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Gender: Female
Current location: Wisconsin
Member since: Sat Apr 14, 2007, 05:49 PM
Number of posts: 27,985

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why I think fetal homicide laws are bullshit...

The "Protection of Unborn Children Act", fetal homicide, et al are pure BS.

A forced abortion or miscarriage is totally an assault against the woman, not the fetus. It should not center on the fetus at all, which is part of the woman's body. A woman's pregnancy becomes part of HER identity and personhood while she's pregnant. Laws that bypass her and give any status or protection to the fetus regardless of gestation are harmful and discriminatory against women, and devalue women as persons.

Also, I think the issue of 'choice' in this situation is a red herring. If an assaulted woman's pregnancy is unwanted - even if she gets assaulted on the way to the abortion clinic and miscarries, it's just as serious a crime as an assault against a woman with a much-wanted pregnancy.

Fetal homicide laws are a slippery slope and wrong.

Like "Unborn Victims of Crime Acts"


Fetal homicide laws are not the answer

Margaret Somerville ("New life matters, Nov. 6) and others in these pages have called for legal recognition for fetuses when pregnant women are murdered, which has occurred five times in Canada since 2004. The victims and families of such horrific tragedies deserve our deepest sympathy. However, creating a "fetal homicide" law that would allow murder charges to be laid for the death of a fetus would be an unconstitutional infringement on women's rights, and would likely result in harms against pregnant women.

When pregnant women are assaulted or killed, it's a domestic violence issue and it's well known that violence against women increases during pregnancy. What we need are better measures to protect women in general, and pregnant women in particular, from domestic violence. A "fetal homicide" law would completely sidestep the issue of domestic abuse and do nothing to protect pregnant women.

Canadian women have guaranteed rights and equality, while fetuses do not. Legally speaking, it would be extremely difficult to justify compromising women's established rights in favour of the theoretical rights of fetuses. The Supreme Court has ruled (in Dobson vs. Dobson, 1999) that a womanandher fetusareconsidered "physically one" person under the law. Separating a woman from her fetus under the law creates a harmful, adversarial relationship between a woman and her fetus. For example, if pregnant women are threatened with arrest for abusing drugs, they are less likely to seek pre-natal care.


In the U.S., pregnant women have been arrested even under fetal protection laws that exempt the pregnant woman herself from prosecution. That's because a law that recognizes fetal rights creates a confusing legal contradiction. If a fetus has the right not to be "murdered" in the womb by a third party, why doesn't it have the right not to be "murdered" by its own mother? In practice, these contradictory laws create a dangerous slippery slope towards criminalizing pregnant women for their behaviours while pregnant.

In Canada, the judicial system routinely takes aggravating circumstances into account. In the case of an assault or murder of a pregnant woman, even though a third party cannot be charged separately with harm to the fetus, prosecutors may recommend more serious charges, judges may impose harsher penalties and parole boards may deny parole to convicted perpetrators.

If you have a strong moral objection to criticizing, satirizing or mocking deeply held beliefs

why are you posting on DU?

The entire point of this site is to rally people with like beliefs, point out what is wrong with Republican ideology and mock, satirize and criticize those whose very deeply held beliefs differ from our very deeply held beliefs.

Serious question: what's so very different about doing the same with religion? Why is it so taboo to some to do the same with religion?

Religion is deeply entrenched in politics and that's a serious problem for many of us. In fact, the bulk of us would probably refrain from most of it if it weren't.


Exactly. Opposing bigotry is not bigotry.

“Tolerating intolerance is not, in fact, tolerance. It is merely the passive-aggressive enabling of intolerance.”
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