Saturday, November 07, 2009

Life is Cheap

I always thought it was supposed to be safe, legal and rare. That's what Bill Clinton told me, but I should have known better than to trust The Great Prevaricator. Well, it's not rare and, of course, it's never safe for the baby. But 'safe' for the woman surely meant that the murder would take place in a sterile atmosphere, such as a hospital or clinic surgery, with a fully qualified and state-licensed killer doctor on hand. An accomplished accomplice nurse might come in handy too. But enterprising American human beings are always on the lookout for a way to save a buck. And even though this particular kind of murder is legal, most women who avail themselves of it seem to want to hide the fact from everyone else. So, with both these goals in mind, a 7 months pregnant 17 year old Utah girl hired a thug to beat her up, the primary target being her belly. The cost of hiring a pregnant belly-beater: $150. She later "entered a no contest plea in May 2009 on charges of second-degree felony criminal solicitation of murder." This was subsequently vacated by a judge who ruled that her actions "fit the state's definition for an abortion and, therefore, she 'cannot be held criminally liable for'" them. So she walked. The guy who beat her pled "guilty to second-degree felony attempted murder."

The irony? The baby survived and is currently in foster care. His mother is trying to get custody.

13 comments:

Peony Moss said...

Couldn't they get the thug on "practicing medicine without a license?"

Lydia McGrew said...

The guy got convicted of attempted murder? Of whom? The baby?

Kevin J Jones said...

Under the mess that is U.S. constitutional law, doesn't the thug have an equal protection argument against the attempted murder conviction? The woman got out of jail free, after all.

I hope this pro-life leader wants his words back:

"'To draw the conclusions and the similarities between a medical procedure and hiring some thug to beat you until you have a miscarriage is absurd,' said Wimmer, who is also the chair of the right-to-life advocacy group the Utah Family Action Council"

Hard to believe he's making a distinction between "good, professional abortions" and "bad amateur abortions."

And what's up with that no abortions after 20 weeks law? Is that actually enforced? What about the claim that Roe struck down all such regulations, with its broad "health" exception?

Marie said...

Have you heard the second half of "Oh, what a tangled web we weave, when first we practice to deceive"?

But when we've practiced quite a while, how vastly we improve our style.

William Luse said...

Heh. Yeah, Peony, you'd think that would be the logical upshot of the judge's decision.

I assume so, Lydia. I think you can be prosecuted for murder of an unborn child unless you're the mother who's requesting it. Then it's not murder but something else.

The only advantage to the distinction, Kevin, is that insisting on the "medical procedure" environment makes it more likely that we'll end up with only one dead human rather than two.

Roe does allow the state to regulate abortion to some degree after viability - because it has an "interest in potential human life." I guess Utah chose 20 weeks, based on what I don't know. Whether anyone's ever been successfully prosecuted under that law I don't know either.

Good one, Marie. The girl in question, of course, needs more practice.

Lydia McGrew said...

Guys, any story that says abortion is "illegal" after 20 weeks (I haven't read this) is misleading. The only thing that happens in those cases, if the state so chooses, is that the abortionist has to jump through some hoops and declare that it is for the woman's "health." That is what Tiller did in Kansas. In some cases the state can require two docs to say it is for the woman's "health." Whoop-de-doo.

Lydia McGrew said...

From reading such stories, though, I've decided that laws like that probably do save some lives. There are apparently abortionists who have more qualms about claiming a "health" exception where manifestly there is no actual, physical health reason than they have about murdering children. Add that to the fact that abortions in the third trimester are more dangerous to the mother and more complicated and that in some states you are required to beef up your medical facilities to do them (for that very reason, in case something goes wrong for the mother), and it isn't always worth the hassle to the abortionist. So they talk like the law can be taken more at face value and just say, "You can't get an abortion after 20 weeks" or "Abortion is illegal in this state after 24 weeks" or whatever, and the women believe it, too. As I say, it probably saves some lives that there is this perception and that there are the extra hoops to jump through.

William Luse said...

any story that says abortion is "illegal" after 20 weeks...is misleading.

That's always been my impression too. I assume that's why the judge let her walk. But then the guy she hired didn't walk. That's why Kevin asked about equal protection. I can't answer his question, except to note that if he, the thug, had the right sheepskin and a blade instead of just his fists, everything would have been kosher. What he did sounds to me like a back alley abortion, but a truly committed judge won't even mind those anymore if overlooking them protects the 'sacrament'.

Marie said...

We used to live in a pretty politically conservative and fairly religious area, the DA there prosecuted cases where a man killed a pregnant woman as if he had killed an infant, too. If it seems contradictory, it probably is, but I think that's because the prosecutor didn't believe for one minute that the fetus was not a life, and refused to let Roe circumscribe how he viewed homicide, or how he acted on that. So if the law allowed it, he did it.

But that is in a case of murder or manslaughter against the mother, it's fascinating that someone succeeded in convicting a man who was not trying to hurt the mother but to kill the fetus, and as per her instruction. I wonder if there are legal definitions of abortion and abortionist in Utah law?

alaiyo said...

She wants custody???? Please tell me no one is insane enough to let her get anywhere near that baby . . . .

William Luse said...

Wish I could tell you that.

MamaT said...

This is insane. And it makes my head want to explode.

What happens when we get to the place where there are simply no more words to use? I sit and read this and am glad there are people like you and Lydia who can be advocates for our viewpoints.

Me? I just sit and splutter. And weep.

And try to pray for our crazy, stupid, misguided world.

William Luse said...

Hey, I do my fair share of spluttering.