder how aborted babies feel about that kind of hypocrisy? Oh wait...they don't feel anything - they're dead. Sorry, kiddos the Golden Rule doesn't apply to you. However, that "macbabre right" does belong your mother. When Jesus said, "Suffer little children to come unto me, and forbid them not: for of such is the kingdom of God," I don't think he had in mind abortion. But that certainly does help children get to Jesus, doesn't it - to the tune of 4000 abortions per day! Lurid and gruesome - isn't it.

The law is meant for women who try in one way or another to kill their unborn, if the woman is not trying to kill their unborn, than the gov't isn't involved just like any other criminal situation. If you robbed the store, you are arrested, if you paid for the goods, you aren't arrested. You go on your way. And surprise, surprise, many automobile accidents are actually suicides. And just in our area in the last two years five males tried to kill their unborn with kicks to the stomach, fists to the stomach, one woman was pushed out of a moving car, another was set on fire after being lured to a motel for some "romance" with the father. That's attempted murder to me because the baby carrier wanted the unborn. Not all babies are killed by adults after being born. Many are killed by someone other than their carrier before being born and that's murder not legal abortion.

Abortion is always a hot topic. There just needs to be a ruling one way or another. Why on earth would that mother pay someone to kick her in the stomach to kill the baby. I think it shows that she is mentally ill. What I don't get are the partial birth abortions if you don't want the kid give it up for adoption. There are plenty of parents that want kids that can't have them.