Why are there no murder charges for abortion?
Bottom Line: Your point is a good one. While hypocrisy in politics isn’t exactly unusual, it’s pervasive when it comes to the abortion issue. The debate prior to last week’s SCOTUS leak and in the week since has centered around the implications of Roe being overturned and what the limitations might look like at the state level. In Florida, that’s centered around the state’s new law which limits abortions in almost all instances to 15 weeks. But to your point, what are known as “fetal rights” laws have long been part of our society. There are currently 38 states which have what are known as fetal homicide laws in place. Florida is one of those. In fact, Florida’s law is as protective of the unborn as any in the country. I’ll break that down in a moment but first here’s a look at current blue states (states which went for Biden) which have laws protecting the unborn.
- California, Georgia, Illinois, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Nevada, New Hampshire, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Virginia, Washington & Wisconsin
That’s a total of 14 states which Biden won that have laws protecting the unborn – including the liberal standard bearer – California. In fact, California’s law is an effectual one to highlight. Here’s what it states: defines murder as the unlawful killing of a human being or a fetus with malice aforethought. What’s especially interesting is the use of the language “unlawful killing”. What comes to mind when I hear “unlawful killing”, is...as opposed to the lawful killing of someone? Anyway, the law is an acknowledgement that a fetus represents life, but that there’s a “lawful” process for ending it (abortion), and unlawful killing (through malice). Notably, in California’s law, the mother doesn’t have to die for a person to be charged with murder – just the fetus. That’s consistent through the various laws in many states. On that note here’s what Florida’s law states:
- anyone who commits a criminal offense and, in the process, causes bodily injury to or the death of an unborn child commits a separate offense if the provision or statute does not otherwise specifically provide a separate offense for such death or injury to an unborn child. At the end of the subsection, the state defines unborn child as a member of the species Homo sapiens, at any stage of development, who is carried in the womb.
Florida’s law is among the most detailed in spelling out the specific protections afforded to the unborn. That includes clarity that a “unborn child at any stage of development” is protected. And here’s the inherent moral contradiction that ties back to your point. Whether it’s in Florida or 37 other states, what a mother and an abortion doctor choose to do isn’t considered murder, however under any other circumstance in which a pregnancy was intentionally impaired or ended, it would be. What I call The Sliding Scale of Morality, comes to mind. There’s been a great deal of intellectual inconsistency on the issue of abortion since 1973’s Supreme Court ruling. And even if the SCOTUS decision turns out to be consistent with the leaked Alito opinion, that will remain the case in Florida where our new state law will continue to allow abortions up to 15 weeks.
The greater point of this topic and conversation remains an important one. The pro-abortion argument in all instances centers around one central concept. “A woman’s right to choose”. However, 38 states, including ours, have explicit rights for fetuses that act independent of the rights of their mothers. It’s a tangled web we’ve woven as a society, which to the point of fetal rights, takes me back to one of my takeaways last week. If we’re going to error, is it not best to error on the side of life?
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Today’s entry: Submitted via the Talkback feature regarding fetal rights in states.