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Monday, April 21, 2003



More on the Peterson child

Jonah Goldberg just noted in The Corner that NOW president Patricia Ireland in an interview with Fox News calls it a double homicide.

He is following up on an earlier post of his where he noted that the now blogfamous Marva Stark of the Parsippany, NJ NOW chapter is, indeed, merely a local chapter head and predicted that on a national level, NOW would not fall into a PR blunder on this.

However, as I noted earlier, NOW is on record as opposing fetal homicide laws.

If Scott Peterson has a good defense attorney, we will continue to hear about this. In California, murderers are liable to receive the death penalty only under certain special circumstances. One of those special circumstances? More than one victim.

Update: More than you ever wanted to know about fetal homicide

Reproductive rights organizations have consistently opposed fetal homicide laws. Here are some links. The Cincinnati Enquirer covers opposition to a recent fetal homicide law. The two families testifying in favor of the law had lost children to drunk drivers. In both cases, the women were in labor and on their way to the hospital.

The ACLU's position paper on feticide laws.

CBS News reviews fetal homicide legislation late last year.

The Kentucky Courier Journal quotes an ACLU lawyer opposing fetal homicide laws:

"Beth Wilson, with the reproductive rights section of the American Civil Liberties Union of Kentucky, said yesterday that the bill 'absolutely'' is an effort to ban abortion. She said the ACLU believes enhancing penalties for an attack on a pregnant woman that results in a stillbirth or miscarriage is the solution."

Another local pro-abortion group hot under the collar about fetal homicide laws.

In late January, the Philadelphia Inquirer reviews feticide laws.

A primer from the National Council of State Legislatures, which states:

"Pro-choice advocates say such laws grant a fetus legal status distinct from the pregnant woman-possibly creating an adversarial relationship between a woman and her baby."

(Right. Pro-choice advocates are super opposed to creating an adversarial relationship between a woman and her baby.)

ABC News notes that one reproductive rights group opposes fetal homicide laws:

“'This legislation is the first step toward recognizing the fetus as a person and just a part of the larger assault on a woman’s right to choose,' says Sharon Levin, spokeswoman for the National Women’s Law Center.

'This bill does not address crime against the pregnant woman. It focuses on crimes against the embryo, zygote, fetus — at any stage of gestation,' she says. 'Really, the purpose of the bill is to elevate the fetus to the same status as a living being, thereby beginning the process of granting it legal rights. And that begins to undermine the philosophy of the Roe vs. Wade decision.'"

Note: If you studiously read through the links, you'll see that representatives of reproductive rights organizations evaluate fetal homicide laws not on their merits, but on the intentions of those who propose them. They might have an argument on the merits, but if they do, they don't make it. It's a bit ironic that they would pursue this argumentative strategy since by opposing fetal homicide laws, they imply that the intention of the pregnant woman toward her fetus (to allow it continued life or not) has no bearing on anything. Of course, that's only a tiny irony in this sea.


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