Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
  #1  
Old 10-14-2018, 09:15 AM
Whack-a-Mole's Avatar
Whack-a-Mole Whack-a-Mole is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2000
Location: Chicago, IL USA
Posts: 20,333
Man who put abortion-inducing drug in girlfriend's drink gets 22 years in prison -attempted homicide

This morning I came across this article: Man who put abortion-inducing drug in girlfriend's drink gets 22 years in prison

The short version is a man tried to give his pregnant girlfriend an abortion-inducing drug without her knowledge. She did not ingest the drug but his plan was found out and he was convicted of attempted murder of the unborn child. (As it happens she miscarried later unrelated to this.)

What struck me about this is the disconnect where we allow a woman to terminate a pregnancy yet sentence this man to 22 years in prison for attempted murder. I have no problem with getting him for some lesser crime (e.g. assault) but murder seems at odds with allowing a woman to terminate her pregnancy with no repercussion.

I could see this charge if it was in the 2nd or 3rd trimester but not in the first (I did not see in the article how far along the woman was...I am assuming the 1st trimester).

FTR I am pro-choice. For debate I am curious if others think this is an appropriate crime to be charged with in these circumstances? (As in whether it makes sense, not debating if this is how the law is actually written.)
__________________
"I did not mean that Conservatives are generally stupid; I meant, that stupid persons are generally Conservative. I believe that to be so obvious and undeniable a fact that I hardly think any hon. Gentleman will question it." ~John Stuart Mill

Last edited by Whack-a-Mole; 10-14-2018 at 09:16 AM.
  #2  
Old 10-14-2018, 09:39 AM
Little Nemo Little Nemo is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Dec 1999
Location: Western New York
Posts: 78,930
I don't see the disconnect. A lot of crimes involve issues of consent in their definition of whether or not a crime occurred.

If I voluntarily give you a hundred dollars, it's a gift and it's legal. If you make me give you a hundred dollars without my consent, then it's a robbery and it's illegal.
  #3  
Old 10-14-2018, 09:59 AM
DSeid's Avatar
DSeid DSeid is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Sep 2001
Location: Chicago, IL
Posts: 21,147
Quote:
Originally Posted by Little Nemo View Post
I don't see the disconnect. A lot of crimes involve issues of consent in their definition of whether or not a crime occurred. ...
Yes, a despicable crime was committed due to lack of consent. It should be punished pretty severely I think. The question is what the crime is defined as.

It is attempted murder if the intent was to kill what is defined as a human life.

Is this that?
  #4  
Old 10-14-2018, 10:16 AM
Thudlow Boink's Avatar
Thudlow Boink Thudlow Boink is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: May 2000
Location: Lincoln, IL
Posts: 25,739
Quote:
Originally Posted by Little Nemo View Post
I don't see the disconnect. A lot of crimes involve issues of consent in their definition of whether or not a crime occurred.
That doesn't explain away the disconnect. Are there any other cases where it's someone other than the victim who gives or withholds consent?

Who's the victim here? If this is a crime against the woman, then "attempted homicide" isn't the appropriate charge, because she's not the one he was attempting to kill. If it's a crime against the unborn child, then consent isn't an issue; fetuses don't consent to abortions.
  #5  
Old 10-14-2018, 10:21 AM
Babale Babale is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Dec 2008
Posts: 1,277
It's funny that you mention this example, because it's one used in Judaism to support abortion rights. Jewish law is often based around rabbis arguing with one another on how to interpret various rules. One of the famous debates involve an ox escaping and causing damage. Based on the negligence of the owner, and the damage the ox caused, different penalties are hashed out. For example, if negligence causes the escape, and a man is killed, the owner is put to death as a murderer (if I remember this right -- the exact details are foggy, I learned this years ago in a high school class). If the bull crashes into a pregnant woman and causes a miscarriage though, the owner of the bull only pays a fine. So from that ruling, it is derived that fetuses are not considered on par with a human life in Jewish law.
  #6  
Old 10-14-2018, 11:08 AM
JRDelirious JRDelirious is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Aug 1999
Location: Displaced
Posts: 15,474
Well, to begin with this sort of assault could have imperiled the woman's life as well -- but, as background: In at least 30 states, if you commit an assault or a reckless/negligent injury on a pregnant woman that results in loss of the pregnancy, it can count as an instance of homicide -- the specifics of what charge and punishment applies vary both from state to state and depending on such things as the stage of pregnancy, the nature of the encompassing assault/negligence, and if there can be shown deliberate intent/depraved indifference/etc.

Wisconsin apparently has something like 14 different statutory offences that include prenatal injury either in themselves or as a special case. I'd expect there were several of those that were simultaneously involved here and it was prosecutorial discretion which one(s) to charge him with.

The law in Wisconsin explicitly excludes from those when it happens in the course or as an effect of the woman's own conduct, or of a procedure conducted "in accordance with the usual and customary standards of medical practice during diagnostic testing or therapeutic treatment performed by, or under the supervision of, a licensed physician".

Last edited by JRDelirious; 10-14-2018 at 11:12 AM.
  #7  
Old 10-14-2018, 11:29 AM
naita naita is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Jun 2002
Location: Norway
Posts: 5,811
The article says she got pregnant in August and the attempt to trick her into consuming drugs happened Sept. 17th.

My initial emotional response was that a murder charge was just fine, although I thought it was either not correct application of the law, or the law would need to specifically except abortion.

But thinking about it further and for an early 1st trimester pregnancy I'd say it should count as some sort of grievous assault on the mother.

The pro-life counter arguments are obvious, although I don't agree with them.

Someone could try to make a pro-choice argument that even assault is too harsh a charge, since it would be fine for the woman to have the pregnancy terminated, but I hope the proponent of such an argument would see that it's somewhat similar to say that since the woman is free to go to a clinic and have fat sucked out of her abdomen it would also be fine for someone to do that to her without her consent.
  #8  
Old 10-14-2018, 11:58 AM
UltraVires UltraVires is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: Bridgeport, WV, US
Posts: 14,038
Quote:
Originally Posted by naita View Post
The article says she got pregnant in August and the attempt to trick her into consuming drugs happened Sept. 17th.

My initial emotional response was that a murder charge was just fine, although I thought it was either not correct application of the law, or the law would need to specifically except abortion.

But thinking about it further and for an early 1st trimester pregnancy I'd say it should count as some sort of grievous assault on the mother.

The pro-life counter arguments are obvious, although I don't agree with them.

Someone could try to make a pro-choice argument that even assault is too harsh a charge, since it would be fine for the woman to have the pregnancy terminated, but I hope the proponent of such an argument would see that it's somewhat similar to say that since the woman is free to go to a clinic and have fat sucked out of her abdomen it would also be fine for someone to do that to her without her consent.
No, as mentioned above the victim in this case is the unborn child. That is who he was convicted of attempting to murder. So, the law recognizes that the unborn child is a person subject to the law insofar as if you attempt to kill it, it is attempted murder.

Yet, in an absurd way, the law also recognizes that the woman may have an abortion, which is an attempt to kill the child, yet she has a constitutional right to do so.

IOW, if we justify abortion on the grounds that it is not murder, it is a healthcare decision, a right of a woman not to bear an unwanted child, etc. then an attack on the unborn child should be some species of assault, battery, aggravated battery of the woman as the law recognizes that the unborn child is not a subject of being murdered if his mother does it. The victim should be the woman and not the child if we are to be consistent.
  #9  
Old 10-14-2018, 12:19 PM
naita naita is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Jun 2002
Location: Norway
Posts: 5,811
Quote:
Originally Posted by UltraVires View Post
No, as mentioned above the victim in this case is the unborn child. That is who he was convicted of attempting to murder. So, the law recognizes that the unborn child is a person subject to the law insofar as if you attempt to kill it, it is attempted murder.
No? This was my opinion in a thread that is more about what the law should be than whether or not the prosecutor and court applied existing law correctly. My opinion is that a 1st trimester fetus shouldn't be considered the victim of murder.
  #10  
Old 10-14-2018, 12:33 PM
Riemann's Avatar
Riemann Riemann is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Nov 2015
Location: Santa Fe, NM, USA
Posts: 5,844
The strict pro life position seems to be straightforward. The consistent position would logically be:
mother gets an abortion = murder of the child
OP crime = murder of the child and assault on the mother

From a pro choice position, at first glance then the consistent position seems to be:
mother gets an abortion = no crime
OP crime = assault on the mother

But that's wrong. The pro choice position does not stem from a belief that a fetus should not have rights, but from a belief that the right of the mother to bodily autonomy supersedes the any rights that the fetus might have. In general, the pro choice position does not explore what rights the fetus should have absent a mother, since the situation doesn't arise. But that's really what we're asking in the OP scenario. In a sense, it's similar to the need for the pro choice position to explore the rights of an early-stage fetus when we have the technology to grow a baby in a synthetic womb.

Also, I think that the gut reaction to the crime in the OP is influenced by the fact that the perpetrator is the father rather than a random stranger. But should that really make a difference? I don't think the pro choice is position is that a parent has an explicit right to kill a fetus. It is that the mother has a right to bodily autonomy that overrides the right of the fetus to "use" her body, and that exercising that right kills the fetus only incidentally. So a father who commits the crime in the OP should not be treated any differently from a stranger who commits that crime.

So: my first reaction was that from a pro choice perspective it should not be murder; but on reflection, I think that in addition to assault on the mother, the crime in the OP should be the same charge that we would apply if we had the technology to grow a fetus in a synthetic womb, and someone killed it. I don't think most people who are pro choice have necessarily considered that question.

Last edited by Riemann; 10-14-2018 at 12:38 PM.
  #11  
Old 10-14-2018, 01:23 PM
TruCelt's Avatar
TruCelt TruCelt is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: Near Washington, DC
Posts: 10,913
The charge is not "murder." The charge, according to your link, is " . . . attempted first-degree intentional homicide of an unborn child . . .". This would seem to refer to a statute which is specific to unborn children.

Women are allowed to have abortions because the fetus is dependent upon the female body to grow into an independent being. And women have the right to decide what risks of injury and death they are willing to undertake with relationship to their own bodies.

Being pro-choice is not the same as saying life isn't precious. It is a basic belief that what goes on with a woman's body is her choice and hers alone. It is not about the responsibility of raising a child, but about the risks and inherent damage to a woman's body as a result of bearing a child to term and giving birth. In the USA we like to take a sanitized view of this, and close our eyes to what women suffer to continue the human race. A lucky few have no significant long-term effects, but the harm can be immense.

Last edited by TruCelt; 10-14-2018 at 01:24 PM.
  #12  
Old 10-14-2018, 01:30 PM
Manda JO Manda JO is online now
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Jul 1999
Posts: 10,749
I sometimes equate abortion to kidney donation: I don't think the state can can compel me to donate a kidney to my own child, so they can't compel me to donate womb space to an unborn person. Where it gets touchy in my mind is once the infant is viable: I think the right to not be pregnant doesn't automatically imply the right to kill the fetus. I find it easier to support a woman's right to have a c-section or induced delivery at 30 weeks even if there's no medical reason than her right to abort.

So, this would be like I have decided to donate my kidney to my child, who needs it and can only use mine. If someone deliberately poisons me to taint my kidney and make it unsuitable for donation, have they murdered the child it was meant to save?
  #13  
Old 10-14-2018, 01:55 PM
Gatopescado's Avatar
Gatopescado Gatopescado is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Aug 2001
Location: on your last raw nerve
Posts: 20,428
You can smash out all the windows in your car, but if you do it to your neighbor's, its a crime.
  #14  
Old 10-14-2018, 02:12 PM
UltraVires UltraVires is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: Bridgeport, WV, US
Posts: 14,038
Quote:
Originally Posted by Riemann View Post
But that's wrong. The pro choice position does not stem from a belief that a fetus should not have rights, but from a belief that the right of the mother to bodily autonomy supersedes the any rights that the fetus might have. In general, the pro choice position does not explore what rights the fetus should have absent a mother, since the situation doesn't arise. But that's really what we're asking in the OP scenario. In a sense, it's similar to the need for the pro choice position to explore the rights of an early-stage fetus when we have the technology to grow a baby in a synthetic womb.
I was under the impression that the pro-choice side relied on the belief that the unborn child was not a life, at least one that was incapable of being "murdered." Isn't that why they insist on the term fetus instead of unborn child? We hear in these threads all of the time that it is just a clump of cells, not much different that removing a cancer from your body. It is at many times not referred to as abortion, but as "women's health care" or some other euphemism.

I think that just a distinction is necessary for the pro-choice side. If we hold that the unborn child is a life capable of being murdered, then any balancing test would clearly be against legal abortion. The right not to be murdered on one side would clearly outweigh nearly any inconvenience the woman suffers as a result of pregnancy.
  #15  
Old 10-14-2018, 02:18 PM
Thudlow Boink's Avatar
Thudlow Boink Thudlow Boink is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: May 2000
Location: Lincoln, IL
Posts: 25,739
I think references to "THE pro-choice position" or what "THE pro-choice side" believes may be misleading.
  #16  
Old 10-14-2018, 02:23 PM
Riemann's Avatar
Riemann Riemann is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Nov 2015
Location: Santa Fe, NM, USA
Posts: 5,844
Quote:
Originally Posted by UltraVires View Post
I was under the impression that the pro-choice side relied on the belief that the unborn child was not a life, at least one that was incapable of being "murdered." Isn't that why they insist on the term fetus instead of unborn child?
Well, of course people's opinions may vary widely on the issue. But no, for most people I don't think you are describing things fairly. The pro choice position is a positive assertion of the woman's right to bodily autonomy relative to the rights of a fetus, not an assertion that a fetus has no rights at all. If one is ethically confident in that relationship, the question of exactly where the rights of fetus lie does not need to be addressed unless a fetus can be grown independent of a woman's body.

Last edited by Riemann; 10-14-2018 at 02:28 PM.
  #17  
Old 10-14-2018, 02:46 PM
UltraVires UltraVires is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: Bridgeport, WV, US
Posts: 14,038
Quote:
Originally Posted by Riemann View Post
Well, of course people's opinions may vary widely on the issue. But no, for most people I don't think you are describing things fairly. The pro choice position is a positive assertion of the woman's right to bodily autonomy relative to the rights of a fetus, not an assertion that a fetus has no rights at all. If one is ethically confident in that relationship, the question of exactly where the rights of fetus lie does not need to be addressed unless a fetus can be grown independent of a woman's body.
I disagree. To assess the question, one must first define the rights at stake in order to determine which rights take precedence.

I think everyone can define the rights of the woman in this scenario and everyone agrees with them: a woman wants to maintain her bodily autonomy, have the choice of whether to reproduce, whether to suffer the pain and inconvenience and possible health consequences, and even death in rare circumstances.

But in order to determine if that means she should be able to choose to abort the fetus/unborn child, one must necessarily then determine what rights the fetus/child has. Without conducting that analysis it is simply impossible to baldly state that the woman's rights control. To come to that conclusion, one has decided that whatever rights the fetus/child has are lesser in comparison to those described above.

However, getting back to the OP, if we hold that an unborn child has such a right to life that the taking of that life would be considered murder under the law, independent of the woman's choice, then it seems inconceivable that the balancing test would be in the woman's favor. I know of no balancing of harms in the law where one's convenience is more important than another's death.

That is why I think the OP makes an interesting point. If the fetus has these lesser rights such that a woman's convenience is paramount then it does not follow that a charge of attempted killing (or illegal abortion) of this unborn child should amount to an attempted murder. It is internally inconsistent.

ETA: Or are you saying that some on the pro-choice side hold the position something like, "Well, hell yes, its murder, but fuck the little bastards. It's my body and if I want to murder it, I will"? That seems not at all in comporting with the standards of any decent society and is untenable.

Last edited by UltraVires; 10-14-2018 at 02:48 PM.
  #18  
Old 10-14-2018, 02:59 PM
Riemann's Avatar
Riemann Riemann is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Nov 2015
Location: Santa Fe, NM, USA
Posts: 5,844
Quote:
Originally Posted by UltraVires View Post
I disagree. To assess the question, one must first define the rights at stake in order to determine which rights take precedence.
One be confident that a is less than b without precisely defining by how much a is less than b.

In any event, I was doing my level best to discuss how the principles apply to the OP without getting dragged into the pro choice / pro life debate per se. Both sides have a defensible ethical position that's not hard to understand in principle, and I'd rather limit this to discussing the logical implications of each position to the OP.

I'm not going to argue pro choice vs pro life with you.

Quote:
Originally Posted by UltraVires View Post
ETA: Or are you saying that some on the pro-choice side hold the position something like, "Well, hell yes, its murder, but fuck the little bastards. It's my body and if I want to murder it, I will"? That seems not at all in comporting with the standards of any decent society and is untenable.
Obviously this disingenuous nonsense is the diametric opposite of what I said.

Last edited by Riemann; 10-14-2018 at 03:03 PM.
  #19  
Old 10-14-2018, 03:02 PM
JRDelirious JRDelirious is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Aug 1999
Location: Displaced
Posts: 15,474
Quote:
Originally Posted by UltraVires View Post
I was under the impression that the pro-choice side relied on the belief that the unborn child was not a life, at least one that was incapable of being "murdered." Isn't that why they insist on the term fetus instead of unborn child? We hear in these threads all of the time that it is just a clump of cells, not much different that removing a cancer from your body. It is at many times not referred to as abortion, but as "women's health care" or some other euphemism.

I think that just a distinction is necessary for the pro-choice side. If we hold that the unborn child is a life capable of being murdered, then any balancing test would clearly be against legal abortion. The right not to be murdered on one side would clearly outweigh nearly any inconvenience the woman suffers as a result of pregnancy.
Well, just IMO as I am not the legislator or the court of course, that's just why parallel-history legislator JRDelirious would not have voted for "fetal homicide" statutes using those terms about "unborn child" that are used in many of the states.

However... we know that not all killing is what the law calls "murder"... but at the same time not calling it murder it does not mean it can't be determined to still be treated as a crime or a tort.

I subscribe to the tradition that a natural person is one who lives free from the motherly womb; so I woud not have legislated to call it murder. But it is causing a damage upon an entity that is within the woman's body and tied to her organism, so her consent would be required for it to be intervened with; and it is an interruption of a natural process that, under normal circumstances, is life-risking but not per se terminal but has a higher risk if meddled with unprofessionally. So then I'd say redraft the bill and call it (malicious/wrongful/negligent) (termination of pregnancy/fetal death/gestational mayhem) and penalize it or recognize a cause of action, separate and distinct from those we use for murder, where the injured party is the woman.

Last edited by JRDelirious; 10-14-2018 at 03:05 PM.
  #20  
Old 10-14-2018, 03:07 PM
UltraVires UltraVires is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: Bridgeport, WV, US
Posts: 14,038
Quote:
Originally Posted by Riemann View Post
One be confident that a is less than b without precisely defining by how much a is less than b.

In any event, I was doing my level best to discuss the principles in the OP without getting dragged into the pro choice / pro life debate per se. Both sides have a defensible ethical position that's not hard to understand in principle, and I'd rather limit this to discussing the logical implications of each position to the OP.

I'm not going to argue pro choice vs pro life with you.
I am not at all arguing pro-life vs. pro-choice. And I agree that a can be less than b without defining the exact counters of a.

The principles in the OP suggest that if the standard is that a fetus is protected by murder laws, then a cannot be less than b. (Again, unless the argument of some on the pro-choice side are saying yes it is murder but I don't care).

I am not in this thread, then thereby saying that abortion should be illegal, I am saying that the standard of protection of the fetus cannot be one of murder laws applying.
  #21  
Old 10-14-2018, 03:09 PM
jasg jasg is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2001
Location: Upper left hand corner
Posts: 5,481
I guess this news has ruined Jason Miller's weekend...
__________________
It is useless to attempt to reason a man out of a thing he was never reasoned into.
~ Jonathan Swift (1667 - 1745)
  #22  
Old 10-14-2018, 03:24 PM
Riemann's Avatar
Riemann Riemann is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Nov 2015
Location: Santa Fe, NM, USA
Posts: 5,844
Quote:
Originally Posted by UltraVires View Post
The principles in the OP suggest that if the standard is that a fetus is protected by murder laws, then a cannot be less than b.
Well, that's only if you assume that "life" is a binary definition, that all forms of life are exactly equivalent. Which is petitio principii in this debate. If we end up in a world where growing a fetus in a synthetic womb is possible, then we will need a legal framework to encompass that. But there's no reason in principle why the order of precedence of rights need not be

killing a fetus < woman's bodily autonomy < killing a mature human

...and yet we still might choose to call the first and third of those things types of of murder when they happen in isolation (or we might not). That's a matter of semantics. You don't make two acts ethically precisely equivalent just by calling them variants of the same type of thing. And it doesn't certainly doesn't imply no respect at all for the rights of a fetus.

Last edited by Riemann; 10-14-2018 at 03:26 PM.
  #23  
Old 10-14-2018, 03:30 PM
UltraVires UltraVires is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: Bridgeport, WV, US
Posts: 14,038
Quote:
Originally Posted by JRDelirious View Post
Well, just IMO as I am not the legislator or the court of course, that's just why parallel-history legislator JRDelirious would not have voted for "fetal homicide" statutes using those terms about "unborn child" that are used in many of the states.

However... we know that not all killing is what the law calls "murder"... but at the same time not calling it murder it does not mean it can't be determined to still be treated as a crime or a tort.

I subscribe to the tradition that a natural person is one who lives free from the motherly womb; so I woud not have legislated to call it murder. But it is causing a damage upon an entity that is within the woman's body and tied to her organism, so her consent would be required for it to be intervened with; and it is an interruption of a natural process that, under normal circumstances, is life-risking but not per se terminal but has a higher risk if meddled with unprofessionally. So then I'd say redraft the bill and call it (malicious/wrongful/negligent) (termination of pregnancy/fetal death/gestational mayhem) and penalize it or recognize a cause of action, separate and distinct from those we use for murder, where the injured party is the woman.
I don't disagree with much, if anything, you have said. I agree that it is a terrible crime and should be punished severely as it treads upon the woman's bodily integrity and deprives her of a choice of whether to carry her child to term.

But to construe it as a crime against the fetus/child is inconsistent. As the abortion laws hold that the fetus/child has no recognized legal interest in protecting its right or desire to be born, then the assailant has not deprived this fetus/child of any legal protections recognized by law; he has however harmed the woman.
  #24  
Old 10-14-2018, 03:31 PM
Riemann's Avatar
Riemann Riemann is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Nov 2015
Location: Santa Fe, NM, USA
Posts: 5,844
For me at least, I should add: I'm not discussing the current legal definition of murder, or what the perpetrator in the OP might be charged with under our current legal framework. I'm talking about ethical principles, about what I think the law should be.

Last edited by Riemann; 10-14-2018 at 03:33 PM.
  #25  
Old 10-14-2018, 03:48 PM
RitterSport's Avatar
RitterSport RitterSport is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Mar 2002
Posts: 2,723
Is fetal homicide a kind of murder or is it something else? I'd love to get that nailed down from one of our resident lawyers if possible.

Anyway, I think it's dangerous to have fetal homicide laws (murder or not) because that's in the direction of creating fetal personhood provisions and I'm against those. Looks like I'm too late, since the state in the article and apparently others already have those laws.

First trimester abortions are constitutionally protected but that doesn't mean that other laws could be put in place that would harass the mothers. Drinking or taking drugs while pregnant? Child endangerment, contributing to the delinquency of a minor. Having too much caffeine, which can cause miscarriages? Attempted homicide? Slippery slope arguments are usually garbage, but we've already been slipping down that slope with more and more restrictions on the ability to get an abortion (waiting periods, sonograms, listening to required statements, ridiculous standards that only apply to abortion clinics). We're slipping down that slope and some states only have a single clinic now.

I see any fetal homicide laws to be similar. This was an assault on the mother, not attempted homicide (again, is that the same as attempted murder?).
  #26  
Old 10-14-2018, 03:55 PM
Whack-a-Mole's Avatar
Whack-a-Mole Whack-a-Mole is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2000
Location: Chicago, IL USA
Posts: 20,333
Quote:
Originally Posted by Riemann View Post
Well, of course people's opinions may vary widely on the issue. But no, for most people I don't think you are describing things fairly. The pro choice position is a positive assertion of the woman's right to bodily autonomy relative to the rights of a fetus, not an assertion that a fetus has no rights at all. If one is ethically confident in that relationship, the question of exactly where the rights of fetus lie does not need to be addressed unless a fetus can be grown independent of a woman's body.
This take on a woman's right to abort would suggest that, at best, you could characterize her actions as a "justifiable homicide" under the law.

The law is saying another party is able to murder the unborn regardless of term of gestation. Therefore the unborn possesses the quality that makes murder possible which I always considered to be being a living human being.

That changes the discussion around abortion a lot if you can say the government deems the unborn to be a fully living human being thus capable of being murdered with an exception carved out allowing the mother to kill it because it's her body (like being able to shoot an intruder in your home).
__________________
"I did not mean that Conservatives are generally stupid; I meant, that stupid persons are generally Conservative. I believe that to be so obvious and undeniable a fact that I hardly think any hon. Gentleman will question it." ~John Stuart Mill

Last edited by Whack-a-Mole; 10-14-2018 at 03:56 PM.
  #27  
Old 10-14-2018, 03:57 PM
Manda JO Manda JO is online now
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Jul 1999
Posts: 10,749
Quote:
Originally Posted by UltraVires View Post

I think that just a distinction is necessary for the pro-choice side. If we hold that the unborn child is a life capable of being murdered, then any balancing test would clearly be against legal abortion. The right not to be murdered on one side would clearly outweigh nearly any inconvenience the woman suffers as a result of pregnancy.
Quote:
Originally Posted by UltraVires View Post

I know of no balancing of harms in the law where one's convenience is more important than another's death.

ETA: Or are you saying that some on the pro-choice side hold the position something like, "Well, hell yes, its murder, but fuck the little bastards. It's my body and if I want to murder it, I will"? That seems not at all in comporting with the standards of any decent society and is untenable.
This is exactly the standard we hold in every other aspect of society. You can't compel a person to call 911 if they are standing there watching someone drown. You can't compel a person to donate blood even if it's the only way to save a life. You can't compel someone to donate bone marrow.

You can't compel a dead body to give up an organ without advance permission of person who died--and even that has to be confirmed by the next of kin, because their rights to have a complete meat-sack to bury comes before the right to life of the person who needs an organ.

All of those things require less physical risk, pain, permanent physical damage, loss of opportunity, and expense than pregnancy. Even when it's to save the life of your own child, that you elected to have, we can't compel anything.

Hand-waving away pregnancy and childbirth as an "inconvenience" is disingenuous at best.
  #28  
Old 10-14-2018, 04:39 PM
Mr Shine's Avatar
Mr Shine Mr Shine is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: UK
Posts: 1,832
Murder is ludicrous, the crime is more equivalent to attempted property damage.
  #29  
Old 10-14-2018, 05:04 PM
DavidwithanR DavidwithanR is offline
BANNED
 
Join Date: Feb 2018
Posts: 3,996
Quote:
Originally Posted by UltraVires View Post
As the abortion laws hold that the fetus/child has no recognized legal interest in protecting its right or desire to be born...
They DON'T hold that. They hold that IF it does have such a recognized legal interest, that interest is superseded by the mother's interests.

Unless you can cite a law that states in literal and specific terms exactly what you described.
  #30  
Old 10-14-2018, 05:28 PM
Whack-a-Mole's Avatar
Whack-a-Mole Whack-a-Mole is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2000
Location: Chicago, IL USA
Posts: 20,333
Quote:
Originally Posted by DavidwithanR View Post
They DON'T hold that. They hold that IF it does have such a recognized legal interest, that interest is superseded by the mother's interests.

Unless you can cite a law that states in literal and specific terms exactly what you described.
Well, I guess it depends on how you parse things but if it is possible to murder the unborn then, ipso facto, the unborn has a legal right to life. Then the state says the mother's rights supersede that right to life.
__________________
"I did not mean that Conservatives are generally stupid; I meant, that stupid persons are generally Conservative. I believe that to be so obvious and undeniable a fact that I hardly think any hon. Gentleman will question it." ~John Stuart Mill
  #31  
Old 10-14-2018, 05:51 PM
Whack-a-Mole's Avatar
Whack-a-Mole Whack-a-Mole is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2000
Location: Chicago, IL USA
Posts: 20,333
Quote:
Originally Posted by Manda JO View Post
This is exactly the standard we hold in every other aspect of society. You can't compel a person to call 911 if they are standing there watching someone drown. You can't compel a person to donate blood even if it's the only way to save a life. You can't compel someone to donate bone marrow.

You can't compel a dead body to give up an organ without advance permission of person who died--and even that has to be confirmed by the next of kin, because their rights to have a complete meat-sack to bury comes before the right to life of the person who needs an organ.

All of those things require less physical risk, pain, permanent physical damage, loss of opportunity, and expense than pregnancy. Even when it's to save the life of your own child, that you elected to have, we can't compel anything.

Hand-waving away pregnancy and childbirth as an "inconvenience" is disingenuous at best.
Think about this a second...

If we accept what happened in the OP then the law recognizes the unborn's right to life. It is alive in the same sense you are alive because it can be murdered.

You just made a laundry list of things we cannot compel people to do because of their right to autonomy as a living human.

Given all that you then have to accept that a woman can choose to justifiably kill (as the law implies) her unborn child because her rights supersede those of the child's right to life despite the care we give to protect all the things we can't make people do as you listed.

I am pro choice, I firmly support a woman's right to abort in the first trimester. My point here is if we accept that a person can be put in jail for 22 years for attempting to murder an unborn person in the first trimester of gestation then the implications for the mother doing the same thing, legally, change dramatically.
__________________
"I did not mean that Conservatives are generally stupid; I meant, that stupid persons are generally Conservative. I believe that to be so obvious and undeniable a fact that I hardly think any hon. Gentleman will question it." ~John Stuart Mill

Last edited by Whack-a-Mole; 10-14-2018 at 05:55 PM.
  #32  
Old 10-14-2018, 07:41 PM
UltraVires UltraVires is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: Bridgeport, WV, US
Posts: 14,038
Quote:
Originally Posted by Whack-a-Mole View Post
This take on a woman's right to abort would suggest that, at best, you could characterize her actions as a "justifiable homicide" under the law.

The law is saying another party is able to murder the unborn regardless of term of gestation. Therefore the unborn possesses the quality that makes murder possible which I always considered to be being a living human being.

That changes the discussion around abortion a lot if you can say the government deems the unborn to be a fully living human being thus capable of being murdered with an exception carved out allowing the mother to kill it because it's her body (like being able to shoot an intruder in your home).
That would be a troublesome holding. You are allowed to shoot an intruder in your home because that person has acted so far beyond the bounds of decent society that he or she has placed you in fear of losing your life. In that extreme exception to the norm, we allow the taking of another human life.

On the other hand, every single person ever born has been in their mother's womb. To hold such a thing as "justifiable homicide" means that every person ever born has committed an act which they could legally be killed for. The exception becomes the rule.

Again, I'm not here to debate pro-life v. pro-choice, but surely the pro-choice side must use a better argument than that for justification.
  #33  
Old 10-14-2018, 07:49 PM
Jackmannii Jackmannii is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Oct 2000
Location: the extreme center
Posts: 30,343
This story immediately reminded me of a similar case portrayed on Forensic Files some years ago.

And in looking for a link, I found two other examples.

Jail sentences varied from a few years to 14 years in prison. I doubt this latest guy will serve anywhere near 22 years.

Intentionally poisoning someone and putting their health at risk is a bit different from seeking a legal abortion.
  #34  
Old 10-14-2018, 08:20 PM
Whack-a-Mole's Avatar
Whack-a-Mole Whack-a-Mole is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2000
Location: Chicago, IL USA
Posts: 20,333
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jackmannii View Post
Intentionally poisoning someone and putting their health at risk is a bit different from seeking a legal abortion.
I think "poisoning" goes a bit too far here. He tried to dose her with medicine intended to induce an abortion. I do not see that as trying to poison someone.
__________________
"I did not mean that Conservatives are generally stupid; I meant, that stupid persons are generally Conservative. I believe that to be so obvious and undeniable a fact that I hardly think any hon. Gentleman will question it." ~John Stuart Mill

Last edited by Whack-a-Mole; 10-14-2018 at 08:22 PM.
  #35  
Old 10-14-2018, 08:37 PM
Whack-a-Mole's Avatar
Whack-a-Mole Whack-a-Mole is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2000
Location: Chicago, IL USA
Posts: 20,333
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jackmannii View Post
This story immediately reminded me of a similar case portrayed on Forensic Files some years ago.
For those interested here is the video of that episode: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C6f3ma-6OIE
__________________
"I did not mean that Conservatives are generally stupid; I meant, that stupid persons are generally Conservative. I believe that to be so obvious and undeniable a fact that I hardly think any hon. Gentleman will question it." ~John Stuart Mill
  #36  
Old 10-14-2018, 08:55 PM
asahi's Avatar
asahi asahi is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Aug 2015
Location: On your computer screen
Posts: 7,292
Quote:
Originally Posted by Whack-a-Mole View Post
This morning I came across this article: Man who put abortion-inducing drug in girlfriend's drink gets 22 years in prison

The short version is a man tried to give his pregnant girlfriend an abortion-inducing drug without her knowledge. She did not ingest the drug but his plan was found out and he was convicted of attempted murder of the unborn child. (As it happens she miscarried later unrelated to this.)

What struck me about this is the disconnect where we allow a woman to terminate a pregnancy yet sentence this man to 22 years in prison for attempted murder. I have no problem with getting him for some lesser crime (e.g. assault) but murder seems at odds with allowing a woman to terminate her pregnancy with no repercussion.

I could see this charge if it was in the 2nd or 3rd trimester but not in the first (I did not see in the article how far along the woman was...I am assuming the 1st trimester).

FTR I am pro-choice. For debate I am curious if others think this is an appropriate crime to be charged with in these circumstances? (As in whether it makes sense, not debating if this is how the law is actually written.)
An abortion is solely a woman's choice to make - it's her body.

A guy who poisons a woman with the intent of terminating a pregnancy is a sick fuck who belongs behind bars.
  #37  
Old 10-14-2018, 08:56 PM
asahi's Avatar
asahi asahi is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Aug 2015
Location: On your computer screen
Posts: 7,292
Quote:
Originally Posted by Whack-a-Mole View Post
I think "poisoning" goes a bit too far here. He tried to dose her with medicine intended to induce an abortion. I do not see that as trying to poison someone.
Horse manure! It's poisoning. It's forcing a woman to ingest toxins that cause her to end her pregnancy.
  #38  
Old 10-14-2018, 08:59 PM
cmkeller's Avatar
cmkeller cmkeller is online now
Guest
 
Join Date: Mar 1999
Location: New York, NY, USA
Posts: 13,103
Babale:

Quote:
if negligence causes the escape, and a man is killed, the owner is put to death as a murderer (if I remember this right -- the exact details are foggy, I learned this years ago in a high school class)
Only if the ox is established as having a habit of killing people. If the ox does not have an established pattern of killing people (i.e., not having done so three times), the owner is not held responsible.

(And just BTW, the ox is ideally to be killed after it kills only once, but that requires that it have been brought before the court for sentencing. The case above would be where this happens three times before the opportunity to bring the ox to court occurs.)

Quote:
If the bull crashes into a pregnant woman and causes a miscarriage though, the owner of the bull only pays a fine.
I'm not sure about the source for such a law on ox-damage, but a fine (for causing a miscarriage) rather than the exile (which would be the usual sentence for one who accidentally causes the death of a born human being) is the rule for a PERSON causing said event, as per Exodus 21:22.
  #39  
Old 10-14-2018, 09:35 PM
Whack-a-Mole's Avatar
Whack-a-Mole Whack-a-Mole is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2000
Location: Chicago, IL USA
Posts: 20,333
Quote:
Originally Posted by asahi View Post
An abortion is solely a woman's choice to make - it's her body.
Kinda missing the point of the thread.

Quote:
A guy who poisons a woman with the intent of terminating a pregnancy is a sick fuck who belongs behind bars.
I agree he committed a crime and deserves to go to jail. Did he commit attempted murder and deserve 22 years is the question. The law clearly says yes but do you think it is attempted murder?
__________________
"I did not mean that Conservatives are generally stupid; I meant, that stupid persons are generally Conservative. I believe that to be so obvious and undeniable a fact that I hardly think any hon. Gentleman will question it." ~John Stuart Mill
  #40  
Old 10-14-2018, 09:39 PM
Whack-a-Mole's Avatar
Whack-a-Mole Whack-a-Mole is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2000
Location: Chicago, IL USA
Posts: 20,333
Quote:
Originally Posted by asahi View Post
Horse manure! It's poisoning. It's forcing a woman to ingest toxins that cause her to end her pregnancy.
To be clear, he absolutely deserves jail time for trying this. The issue at question in the OP is whether we can square laws that convict him of attempted homicide with abortion rights.
__________________
"I did not mean that Conservatives are generally stupid; I meant, that stupid persons are generally Conservative. I believe that to be so obvious and undeniable a fact that I hardly think any hon. Gentleman will question it." ~John Stuart Mill

Last edited by Whack-a-Mole; 10-14-2018 at 09:40 PM.
  #41  
Old 10-14-2018, 09:55 PM
simster simster is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2005
Posts: 10,801
Quote:
Originally Posted by Whack-a-Mole View Post
To be clear, he absolutely deserves jail time for trying this. The issue at question in the OP is whether we can square laws that convict him of attempted homicide with abortion rights.
Absolutely - and it's the correct thing to do - otherwise, the slippery slope has men causing miscarriages to get out of child support payments.

As others have rightly said- the difference here is one of choice - and the status of the unborn fetus is entirely in the mother's realm of choice - and I have no issue with harsh punishment for those that would cause harm to said fetus outside of said choice for the woman.
  #42  
Old 10-14-2018, 09:57 PM
Whack-a-Mole's Avatar
Whack-a-Mole Whack-a-Mole is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2000
Location: Chicago, IL USA
Posts: 20,333
Quote:
Originally Posted by simster View Post
Absolutely - and it's the correct thing to do - otherwise, the slippery slope has men causing miscarriages to get out of child support payments.
I see no problem hitting the guys who try it with assault charges that can come with several years in prison and hefty fines. That should dissuade most and the ones not dissuaded likely wouldn't be by stiffer penalties.

But I think you are missing the point of the OP to try and square this crime with legal abortion.
__________________
"I did not mean that Conservatives are generally stupid; I meant, that stupid persons are generally Conservative. I believe that to be so obvious and undeniable a fact that I hardly think any hon. Gentleman will question it." ~John Stuart Mill

Last edited by Whack-a-Mole; 10-14-2018 at 10:01 PM.
  #43  
Old 10-14-2018, 11:02 PM
AHunter3 AHunter3 is online now
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Mar 1999
Location: NY (Manhattan) NY USA
Posts: 19,860
Quote:
Originally Posted by Whack-a-Mole View Post
This morning I came across this article: Man who put abortion-inducing drug in girlfriend's drink gets 22 years in prison

The short version is a man tried to give his pregnant girlfriend an abortion-inducing drug without her knowledge. She did not ingest the drug but his plan was found out and he was convicted of attempted murder of the unborn child. (As it happens she miscarried later unrelated to this.)

What struck me about this is the disconnect where we allow a woman to terminate a pregnancy yet sentence this man to 22 years in prison for attempted murder.
I see no disconnect. I heartily endorse the court's sentence, but I would prefer that it was characterized as a violation of the pregnant woman's sanctity and not a violation of the unborn child's rights. The question of whether or not this life is precious or disposable is hers. If she opts to end it, that's one thing; if anyone else opts to end it without her consent, that should be a high crime and treated as such.
  #44  
Old 10-14-2018, 11:41 PM
simster simster is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2005
Posts: 10,801
Quote:
Originally Posted by Whack-a-Mole View Post
I see no problem hitting the guys who try it with assault charges that can come with several years in prison and hefty fines. That should dissuade most and the ones not dissuaded likely wouldn't be by stiffer penalties.

But I think you are missing the point of the OP to try and square this crime with legal abortion.
nt missing the point at all - you square it by noting the intent of the person 'causing' the abortion.
  #45  
Old 10-15-2018, 12:03 AM
Whack-a-Mole's Avatar
Whack-a-Mole Whack-a-Mole is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2000
Location: Chicago, IL USA
Posts: 20,333
Quote:
Originally Posted by AHunter3 View Post
The question of whether or not this life is precious or disposable is hers.
Is your life dependent on how much someone else values it?
__________________
"I did not mean that Conservatives are generally stupid; I meant, that stupid persons are generally Conservative. I believe that to be so obvious and undeniable a fact that I hardly think any hon. Gentleman will question it." ~John Stuart Mill
  #46  
Old 10-15-2018, 12:04 AM
Whack-a-Mole's Avatar
Whack-a-Mole Whack-a-Mole is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2000
Location: Chicago, IL USA
Posts: 20,333
Quote:
Originally Posted by simster View Post
nt missing the point at all - you square it by noting the intent of the person 'causing' the abortion.
You are definitely missing the point of the OP.
__________________
"I did not mean that Conservatives are generally stupid; I meant, that stupid persons are generally Conservative. I believe that to be so obvious and undeniable a fact that I hardly think any hon. Gentleman will question it." ~John Stuart Mill
  #47  
Old 10-15-2018, 12:18 AM
Bryan Ekers's Avatar
Bryan Ekers Bryan Ekers is online now
Guest
 
Join Date: Nov 2000
Location: Montreal, QC
Posts: 57,991
Quote:
Originally Posted by Whack-a-Mole View Post
Is your life dependent on how much someone else values it?
Well, if my life consists of being inside another person's body, I'm okay with it.
  #48  
Old 10-15-2018, 12:51 AM
simster simster is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2005
Posts: 10,801
Quote:
Originally Posted by Whack-a-Mole View Post
You are definitely missing the point of the OP.
Sorry - I should have said 'right' not 'intent'.
  #49  
Old 10-15-2018, 12:54 AM
Whack-a-Mole's Avatar
Whack-a-Mole Whack-a-Mole is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2000
Location: Chicago, IL USA
Posts: 20,333
Quote:
Originally Posted by simster View Post
Sorry - I should have said 'right' not 'intent'.
Still missing it...
__________________
"I did not mean that Conservatives are generally stupid; I meant, that stupid persons are generally Conservative. I believe that to be so obvious and undeniable a fact that I hardly think any hon. Gentleman will question it." ~John Stuart Mill
  #50  
Old 10-15-2018, 12:57 AM
Whack-a-Mole's Avatar
Whack-a-Mole Whack-a-Mole is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2000
Location: Chicago, IL USA
Posts: 20,333
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bryan Ekers View Post
Well, if my life consists of being inside another person's body, I'm okay with it.
This is an easy one to punt back but since I am pro choice I won't give the others ammunition and it is not really the gist of the thread so you win the point.
__________________
"I did not mean that Conservatives are generally stupid; I meant, that stupid persons are generally Conservative. I believe that to be so obvious and undeniable a fact that I hardly think any hon. Gentleman will question it." ~John Stuart Mill

Last edited by Whack-a-Mole; 10-15-2018 at 01:01 AM.
Reply

Bookmarks

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is Off
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump


All times are GMT -5. The time now is 12:53 PM.

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2018, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.

Send questions for Cecil Adams to: cecil@straightdope.com

Send comments about this website to: webmaster@straightdope.com

Terms of Use / Privacy Policy

Advertise on the Straight Dope!
(Your direct line to thousands of the smartest, hippest people on the planet, plus a few total dipsticks.)

Copyright 2018 STM Reader, LLC.

 
Copyright © 2017